Mr. Rose came home yesterday and laughed with me about a particular jest his co-workers like to make at his expense: “Look at me, I’m from Portland, I recyyyycle!”
I wish I could say I’m shocked. Coming from a militantly sustainable environment like Portland, the Fairbanks way can seem archaic. Up until the last few years, I couldn’t have told you where to go in town to recycle, and the rumor on the street was that it cost money. Recycling shouldn’t be a rumor! Thankfully, the University of Fairbanks has made it a few steps easier since 2010, when they implemented an on-campus recycling drop off. They wisely used giant brightly colored bins to advertise their presence, or else I may never have come to know of it at all. So although not curbside, we have an option.
I’ve never been one of those angry RECYCLE EVERYTHING folks, but maybe we all should be that way. A few startling facts:
If everyone recycled their newspaper, we could save 250 million trees a year. Even recycling 10% of the newspaper = 25 million trees.
Recycling a glass bottle creates 20% less air pollution and 50% less water pollution than creating a new bottle. Pair that reduced air pollution with all those trees we saved, and think about all that delicious air you could be breathing!
80% of what we throw out is recyclable, but America’s recycling average is only about 28%
But its kind of a pain to keep all my trash separate, not to mention making the extra stop on campus (the regular-garbage dump is not there). So I’ve been trying to brainstorm ways to re-purpose bottles, specifically. Mind you, there’s a fine line between re-purposing and collecting useless clutter. I’m not looking for a house full of weirdly reused beer bottles in every corner. Anyone have ideas? I love this fellow blogger’s way of cutting glass, and will definitely be making a few planters with my larger vessels.
Another cool idea I just stumbled upon: These folks used old Frappuccino bottles and some etching to make awesome spice jars (See Picture). Actually, it looks like their whole website will be very worth checking out (when its not time to go to work).
As a last thought on the subject, a friend recently told me that she and her boyfriend like to go sift through the transfer site (dump) for scrap metal, which fetches them a nice price, with recycling bonus points!
Well, I’ve talked myself into recycling, anyway. Or at least into some cool craft projects.