Friends, in a series of new project posts in which I attempt to be a responsible citizen of the planet, I am going to voice to an opinion of an eco-conscious nature.
At this point I'd like to recognize that there are bound to be those among you who are rolling their eyes and thinking words like "band wagon", "dang hippie", and perhaps even "bah, humbug". For your benefit I'd like to explain one thing:
I really hate waste.
You can be wasting food, water, paper, electricity, money, gas, clothes or furniture, it all drives me insane because it is so pointless. Right now the Daily Herald is running a promotion where we get the paper for free for five days. Which is great, except we don't actually want the Daily Herald. So every morning, some poor schmuck wastes their time and energy (and probably some gas too) and the Daily Herald's money in delivering something to our door that is basically trash to us. Ads and junk mail are essentially the same thing. They're delivered to our mail box and we throw them away. Six days a week. Typically, these go in a landfill somewhere and that is a waste. Paper can be as biodegradable as it likes, but it's still a pointless waste that serves no purpose to either me or the company it was advertising for.
After acknowledging that "Wow, we sure do take out the trash a lot" and "Heavens, we get a lot of junk mail", Nick and I decided to be recyclers of paper. It turns out that fair city of Spanish Fork has a brand spanking new recycling program. Yay! It also turns out that because we belong to an HOA with our own waste removal, we can't participate. Boo. It's not easy being green, indeed!
Except... it turns out that Spanish Fork offers a plethora of community dumpsters where you can drop off paper and cardboard for recycling! We have two within as many minutes from our house, so now we keep a box for paper in the harry Potter Closet (under the stairs) and just dump our junk mail in there. It's easy, clean and keeps me from completely losing my mind every time we open the mail box. When the box is full, we just transfer it into a paper bag (because those always seem to mysteriously appear at our house too) and drop it off. Instant virtue!
Also, bonus: Whenever you think "Wasn't there a coupon for that in the mail the other day?" you can just go through the junk mail box and look. Very convenient.
So there you have it: our meagre effort at being nice to nature and humanity. And seeing as I happen to think it's our duty to not be complete boneheads where our stewardship of the planet is concerned, I'll be trying a few other eco projects too.