Sunday, April 3, 2016

Mixed Messages

"Think Green". What does that mean to you? Do you have thoughts of lush, green lawns? Or maybe stacks 'o greenbacks (a.k.a. "cash")? Or maybe you think of the intended message: Recycle.

The "Think Green" movement has been around for quite a while. Now, to be honest, I've never been a big proponent of the whole recycle movement. I've never thought of taking a cruise on Greenpeace either. I’m not anti-environment. I've just always been soured by the "Mother Earth" religious mentality; you know: Save the Earth worship.

Don't be mistaken: I DO recycle. Our town came up with a really interesting methodology to get people (especially me) to recycle several years ago. They notified us that the city paid for every pound of garbage collected. They had partnered with a recycling company that picked up the recyclables for FREE. That meant every pound we recycled was a pound we did not have to pay for. SOLD!! I didn't throw away my shoes for sandals, wore nothing but old jeans and tie-dye shirts, and refused to bath, but I did start to recycle.

Now, several years after the initial program, our city has partnered with a new company to handle both our trash and our recycles. I haven't heard yet whether or not the same cost-savings are in place. I guess I'll need to make a phone call or two. But what I want to focus on is the mixed message (thus the title of this post).

Like the original recycle program, the company has provided recycle bins. They also, since they handle the garbage pickup, provided trash bins. Both are designed to have a truck with a forklift system pull alongside the containers, pick up the containers, dump the containers into the truck, and place the container back on the sidewalk. The containers are a deep green with "Think Green" plastered on them.

Take a look at the containers:


From left to right: the new trash container, the new recycle bin, our old trash container, the old recycle bin.

Notice anything peculiar? Look at the sizes of the containers. Now, it's nice that the recycle bin is a little larger than our old one. But take a gander at the size of the new trash container. You could practically put the other three containers INSIDE that damn thing! I've seen businesses with smaller dumpsters!!

What is the message here? "We want you to recycle, but really don't think you will. So, we provided a REALLY big trash container for your use."

Now, for us, most weeks the trash container contains one full kitchen bag, and seven bags of cat excrement. Not even half full. Our recycle bin, however is usually between 4/5 and OVER full. Again, we are a two human (and one cat and one bird) household, so our trash output isn't as much as other families. But really! Come on!

I believe the containers should be at LEAST the same size (the yellow lid on the recycle bin is a good indicator of the difference), and preferably more on the recycle bin size. We used to keep both the recycle bin and trash container inside the garage (so we could look out and enjoy my wife's green thumb):


Now, we have to keep at least the trash container outside the garage. Which is such a lovely thing to look at. (sarcasm font)


Part of me wants to get rid of the recycle bin and just use the trash container for everything. But don't worry, I AM being environmentally conscious. Take a look at this great How Stuff Works article on plasma generators. If this works out, we may be better off disposing rather than recycling!

What do you think? Can you think of other mixed messages out there? Do you recycle? Does the concept of plasma converters excite you? Let me know.

But please: no mixed messages!

©Emittravel 2016

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