Friday, August 22, 2008


In early July, I posted a blog titled "It's Not Easy Being Green" in which I discussed my pathetic excuses for not recycling. I did mention that Chris and I carpool to work nearly everyday, which we continue to do. However, I did want to provide an update to highlight my improved recycling efforts.

A few days after I wrote that entry, I went to Menard's and purchased five large plastic bins and cleared a space for them in the garage. I labeled them, and we are now a proud recyclin' family of: glass, aluminum cans, tin cans, newspapers, and plastic. I even bought a can crusher, though I must admit that stomping on them is somewhat cathartic at times. I have gotten past my recycling laziness and am making a true effort towards becoming the Macon County Green Queen. I even made the comment to Chris a few days ago that I couldn't believe the massive quantities of what we now recycle that we used to just throw away.

At work, I have had to think about recycling as well. We have been in the process of updating our computers over the past few months. Yesterday, I had one of my employees take a huge pickup truck load of computers, monitors, and other outdated electronic equipment to Springfield to drop off at the recycling place. I had a heck of a time even finding a place to take old computer equipment. It was so outdated that no one could really use it anymore, and when I called the Macon County Solid Waste Management, they said the only options here in Macon County were to take the equipment to Staples or Office Depot - - which would have charged us $10 per unit....for each monitor, each printer, each tower, etc. to recycle it.....for a total of well over $300. I asked the guy at the company in Springfield what was done with the equipment and he said that they stack it on pallets and ship it to East St. Louis, who in turn, ships it overseas for recycling. I am hoping that "overseas for recycling" doesn't translate to "dumps it in the backyard of some third world country." It makes me wonder and worry how the world will keep up with the massive amounts of electronic equipment that will need to be disgarded as the age of computers and cell phones advances at such a rapid pace.

I suppose I am certainly not going to save the world with my little recycling effort I now have going in my garage....but I am doing something, which is far better than what I was doing before. Yes, it's not that easy bein' green....but it's not that hard either.

Some food for thought for today:

* The energy saved from recycling one glass bottle can run a 100-watt light bulb for four hours. It also causes 20% less air pollution and 50% less water pollution than when a new bottle is made from raw materials.

* Recycling one aluminum can saves enough energy to run a TV for three hours.

*Recycling a single run of the Sunday New York Times would save 75,000 trees.

* The U.S. is the #1 trash-producing country in the world at 1,609 pounds per person per year. This means that 5% of the world's people generate 40% of the world's waste.

* Out of ever $10 spent buying things, $1 (10%) goes for packaging that is thrown away. Packaging represents about 65% of household trash.


papadale said...

You go Girl!!! Just don't forget that we used to send a lot our scrap metals to Japan, then, in the 40's, they returned a large percentage of them. Hope there's no State Secrets on those discarded computers.

uncle doug said...

I am making all of my Christmas decorations from used Heineken bottles. You wouldn't believe what an effort it takes to empty all those bottles to make a tree-shaped stack 6 feet tall. But I think I may well accomplish it. Then I'll start on one for your house! Reuse is just as important as recycling, right?

papadale said...

For Uncle Doug, the group I roomed with at College did the same thing with P.B.R. cans in Mt. Carmel in 1968, I had no idea I was such a trend setter, and so far ahead of the curve.

Julianne said...

I want to see Uncle Doug's tree!

Oh, and Becky, SO proud of the Green Queen of Macon County!