May 07, 2008

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

I'm always impressed by how much our family is able to reduce our garbage output by composting and recycling all the things our city says we can put in the recycling bin, which includes plastics marked with numbers 1-7. However, it is a little depressing to read that most of the time, even if a city takes all kinds of plastics, they actually send everything but numbers 1 and 2 to the landfill or to other countries for incineration.

I'm not about to go on a no plastics whatsoever kick, but it does make one think that recycling can often be the waste of time that some suggest it is. Finding ways to reuse things ourselves (like turning newspaper into weed block or shredded credit card offers into compost) or passing things on to someone else who might want them is much better than sending things off to the recycling center. And I suppose one could resist the call of things packaged in plastic too, if one must.

Yikes, I think this whole crunchy con thing may be getting to me.


Our pickup will take plastics #1-2, newspapers, cardboard and magazines. All things considered, I don't generate too much other plastic, but it's only because I haven't been buying much. I get a kick out of things like CFLs (yay! Good for the environment!) packed in plastic that will never degrade, and is not recyclable.

Posted by: Diane at May 7, 2008 01:49 PM

Not to mention that CFLs have mercury in them and should be taken to a hazardous materials site to be disposed of.

Posted by: Jordana at May 7, 2008 02:37 PM

Im with Jordana this whole thing is catching up to me!

Posted by: Kelsey Smith at May 7, 2008 10:04 PM

You may have heard of Penn & Teller's debunking of's pretty good. I think they conclude that paper recycling is sorta OK, but everything else is, ahem, bulls***. See the video, or parts of it online. (Employs the "bulls***" word often.)

Posted by: Monica at May 8, 2008 06:51 AM