Easing My Conscience: Giving Recyclables a New Lease on Life
Do you re-play conversations over and over in your head and think of what you should or should not have said and over-analyze a situation and then feel guilty about how you did or did not handle something or say or do something? Or is that just me and my mom that do that? I and my well-meaning mom certainly suffer from an over-active brain – you know, the kind that almost never turns off. We certainly are not deep sleepers – we never have a clear conscience about what we should have done or at least maybe should have done. For instance, since I posted on Monday that I need to be doing more for my part of preserving and protecting our earth, I have been trying to make sure I recycle everything that can go in the recycling bin. But, of course, as a busy mom, trying to throw meals together, get it on the table before a riot occurs, get the kids to actually eat most of the food, rather than pitch it to the dogs, slather it into hair, crumble it, mash it and/or toss it on the floor, and then quickly clean it all back up again, I don't always recycle all the containers. So, here is where the guilt comes in. I know that it takes hundreds of years for cans, plastic containers and bottles to decompose, but sometimes in my haste I toss a pasta sauce jar, a green bean can (BPA-laden epoxy- lined can, no less) or cream cheese container in the trash. Can you believe it? Terrible, I know. Instead of washing out the container and walking approximately 5 additional steps from my trash can to my recycling bin, I sentence the container to a lifetime (a very long lifetime) of sitting and waiting for decomposition to begin. If I just took the time to place all of them into the recycling bin those containers could be reincarnated into a juice bottle, a carrot can or a shampoo bottle. These are the sorts of things (among a million other thoughts) that run through my head day in and day out.
In light of my guilty-conscience I have some easy recycling tips for you: You can now recycle certain items at all 1740 Target stores. There are recycling bins for items like plastic bags, beverage cans and bottles, mobile phones and MP3 players located in the front of the store. It's a good way to get rid of any plastic bags you may have building up in your home. Target already recycles or reuses packing boxes and hangers to reduce waste in its own supply chain. IKEA US and Canada provides bins for hazardous waste collections of compact fluorescent bulbs (also known as CFLs) and alkaline batteries. Be careful when dropping your bulbs into the collection containers – you don't want to break the glass and release the mercury! Look for collection bins for battery recycling near the cash lanes and/or near the Swedeshop. IKEA stores in the US and Canada generally recycle paper and cardboard, plastics and glass. (Just more reasons for me to go to two of my favorite stores!)
Here are the Web sites I recommend checking out this week:
This first one is a combined Web site and tips suggestion. So, go for the 40 fabulous tips, but stay and check out other articles on the site. Earth 911: http://earth911.com/earthday/ 40 Tips for the 40th Earth Day. These 40 Tips are really fascinating (at least I thought so), but the whole earth911 Web site has lots of useful and interesting information.
The Environmental Defense Fund: http://www.edf.org/page.cfm?tagID=820
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA): http://www.epa.gov/
Polar Bears International: www.polarbearsinternational.org. I am including this site because on Monday night I heard an amazing 17 year-old, impassioned and inspiring speaker on this subject. The toughest challenge facing polar bears is the lack of ice due to global warming issues.
I am curious what you are doing to celebrate Earth Day with your little ones? Or what you do on daily/weekly/monthly basis to be kind to the earth and teach you kiddos to do the same. I will be back on Friday with a bit of Motherly Advice. Over and out…