What is wrong with recycling anyway?

I’m really stumped on that one.

My roommate and I had a bit of a disagreement yesterday concerning recycling in my household. To begin, my household generates an enormous amount of recyclable waste. We’re all soda junkies and some of us drink too, which generates a lot of glass.

Now, in all honesty, I’ve not been one to recycle when it is inconvenient. Which is something I now have to change because I made a stand last night and have to suffer the consequences of doing so. So now i have to recycle even when it’s a real pain in the ass to do so. Not that this is really a bad thing… but one must stand by one’s own convictions.

Yeah, so the room mate in question doesn’t recycle and finds it fundamentally wrong that I would want her too. For her, its no one’s business whether she does or does not… and for the most part that is very true. It really isn’t my business.

But my stance is this. If you make the choice not to recycle, then I choose not to live with you. To me, when you have convenient recycling at your fingertips, you express blatant disregard for MY planet and MY environment. Yeah, it belongs to all of you as well. It just strikes me that there are billions and billions and billions of people who will be forced to live on this planet and have zero say in what we do with the planet, because none of them have yet been conceived. Humanity must remember that they are caretakers of the planet. Its the only world we can live on so it behooves all of us to do our part to maintain it. Recycling is one thing each and every one of us can and should be doing. To assist in the effort I did relocate the recycling bins to the kitchen as she didn’t object to having them there… i just wrongly assumed my roommates would scoff at keeping that waste in the kitchen.

So I’m still not clear what her beef is on recycling, other than that she is too lazy to walk to the recycling bins to throw her recyclable trash away. What really annoyed me was when I caught her about to toss some cans away and said, “hey, i did bring the recycle bins over from next door and put them in the garage” and when she didn’t find them at the door (they were by the exterior door located next to the trash can… to make it easy to remember to take them out on pick-up days)… she walked over to the trash can and said she might as well just throw them away… and made to do so. Never mind that at this point she was literally standing right next to the bins… and it would require less effort at this point to put them in the bins than to open the trash can and chuck them in there.

And it is that specific episode… that she walked all the way to the trash can and recycle bins and was still going to throw the cans away that has been running through my head and pissing me off. And the more I think about it, the more I think that that action will actually impact our friendship. It really changes my perception of her as a person. I’ll have to ponder it some more. There are a few things that she has said and done that have made me have such thoughts before… and I’m still uncertain. There is plenty about her that I do like and respect. But a handful of things that makes her less appealing as a roommate and as a friend. Its all trade-offs you know. People aren’t going to be perfect in anyone’s eyes… and you just have to decide what you are willing to tolerate. Sometimes that can mean sacrificing a friendship I guess. When you find out something about a friend that really goes against what you stand for. It definitely has changed my view on her as a person though. I just have to figure out whether it is enough of a change to warrant walking away altogether, or if its something I can overlook like so many other things about her.

I can say that she would be well advised to avoid any conversation around me concerning the environment, because I’d probably ream her.

Unless of course I can find a compelling argument against recycling. I’ve been looking since last night and so far have come up with nothing. Maybe one of you out there can tell me why recycling is bad and why we should just throw all our stuff away instead. Being lazy is not a compelling argument. When you get right down to it, laziness is a contributing factor to a great many problems in this country.

I prefer to be part of the solution. Which now requires I be more active in my recycling efforts. Like I have to take the stupid things out to the curb every other week. (I really do need to get a can crusher… an excellent suggestion from my roommate by the way.)

I don’t know what’s come over me the past few days. Maybe I’ve finally reached the end of my rope. But I’m following her advise and being more action than talk. And taking some stands on some issues I am passionate about, rather than just talking them.

Mike says that I am sort of intimidating in how passionate I can get about the issues I care about. He personally likes that side of me. I can see where it could get me in trouble though. But I guess I can’t just stand around idly talking about things when it requires action.

There is a rumbling in the force. I sense in it a warning. That I will live in a time where I will experience a lack of fossil fuels, or space with which to throw away my trash. Or that we will have no more rain forests (or at least have lost enough to have a serious impact on our ecosystem). It concerns me because it is right here and now that we as a society must act to preserve what we have left of this world because we are out of time. Unchecked, we’ll move beyond that point of no return where any actions to preserve the environment will too little and too late. The damage isn’t quite yet to the point where we’ve doomed ourselves, but it is very very close.

This is the generation that MUST take action. If we wait for the next one, it will be too late. Earth will survive us, as she has survived so many things, but the human ability to adapt and survive may well be insufficient to handle the damage we’ll have brought to our world.

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