Let’s Recycle

I’ve always been drawn to save-the-earth activities even in its tiniest form. What is the least thing that I can do to help preserve the earth for the next generation? Call me an OC but I can’t throw a clean plastic bag into the garbage bin. I would still keep it and wait for a chance to bring all my reusable plastic bags to a recycling bin in any grocery store. Any form of plastic packaging that still can be used once more in any way, I would keep. At least there’s one last way of using it before sending to landfill. A regular plastic bag takes up to a thousand years to degrade, fyi.

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When we were still in Utah, I had the habit of collecting all paper-made products and drive them to the nearest recycling bin (which can be found in an elementary school which happened to be my kids school) once a week to dispose them. It gives me satisfaction that something out of those recyclables can be used again. I’m glad that in California, almost everywhere you look around there’s a recycling bin. I get to throw my recyclables everyday. Even shredded paper & tissue holder can be put in the recycling!

Plastic bottles, glass jars & soda cans? If I can not reuse them at home, I try to segregate them in a separate bag so that people who are collecting them for a living would have an easier way (at least with our share). I could collect them and make money (I know it’s just small) out of it but I will leave that to those people who are in need of source. Reminded of Ruth’s life in the Old Testament where she gleaned grains from the field of Boaz to help her mother-in-law with their food, we could be a source too for other afflicted people. A small way can mean a lot to others in need.

Back in the days when Adrian and other boy scouts did a “leave no trace” cleaning in one of Kaysville’s highest peak, they picked up garbage left by people who went there. They had collected plastic bottles, candy wrappers, bullets & many more. Actually, I was one of the pickers too. I joined them and it was fun. It’s like doing two things at the same time, hiking and picking up garbage. It’s nice to let the kids be aware how important it is to dispose of garbage properly. I think we were able to fill two big black bags of litter for just about two hours of walking. And it made a difference for that mountain. Any little amount of effort that we can contribute to help preserve the earth, if we put it all together, will definitely be significant. Just like the starfish story, we can make a difference!

The Starfish Story

An old man was walking on the beach one morning after a storm.
In the distance, he could see someone moving like a dancer.
As he came closer, he saw that it was a young woman picking up
a starfish and gently throwing them into the ocean.
“Young lady why are you throwing starfish into the ocean?”
“The sun is up, and the tide is going out, and if
I do not throw them in they will die,” she said.
“But young lady, do you not realize that there are many miles
of beach and thousands of starfish? You can not possibly make a difference.”
The young woman listened politely, then bent down, picked up
another starfish and threw it into the sea.
“It made a difference for that one.”

A parable told and retold. The original author is unknown.