More about recycling and reducing waste

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I’m not the most conscientious recycler, so I know how it feels to be nudged toward doing what we know is the right thing to do. So here’s another little nudge, for myself and everybody else. We live in a society and a time when we have more material possessions than we can use or maintain.

I’m not the most conscientious recycler, so I know how it feels to be nudged toward doing what we know is the right thing to do. So here’s another little nudge, for myself and everybody else. We live in a society and a time when we have more material possessions than we can use or maintain. Who would have thought that our parents, who worked so hard to rebuild a modern world after World War II, would have overshot the mark so far, that our generation’s great challenge is to find some place to put the leftovers?
Each Pontiac municipality has waste management infrastructure in place. Imperfect works-in-progress that they are, it’s still our duty to the future, to get out of our old habits, and to make the system work as well as possible.
There are different kinds of waste material, and the best way to sort them is at source; that means at your household. Kitchen scraps and pet waste do not belong with other trash; they should be composted. If you don’t have the time or inclination to do this, there’s probably an avid gardener nearby who would welcome the
additional organic matter. The beauty of composting is that plants don’t really care where the manure comes from – it’s all food to them. The organic matter, when randomly mixed with trash destined for the landfill, is what causes most of the problems. Food waste, when wrapped in plastic, sealed and squished, festers and generates methane, which is poisonous to breathe, flammable, and contains sulfurous compounds and it stinks.
We’ve all heard about plastic waste and how it’s choking rivers, beaches and oceans, mostly because people are conditioned to think that single-use plastic is better or safer than reusables, and that it doesn’t matter if you just toss a straw, bottle or bag out the window into a ditch. We were sold the idea that plastic is
disposable, but it simply is not. It’s just lying there accumulating, because people feel more inclined to toss trash where they see trash already tossed.
It’s a useless object that will go to the landfill or worse, make its way to that Great Pacific Gyre, a giant floating mass of plastic waste twice the size of Texas, that is swirling in mid-ocean. Do you really need a new straw for each fast food soda, or a new Styrofoam cup and plastic lid for every cup of road coffee? Or a new plastic bottle of water every time you’re thirsty away from home? In all these cases, there are reusable versions available, and reusing items is one very effective way of reducing the trash burden.
It’s an inconvenient pain in the keester to have to carry your own utensils around, to clean up after yourself, and to remind fellow citizens of Earth, but it really is our home, as long as we don’t mess it up so badly the landlord kicks us to the curb, without returning our damage deposit.

Robert Wills
THORNE