Last evening, during a power failure, I was sitting in only candle light and trying to remember how old I was when I figured out I can’t save the planet vis a vis improving bad environmental habits. I’m not talking about humankind’s habits; dag, I have a big enough problem just trying to manipulate myself without thinking I can manipulate the world. For us older dudes and dudettes, when we were kids we learned to give a hoot and not pollute thanks to an owl whose only claim to fame was that the sound s/he made rhymed with pollute. And then there was this big ole rugged looking tearful Indian chief for whom we all felt sorry because he was looking over his kingdom and it was littered with a mess of garbage. I guess it is still ok for me to say “Indian chief”, huh? Or, should it be indigenous denizen (I could argue redundancy on that both ways) of authority. The latter doesn’t really have the same impact or impart the same feeling, does it?
Back in those good ole days or at least as the days as I romantically remember as good ole I recall my generation’s first awareness at recycling. It was simply said pure genius: offering money in return for environmental consciousness. How many of us remember walking around town and picking up discarded soda (pop) bottles and taking them back to the store to collect the deposit? That paid my way to the movies more than once. Of course back then the movies only cost twenty five cents, so that meant 13 bottles at two cents apiece. Since those days, as you probably have as well, I’ve thought that perhaps I wasn’t doing a good thing carrying those bottles back to the store. After I took them back to the store, energy needed to be expended to package them and transport them back to the factory where they would be washed with hot water to sanitize them. That meant the use of carbon fuel to transport, use of our most precious resource (water is right up there above air probably, right?) to wash them, and more energy to heat the water to make it hot. Dag, this is not all that cut and dried, is it? Someone would have to do the math to see what is the “right” thing to do with the bottles. But then my very next thought is that “figures lie and liars figure.” Hmmm…
Bobby’s original pitch for this article was the Advantages and Disadvantages of Recycling. If you are a list kind of person as am I on occasion, just do an internet search and the results will be about a zillion or two. All, on both sides, can be argued depending on scale and location and weight of what is important to you. For me, personally, I try to be mindful of every act that could have an effect on this place we call home. And, we all know what these things are because our grandparents taught them to us when we visited them when we were kids. Of course back then, our grandparents remembering the Great Depression were more mindful of the bills than the environment, weren’t they? Fortunately that was one of those good unintended consequences happenings.
My carbon footprint is so small I hardly fit within it myself, with barely room for a puppy to sit on my feet where my puppies tend to like to sit. I ride a motorcycle and an ATV and only go when I have to go. I do not allow the water to keep running as I brush my teeth and most of my showers are not luxurious. Water leaks get collected before the plumber can arrive and is used for puppy water. If no light is needed none are on, with the possible exception of the closet light that is left on in an attempt to keep it a tad dry and discourage mold exposure. All little things but little things add up, right?
Let’s be honest, personal recycling can be expensive and a pain in the bee u tocks. I bought four of those big brand name garbage cans to separate glass, plastic, tin and aluminum. That’s a pain to do and when I turn my head my lovely wife uses the kitchen can for all of it (her argument is and she is correct is that it all gets lumped in together when the garbage guys pick it up and if not then it gets all mixed up at the land fill. Well, once again, I know within my heart she is right on the money, but, don’t discount the fact that it makes me feel better to even think that I am doing a good thing. I still give a hoot. Pura vida