Saturday, November 22, 2008

Recycle please

The other day I went into the break room at work to sit down and eat my lunch. There is usually a copy of the local paper there, and I will browse through it. It's that or watch soap operas with the other employees. I prefer reading. When I picked up the paper I immediately noticed something different.

Either my hands are getting bigger or that paper just got smaller in size. Now I can appreciate the H-J trying to save a few dollars by using less paper, and maybe going a bit greener, but I'm also betting the the price just went up as well.

They aren't alone in this. Many companies are shrinking their product size, while either keeping the price the same or raising them. It's not a lot, just a little and it's easy to miss. It just bothers me, mainly because a better solution is so simple.

I've always been bothered by the sheer waste I see in commercial packaging, and the apparent lack in incentive to make packaging from recycled materials, more bio-degradable, or of a form that doesn't reduce landfill space at such a rapid rate. I am certain there are ways out there to package products or produce reading materials such as a newspaper in a way that encourages wise stewardship of our resources.

Of course I wish that recycling was more widely encouraged, both in the private and the business sector. So much of what we use has packaging that can be recycled, but isn't. In just plastics alone, we could save millions of barrels of oil a year by recycling bottles and containers, instead of throwing them out. Countless trees could be saved if more publications encouraged people to throw their products in the nearest recycling bin instead of the trashcan. Metallic resources could find themselves in larger supply if we re-used more of those as well.

There is so much talk about "going green", yet this form of greening is mentioned so little. I just don't know why, as it is one of the smartest and effective methods of using sound environmental practices.

I already recycle here at the Galloway house. It is amazing that when we haul the trash off, up to 50% of what we take to the drop off site goes straight to the recyclable containers. It's a bit of a hassle, but to me well worth it. I encourage everyone to do so.

2 comments:

Nana Jackie said...

We take several large loads to the recycling center every month. I have the bins by the door from my garage to my pantry, so a lot of the mass mailing catalogs don't even make it into the house at all. Take that, Hickory Farms! The biggest hassle is getting the cardboard ready to take over. They want all boxes flattened; fair enough. They also want all tape and labels removed. Well... I'm pretty compliant, but my husband not so much. He takes off the tape, most of it anyway, but is bad about taking off the shipping labels. Alice's Restaurant, anyone?

Michael King said...

You could just not get newspapers and magazines and buy one of these when they come out: http://www.plasticlogic.com/product.html