Wednesday, 22 October 2008

Am I insane? You Decide.



My name is Karen and I recycle most things that I buy.

I recycle plastic wrappers

I recycle on holiday

And I have been known to help out the odd cafe that doesn't recycle, by taking my bottles home with me to put in my recycling bin.

Is this a good habit or is it an obsession? Indeed, should I be worried that I am about to join the 7% of Americans, many of who have been deemed carborexic, as “dark green”, hard core recyclers and carbon footprint worriers with an obsession on their hands?

Being a zero waste enthusiast perhaps I do have a psychiatric condition. Perhaps I am obsessed. Having chatted to Three Countries Radio presenter Jonathan Vernon-Smith yesterday, one might be led to think so. And I can see his point? After all, what sane person would go out of their way whilst on holiday to find a recycling bank when there are far better things to do? Goodness, I'm already on my way to therapy.

But let's look at it another way.

  • Do you stop being a vegetarian just because you're on holiday?
  • Do you stop wearing a seatbelt when you go abroad?
  • Do you stop cleaning your teeth when you're taking a day off work?
When habits are ingrained and you care about your principles and the consequences of your actions, of course you carry them with you wherever you go?

A vegetarian doesn't stop caring about their diet or animal welfare. Safety conscious drivers will continue to take basic precautions in case of an accident. As for cleaning your teeth, the risk of gum disease never takes a day off.

Now when it comes to recycling and the idea of zero waste, my thinking is this.

When I choose to buy something like a Diet Coke, I recognise two facts.
  • A proportion of my money goes on the drink
  • The rest of the money pays for the bottle
Even if the value of that bottle is just 10p, it is worth money. So if you throw that bottle in the bin, it is exactly the same as burying your well-earned cash in landfill. And the more we send to landfill, the more we pay, not only for its collection but in the form of landfill tax, when it gets dumped in the hole in the ground.

By recycling that item, it becomes an investment, ensuring the material can be reused, saving virgin resources from being extracted.

And this is still true, whether you're at home or away.

You don't even need to go out of your way. When we were on holiday in Switzerland, it only took seconds to drop off the bottles as we were passing the supermarket bottle bank on the way home. Just seconds, that's all, to do one thing that local residents would do every day.

One thing's for sure if we don't change the way we think now, environmental pressures will force us to take more urgent action in the future. In the meantime, I won't lose any sleep if I can't recycle my toothpaste tube or my crisp packets.

So, am I really so obsessed or is it a matter of being sensible?

Carborexic eh? The next thing they'll be telling me is that I've got a case of wasteophobia.

Good Grief, perhaps I have. Perhaps you have too. Anyway, I'll await the verdict and if I get taken away, I'll pray for a reprieve in a decade's time.

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9 comments:

esther said...

hihihi, I actually would love to see more nut cases like you on this planet!!!

Jane said...

Deep green sounds lovely, rather like a pine forest. Much nicer than carborexic anyway.

Tracey Smith said...

Speaking as another chick on 'your' side of the fence, I can't see why you even need to ask the question! LOLOL....what you're doing is aspirational, inspirational and it gives you a sense of purpose (in a broad sense of course, you are far more than TRD...) and direction with your work and your life!

If more people thought and acted as you are, we wouldn't be in such a fix.

Don't change a thing missus - in fact, I think you should make more noise about it to be honest.

Well done for taking those thoughts into every corner of your life - it's commendable action.

Respectfully yours,
TS x

katyboo1 said...

You're not a mentalist my dear, you just have the courage of your convictions. Some people don't like that too much because it makes them feel lazy and a bit crap in comparison. It just means they won't stand next to you in photographs that's all!

Interestingly I do have a veggie friend who sometimes has holidays from veggiedom. She also does it sometimes when she is feeling anarchic. She says it's less dangerous than smoking crack and it lets her release her inner anarchist for a while before she goes back to being 'normal'! Not that I'm saying everyone should do it mind you...

ALMOST MRS AVERAGE said...

LOL - Hi Esther. Thank you for the commendation. You won't believe how nervous I was getting ;-D

Hi Jane - great to see you. Deep Green does sound much nicer doesn't it. The funny thing is I still think of myself as average LOL :-D

Hi Trace - thank you so much me lovely rubbish friend. I now know that I'm not on my own and now feel happy that I'm still normal. Well if I'm not normal now, I will be in 10 years time and I don't think it will be me who will have changed. Hee hee :-D x

Hi Katyboo - oh evil twin, thank you so much for your reassurances. Now I feel confident I can saunter amongst society with my head held high. Love the sound of your friend. In fact I've turned veggie this week, partly because MrA is away so haven't needed to cook up carnivore type meals and partly because I forgot to buy cat food and was forced to give last night's chicken supper to the cats! Bless :-D

Mrs Green said...

:D of COURSE you're insane. It is the number one requirement of anyone I am going to call my friend :D

No, seriously, I agree with Tracey. You're passionate, you have a cause and you're fighting for something you believe in. The world needs more Mrs A's in it - people who care and people who walk their talk.
I'm proud of you and honoured to call you my friend, for all you are doing to make the world a better place....

Mrs G x

Mrs Green said...

:D of COURSE you're insane. It is the number one requirement of anyone I am going to call my friend :D

No, seriously, I agree with Tracey. You're passionate, you have a cause and you're fighting for something you believe in. The world needs more Mrs A's in it - people who care and people who walk their talk.
I'm proud of you and honoured to call you my friend, for all you are doing to make the world a better place....

Mrs G x

Mrs Green said...

see; I felt so strongly, I had to say it twice LOL!

ALMOST MRS AVERAGE said...

Hi Mrs G - LOL. What lovely words and great to see you around. I was beginning to think that I was just so crazy I'd sent you running to the hills (LOL).

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