recycling

Petitions, protests and activism
Post Reply
Altar
Posts: 5
Joined: Mon Jul 23, 2018 8:23 pm

recycling

Post by Altar » Wed Sep 12, 2018 4:47 pm

ok this isn't a get involved so much as a "should we get involved!?" but it is a bit proactive and thats why its not just in "personal experience" or something like that.

but its about recycling. everyone knows there is a garbage crisis. right? correct me if you don't think so.
so I was becoming manic about it. I called it "interested," but basically it was manically interested.
of course every now and then I threw out garbage (dhammic question: do we think, "oh damn, oh well, I had to throw that out," or do we just consider it a duty and then move on to something else). I know that we do not always have to be a superhero, and that throwing things out is not like a deal breaker and you are no longer Buddhist or something like that. we do not have to be. but, sometimes, we have the option.

now, I recently accepted a job working in produce at a supermarket.
with few or no exceptions it is a good job.
but the reality is that at the job I have to use wrappers and plastics.
ok - so I do it.
but there is a divide between the way I think at home and at work. probably also typical.
but: there are two ways to help out the environment that I see. one would be to start a website. "changetheworld.com" is taken.
or do small meaningless things like try to return a Thai take out plastic container to the restaurant and see what happens.
is this a worthwhile thought to pursue? or is it a recipe for future burn-out?

User avatar
Dorje Shedrub
Posts: 449
Joined: Tue Jun 05, 2018 10:47 pm
Location: Northern Indiana

Re: recycling

Post by Dorje Shedrub » Wed Sep 12, 2018 11:45 pm

"As far as social economic theory is concerned, I am Marxist. " ~ HHDL

User avatar
Kim O'Hara
Posts: 1368
Joined: Wed Jun 06, 2018 3:07 am
Location: Tropical Queensland, Australia

Re: recycling

Post by Kim O'Hara » Thu Sep 13, 2018 8:28 am

Here, we're seeing the beginnings of a practice of people bringing their own containers - coffee mugs, plates, bowls, cutlery, whatever - to take-out food stalls and shops, and the vendors fill the containers for them. Sometimes they will offer a discount too, like, "Coffee in our mug $5, coffee in your own mug $4.50."
Small steps ... but small steps are better than no steps.

:namaste:
Kim

User avatar
KathyLauren
Posts: 73
Joined: Thu Jun 07, 2018 3:12 pm
Location: East coast of Canada

Re: recycling

Post by KathyLauren » Thu Sep 13, 2018 1:54 pm

Recycling was always the third-best option of the "three Rs".

The first is to Reduce consumption. Don't buy it if you aren't going to use it. Don't cook it if it's going to get thrown out (portion control). Avoid unnecessary packaging (Do I really need to have my broccoli wrapped in plastic?). Buy local to avoid consuming all that diesel fuel getting produce from California or wherever to you.

The second is to Re-use as much as you can. Don't throw out an old phone just because there is a newer model available. Bring your own bags when shopping instead of consuming one-time-use plastic bags.

Recycling is only the third-best option, when the first two are not possible. If reduction failed because the item was already packaged or too much food was purchased and the waste is inherently un-re-useable, it is too late to fix that, so recycling the packaging materials or composting the food is the least harmful way of disposing of it.

The aim of all three is sustainability, which is a buzz-word that is often thrown around with no thought to its meaning. Politicians use it to mean, "Let's try to keep the damned environmentalists off our backs until after the next election." Business people use it to mean, "Look, we are doing slightly more than nothing, so buy our crap instead of theirs."

I am an old systems analyst. From a systems point of view, sustainability simply means "zero net consumption": all resources consumed get replaced, and all waste gets used for further production. For example, any process that depends on mining is, by definition unsustainable. Any waste that is not re-used or recycled is unsustainable. If you can close the cycle of resources, a process is sustainable.

Individual actions towards this goal are commendable. To answer the original question, "Is this a recipe for burnout?" (See, this is on-topic after all! :D ), the answer depends on where you look for your validation. If you are looking at the global picture and trying to see the effect of your individual action on the world, you are likely to be disappointed and frustrated. Very few people have that kind of influence. If you look to your community level for validation, you may well see that you are making a difference. And if you look to your internal sense of morality for validation, you are almost certain to see the difference that you are making.

Om mani padme hum
Kathy

User avatar
Dorje Shedrub
Posts: 449
Joined: Tue Jun 05, 2018 10:47 pm
Location: Northern Indiana

Re: recycling

Post by Dorje Shedrub » Thu Sep 13, 2018 4:47 pm

I dont see bringing your own containers as an option that will become popular in the US, apart from environmentally minded people. Its difficult just to get people here not to throw trash on the ground. When I was young there were more environmental messages, like Woodsy Owl's, "Give a hoot, don't pollute" and the crying Native American on horseback near a garbage dump.

Maybe its just a matter of education and forming good habits, or maybe more convenient reusable containers - perhaps something collapsible or foldable.

I would like to see no more land fills, but recycling here is often not convenient. Where I lived in California there were vending like machines at grocery stores where you could insert plastic or glass containers and be issued a receipt to be paid out inside. I think requiring deposits on glass and plastic containers should be mandatory, but only a few states do this.

Later the county built a giant reclamation plant so that people no longer had to separate their recyclables and they could just put all garbage in one container. The plant separated recyclables and used biological trash to make energy. Counties all around started shipping their garbage to this plant.

Where I live now, you must separate recyclables by category and take to a station and put them in their respective containers. All garbage is put in a landfill, which is sad.

DS
"As far as social economic theory is concerned, I am Marxist. " ~ HHDL

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 10 guests