Two years ago, Clay and I gave a friend a ride home from Edmonton. We had borrowed my parents’ car for the trip, since we didn’t have a reliable source of transportation at the time (RIP The Colt) and were filling the tank with diesel before we returned it to them. Being a fantastic daughter, I was cleaning all the garbage out of the car while Clay filled the tank, and this friend, who shall remain nameless, passed me his pop bottle to throw out. I said, “Leave that in here, my mom will recycle it”. I’m not kidding, he laughed: “haha, recycle!”
What planet are you from if you don’t get the concept of recycling? Until that moment I thought everyone and their dog knew that recycling is the responsible and right thing to do. It just drives me crazy when I see people throw cans and bottles in the garbage. I grit my teeth, and if no one’s watching, I go pull that ten or twenty cent piece of “junk” out of the trash.
I grew up “picking bottles” in the spring: Dad would drive the truck down the grid roads and Steve and I would perch in the truck box with our eagle eyes searching out bottles in the ditches. We would later go to SARCAN with our bounty and walk out with our pockets jingling. I’m sure the amount Dad spent on gas far outweighed what profit we made, but it made me:
a)recognize that littering is not acceptable: we need to take care of the environment
b)realize you can turn “junk” into money by recycling bottles and cans
c)appreciate the fact that I worked hard for the money I used to buy the bag full of candy I enjoyed after a long dirty day
Not only did I grow up recycling things that were profitable, I learned to recycle things that wouldn’t make me any money. Glass gars. Tin cans. Paper. Egg cartons. Plastic bags. My family is not a bunch of tree-huggers, we simply do what we can to reduce the amount of garbage we add to the earth. I thought everyone did this.
How about you?
Do you recycle? Why or why not?