I don't know when the seeds were sown, but when I was growing up there was a commercial about being a litterbug. At the end, there would be a closeup of a Native American with a tear rolling down his cheek. The message being, I presume, how sad he was to see his natural habitat being ruined with litter. I can still see that as plain as day all these years later.
My Mom has told me that, as a child, my pockets would be full of empty candy wrappers, scraps even sticks and leaves. She would always find this when she would check the pockets before doing laundry. She always said that I would never throw anything down. Maybe I was ahead of my time, hmmmm, ya think?
When I first started recycling a number of years ago, my Mom started doing it too, now my 78yr. old mother out recycles me! And she is also very good at reusing things, bags, plastic wear etc. She will even wash plastic forks and spoons we might use for a family cookout, where I am just tempted to throw them out to keep from doing dishes.
I've always recycled the easy things, cans, bottles, orange juice and milk jugs, cardboard containers that cokes and pre-packaged food comes in. But.....I've been known to throw something in the trash if I just don't feel like rinsing it out......call me lazy. Whereas my Mom, will pick things out of her trash can that someone has thrown in that can be recycled. She's making me look bad!
So I downloaded a list of things that can be recycled, and I'm surprised by the amount of things that CAN'T be recycled. I though maybe prescription bottles could be, no. Although my bottle of Extra Strength Tylenol can be thown in the recycling. Box milk cartons covered in that waxy finish, nope. Aluminum foil, yes, yogurt and sour cream tubs, nope. Seems some packaging has other materials in it that can't be or is too expensive to recycle. There is a code on the bottom of a lot of products that lets you know if it can be recycled or not. It will be a number inside of a triangle on the bottle of plastic products. Numbers 1 and 2 are usually accepted, type 4 is sometimes accepted in bag form. Seems type 7, usually not, because other materials are mixed in with the plastic.
Plastic grocery bags can be recyled, but aren't usually picked up with regular recycling, but a lot of grocery stores take them back. They usually have bins to put them in. Seems clear glass bottles are good to go, but colored glass bottles are iffy. Hmm, what will I do with my wine bottles? Juice boxes and other boxed products, soy mile, broth etc. cannont be recyled. It seems the recycling process for those are expensive and only done in very few places.
There's a lot to learn about recycling, put I am still digging into it. It seems that the answer to items that cannot be recyled is to be aware and change things that I buy and use. More on that at a later date.
I have become more aware of what I'm throwing away and I'm recycling more than I was before, but it's a learning process, so I will keep you updated.