Friday, February 20, 2009


So I was shopping today, and as usual I had my reusable shopping tote. At the register I told the cashier "I have a bag here, you can save that one for the next person". In her best self righteous tone she says (practically yells) "JUST SO YOU KNOW, OUR BAGS ARE MADE OF RECYCLED PLASTIC. SEE? IT SAYS SO RIGHT HERE." I politely informed her that I'm sure that they were, but that my choice was to save the bag. And then she says "BUT YOU CAN PUT THESE IN YOUR RECYCLE BIN, IT SAYS SO RIGHT HERE." She seemed really irritated. I really wanted to say "JUST SO YOU KNOW, if given the choice, the best option is to prevent or reduce the amount of waste that is generated in the first place. While recycling is an important component of the overall waste management hierarchy, it is still the least preferred option because you first have to generate the waste in order to recycle it. Reuse falls in the middle in that if an item can be reused, either by the original user or by someone else before it is disposed to the trash or recycled, then the waste of that item is prevented or at least delayed." But then I might have lost her, it was a complicated thought. Or, I could have said "JUST SO YOU KNOW, I found that when I started living in a more environmentally conscious way, it felt good. It made me feel like a better person. Give it a try and see if it works for you." I first heard these words from Roz Savage. It does feel good. Every time I do it. It all adds up, JUST SO YOU KNOW.

1 comment:

Roz Savage said...

Great post! And absolutely right - recycling is good, but reduction of use is better.

Keep spreading the message - it really does all add up!