Green behaviors common in the U.S.? That’s hard to believe
It really couldn't be an easier: Separate your trash in the house and select the appropriate bin outside in which to deposit it. You don't even have to sort the recyclables into separate containers for paper, plastic, cans, etc. All recyclables go in one can; the other stuff goes in another.
It's so simple a 2-year-old can do it. The guys knew by that age that there was one can in the kitchen for "food garbage" and another for the rest.
Yet, I've been frustrated for years by people who can't seem to grasp what a toddler can. Guests in my home, unable to discern what the white triangle with arrows on a blue can means, deposit all manner of other trash in the recycling bin. A casual stroll down the street on any given garbage day will reveal boxes poking out of the black toter or electronics climbing out of the top of the blue one.
It. Makes. Me. Crazy.
And it bothers me not just because it's the law in California - albeit a law so often ignored that some communities have threatened to fine people who don't properly separate their garbage. It makes me really, really incredibly angry because I have two little kids who I hope are going to have to live on this planet for a long time. Would it kill you to help make it a little better place for them?
According to a recent Gallup poll, most of you say you do help. When it comes to recycling paper, glass, aluminum or other items, 90 percent of those surveyed said they do it.
Should I believe that or my own lying eyes?
Granted, it's easy to be confused when every Tom, Dick and Harriet jump on the environmental bandwagon every April 22 because it's the trendy thing to do something for Earth Day. You'll see press releases from bottled water companies touting their efforts to reduce the amount of plastic they use, and you'll be tricked for a split second. Then you'll remember that the environmentally conscious thing to do is to buy reusable water bottles instead of bottled water.
And maybe that 90 percent who claim they "recycle regularly" are counting putting their office paper in the blue tray. That seems pretty minimal, but I suppose it's better than putting it in the trash can.
But honestly, when only 85 percent of California's beverage containers are recycled how on Earth is it possible that 90 percent of the country regularly recycles waste? When 40 percent of California's trash still is being buried in landfills my kids will pay the financial and environmental cost of, is it conceivable that 81 percent of the rest of the country has switched to energy-saving fluorescent bulbs?
Sorry for the rant. My usual MO is to ask nicely before I scold, so let me try a different approach.
If you're really among that 90 percent that recycles regularly or that 81 percent that uses low energy bulbs, good on you. If you're not, think of today's youngsters and start doing your part to leave them a better world.
Copyright 2010 Debra Legg. All rights reserved.