I took my daughters to the park today as it was a nice day out and they had a bit of energy that needed sapping. AS they ran around on the play area I sat and watched people going by, something I must admit I enjoy doing form time to time. Now i don't know if it was my heightened awareness due to this project, or a jackpot time to be there, but i was fairly shocked at what I noticed.
Sunday, October 26, 2008
All around me people were throwing plastic water bottles and soda bottles into the garbage. I'm not naive, I recognize that this happens all the time pretty much everywhere, but what shocked me was who was doing it. I'm the first to say that you can't judge people by how they look but when the guy with the "Save the Rainforest" and the lady with the "Recycle" shirt (I kid you not and they were not together) are throwing plastic in the trash, it makes you think.
I'm going to go out on a limb and say that these two, among others (including a few people i know personally) would have recycled their bottles had there been a bin or had they been at home where a bin is accessible. And yet, they didn't seem to think twice about throwing their bottles away. Why?
I'm afraid the answer is the same that lies at the the heart of most of the problems at hand, simple convenience. It's inconvenient to have to bring the bottle with them and then dispose of it, and much more convenient to chuck it in the garbage where they are. I can see that as plain as anyone else can. I guess what gets me is that no one forced them to bring a plastic water bottle to begin with, it was their choice. And yet, they don't feel a responsibility to deal with their choices once the way to deal with them becomes an inconvenience.
The bottom line of all this is this. We all are hopefully trying to do our best by recycling and using less in the first place, but that should extend beyond our immediate homestead and out into our lives as a whole.
Why recycle at home but not do so on a trip? Is it less important?
Why refuse to bring styrofoam into your house and then use it at the office? Is it less damaging to the environment?
And why hang at the park with your kids and chuck a plastic water bottle that you would have most likely recycled were you at home?
It just doesn't make sense.
OK, end of tirade (actually it sounds angrier than i am, when it should be more confused than angry).
And for those of you wondering, yes, I grabbed a bunch of them out of the barrel, brought them home, and put them in the blue bin (not mine afterall).