I recently read a quote from Annie Leonard about recycling, that I must say, is pretty convicting…
“There’s a reason that ‘recycling’ comes last in the mantra: Reduce, Reuse, Repair, and Recycle.”
Moving to Houston last August I was fairly disappointed and a little bit distraught at the barriers facing those who wish to recycle.
If it isn’t obvious, my social-moralism took a hit. The creation care that I had preached so heavily throughout college felt like a distant identity. I was forced to throw recyclables away…
Ok, that’s all the crying you’ll hear from me on that, because… there is so much more to creation care than recycling!
“Green” folks out there, put your judgments where they belong… in the trash can.
You anti-long haired, hippie, hackysack playing, earthlovers… listen up.
Whether you believe in recycling or not, we could all use a little reduction in our consumption. We would all benefit from eating less, buying less, and using less. When there are floating islands of trash in the ocean, I think it is a sign to reduce what we use.
We could all benefit from some reuse as well. I recently was given a massive and sturdy desk in fairly good condition for $10. Something comparable from Office Depot would run me about $300. The price difference is worth a couple nicks in the finish if you ask me.
And lastly, I know for a fact we could all use a little more repairing in our lives. We all complain about planned and perceived obsolescence (click for a video explanation and feel free to watch the whole “Story of Stuff”), but we aren’t willing to do anything about it. We just go along with the program and throw away broken things and buy new ones instead of repairing what we have.
Obviously, I’m going to keep searching for ways to recycle, but I’m also going to be challenging myself to reduce what I use, reuse what others don’t want, and repair things we all use.
I don’t know how this applies to your individual life, but I’m not you. So, try it out and let me know how it goes.