Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Recycle, recycle, RECYCLE...

Sunday afternoon Carroll and I, operating as Bay Hill Conservancy - the non-profit organization that we founded - hosted a community educational program about recycling and litter. Our guest presenters were Lynne Hart and Tanjie Schrimsher from Keep Athens-Limestone Beautiful. Bay Hill Marina was our gracious host. Lynne and Tanjie gave powerful presentations on litter and recycling that really stuck with me.

One of the things I cannot get out of my mind is something called the Great Garbage Patch. This man-made disaster is twice the size of Texas, or perhaps the size of the United States. It's garbage floating in the Pacific. You just have to see it. I urge you to link through and read about this. I've learned that the topic has been on many programs, including Oprah, but not being a huge TV watcher I've missed it totally.

Arriving home and preparing dinner after the program I was very mindful of what I was discarding and what I was recycling. All day Monday my brain had the same running thought - this "thing" that I'm pitching...will it end up in the Great Garbage Patch? Will this piece of plastic be the death of some sea turtle? Will a baby albatross die because of me? Guys, this has been keeping me up. I pride myself on being "Green." We don't have curbside recycling pick up here so we schlep it to the marina or into town. I do it happily, as do many. Still, here are some things from just Monday that made it into the trash - these do not appear to be recyclable in my area...if at all.

The bird seed bag.

The sliced cheese wrapping.

The plastic bag inside our box of wine.

The wrapping around my colby-jack chunk of cheese.

The orange doohickie cap thingie I had to pop off my new ink cartridges. I'm not sure about this one and have to call as there's no triangle and number stamped on it.

However, the onion bag from Publix is recyclable - yay!

I immediately bought reusable bags. Normally, I get plastic bags because I clean up after Baylee during our walks and they are perfect for the task. Still...landfills are a huge problem as well so I carry my reusable bag with pride and will only take the occasional plastic bags as needed.

I even bought this cute little bag at the CVS Pharmacy.

Truly, I'm not obsessed about it but am certainly more mindful after Sunday's program - especially after reading about The Great Garbage Patch. Good heavens. Please, please, please let's all work together and take better care of our planet.


Eve said...

This is one thing I find very different about life here Debi. There isn't any recycling that I know of. All the boxes...plastic...bottles and cans...glass...paper...magazines! We had containers to put them in until the were full and then took them to our dump where they had bins to dispose of them in. I cringe everytime I put any of these in the trash!! I've got to do some research about that around here. Thanks for the reminder.

Daniel Spurgeon said...

Very helpful and thoughtful post, Debi. I too have been looking at creative ways to reuse some items. Such as- I was needing some paper bags for storing wildflower seeds that I have been collecting. I was going to buy some brown paper lunch bags- but then I noticed the little paper bags that we already had- like the little CVS pharmacy paper bags, used envelopes would work to store seeds as well, etc. I was pleasantly surprised at all of the useful "containers" that we already had.

I haven't updated my blog in over a week- I am feeling kind of guilty about that- but I have been super busy with work and household chores. I have taken quite a few photos. I am thinking about redesigning my blogsite so that I can post articles- as well as have a place just to upload recent nature photos without providing much comment- other than identification- until I can get around to writing a full blown article about it. Thank you for your continued support of my blog! :)

Piper is due to have puppies this week. So, I should be getting some photos of super cute English Mastiff puppies!

Diane said...

This has been my passion since I was a teenager. I'm still at it. I'm so pleased you saw that. You might also want to see the story of stuff:

I'm proud of you for making some changes. (I want to use the clicker like I do with the dogs! How bad is that!)

The Giraffe Head Tree said...

Thanks guys. I'm feeling this need so strongly now - even more than before. While writing this post I strapped on my iPod and was listening to some old McCartney tunes. This one by Paul came on and struck home: (lyrics somewhat out of order for efficiency)

"Motor cars, Handlebars
Bicycles for two
Broken hearted jubilee

Parachutes, Army boots
Sleeping bags for two
Sentimental jamboree

Candlesticks, building bricks
Something old and new
Memories for you and me

Buy Buy
Says the sign in the shop window
Why why
Says the junk in the yard."

We are a "throw away" society, us Americans. Can't speak for the rest of the world. In My Humble Opinion, anyway.


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