Friday, June 08, 2007

I'm Not Completely Shallow

Now I know that a lot of my recent posts have been all girly-girly stuff ~ purses & shoes & flower gardening & other such nonsense ~ but I assure you, boys & girls, that this is not all that I am concerned with. I actually think about other things. I actually worry about other things. I actually have other interests than trying out new makeup & what I'm going to wear to this wedding tomorrow {what AM I going to wear to the wedding tomorrow?!?}.

I am a firm believer in recycling. Many people think that it isn't worth the trouble, but I know that the more we keep out of our landfills, the better off we will all be. Can you imagine having to pay to haul the town's garbage elsewhere because our landfill site is full? Many communities are facing this dilemma right now. Even when the recycling drop-off was full/out of order/in transition, we still at Casa Wilma saved everything possible. What a difference in the amount of trash we bag every week! From that alone, I know we are making a difference.

We even recycle all our old bills by shredding them & bagging them up. Nothing is wasted that can be used. Native Canadians & Pioneers believed in this premise. Mayhaps we could learn from them.

When our garage sale was over, we boxed up everything left & took it all to the Sally Anne. This made me feel good in two ways: helping out a charity, & not filling the dump with useful stuff. It physically hurt me to hear that after the sales were over, trucks were lining up at the dump to drop off all their extra stuff. "If no-one will buy my stuff, then no-one can have it." Isn't this a little like "If I can't do what I want, I'm taking my ball & going home"? Just because it didn't sell on that particular day, doesn't mean that it never would. It took us 3 years of garage sales, but we finally sold both our old TV & microwave.

Many people can't 'be bothered' to take their used stuff to a different town. How can you not be bothered to do your part to save the environment? Plus, we have a New & Used Store right here in Dodge! Try there first, see if they'll take it off your hands. If not, make the effort to bring it to K'Town. Don't even try to tell me you never go there. I know better.

Now, I admit, I haven't seen "An Inconvenient Truth". I admit that I'm a teeny, tiny, wee bit skeptical about all the dire warnings & imminent danger that it predicts ~ mainly because of some interesting facts on the energy usage/wastefulness going on in Al Gore's own home that recently came to light. Being childfree, I don't worry as much about the world we're passing on to our children. But I do think that if we all try a little harder, recycle a little more, stop littering, reduce our gas consumption as much as possible, we will see a difference ~ we will MAKE a difference in this world, a difference that can be seen & felt.

I often pass people picking the ditches for bottles & I want to stop & say to them, "Come to town, there's several bottles on every block." Who throws bottles & cans away? Sure, you need quite a bit for the deposit money to add up, but why not do it & support our local depot & keep those people employed. Or donate them to the various school organizations that do bottle drives for fund-raisers.

Some facts on recycling to think about, found at various websites:

  • In North America we produce enough garbage each day to fill 70,000 garbage trucks. Lined up bumper to bumper, over a year, they would stretch halfway to the moon.
  • More than 20% of the garbage thrown out by the average household is packaging.
  • A glass bottle that is not recycled and instead sent to a landfill would take about 1 million years to break down.And for every tonne of new glass that needs to be produced, 12.6 kg of air pollution are created; recycling glass reduces that pollution by 14-20%.
  • You can save enough energy to light a 100 watt light bulb for four hours by recycling one glass bottle back into a new bottle.
  • Recycling one aluminum can saves enough energy to run a TV for three hours -- or the equivalent of a half a gallon of gasoline.
  • An aluminum can that is thrown away will still be a can 500 years from now!
  • The amount of energy saved from using one ton of recycled aluminum instead of new materials can be used to power the average home for about two years.
  • The Canadian Pulp and Paper Association states that approximately 71% of the fibre used in making Canadian pulp and paper now comes from recycled fibres that used to go into landfills.
  • The average household throws away 13,000 separate pieces of paper each year. Most is packaging and junk mail.
  • To produce each week's Sunday newspapers {in the US}, 500,000 trees must be cut down.
  • Recycling one tonne of newspaper saves: 19 trees, 3 cubic metres of landfill, 4000 kilowatt hours of energy, 29,000 litres of water and 30 kg of air pollution effluent.
  • Canadians take home more than 55 million plastic bags each week.
  • Recycled plastic can be used to make plastic lumber, which is said to hold nails and screws better than wood. This durable material can last for approximately 20 years and is maintenance free.
  • Plastics account for 7% of the total weight of a typical landfill. Plastics can take up to 400 years to break down in a landfill.

More recycling info can be found here, here, & here.

Now boys & girls, I know what a lot of you are thinking. Yes. I do. Remember, I'm a super-genius. You're thinking, "Hello Pot, here's the Kettle. Wilma, you drive one of those evil, planet-killing, gas-gussling SUV's. Who are you to tell us how to save the environment?" Why, yes, that is true. But let me tell you this. We don't drive very much or very far, & don't use that much fuel. I filled up with gas yesterday, June 7th. The last time I got gas was May 23rd. That's over 2 weeks on 1 tank of gas. How many people can say the same?

There. I'm done preaching. The rest is up to you.


Headgirl said...

Nice one Wilma!
As you probably read I did see the Al Gore movie " An Inconveniant Truth", it was fascinating, great images but I'm with you re whether its totally valid! I think the earths been here before!
I recycle like crazy because it makes sence..

Have a good w/e
Best wishes

Wilma said...

I think there are things that we can blamed for, but I firmly believe that the earth goes through cycles that have absolutely nothing to do with us.

We're not as significant as we like to think.