To borrow from the Postman's Creed "Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these
couriers environmentalists from the swift completion of their appointed rounds recycling". We don't have curbside recycling so every Tuesday you will find me hauling our recyling (the tub filled with junk mail, cat tins, bits of plastic and glass) and the library's recycling (everything else). I have hauled in all kinds of weather; snow storms, rain, hot days when the yellow jackets are buzzing around the pop can disposal area, and yesterday when the temperature was -10 and the sundogs announced moisture crystals in the air.
I am an avid recycler. So when I found myself at the motorcycle show this weekend without my reusable water container I normally carry I was disgusted to have to buy water for the outrageous price of $3 a bottle. Then when the water was gone I didn't want to have to carry the bottle for the rest of the show and to the resturant we were walking to afterward. I looked for a container for recycling bottles and found none. So I began to reason with myself, "it is only one bottle, I normally recycle everything, it is just this one time". After depositing the bottle in the garbage I began to feel bad and realized that if everyone at the show throughout the weekend reasoned this way there would be thousands of bottles deposited into the landfill from just one weekend. People in the U.S. throw away 2.5 million plastic bottles every hour, and now I contributed to that number. Sadly less than 1% of all plastic is recycled although all plastic is recyclable. Most plastics end up in the landfill or ocean releasing pollutants into the environment and seeping into groundwater causing health risks for humans and wildlife. Some are incinerated, contributing to greenhouse gases. Plastics can be recycled into carpeting, paintbrushes, shower stalls, drainpipes, flowerpots, detergent bottles, clothing and lumber for outdoor use. Energy is saved by recycling rather than producing plastic from raw materials. Recycling one plastic bottle can conserve enough energy to light a 60-watt light bulb for up to six hours. All the plastic ever made is still with us, scientists believe it would take hundreds of years to degrade fully. So why make more? Why not reuse what has already been produced?