Because for as environmentally conscious as I try to be, and as small an environmental footprint as I try to leave, I have to admit that we fell out of the recycling habit when it came time to clean our newly-vacated house and it felt somewhat…liberating.
Yes, my own red-blooded and red-necked American laziness went straight into some Dallas-area county landfill, although it may soften the blow a bit for you to know that I was, in fact, hit with a twinge of earthly guilt with every recyclable thing I put into a trash bag.
It’s a strange combination, really–guilt and liberation. I once thought they were mutually exclusive, but no more. You see, the liberation came from the realization that recycling programs of the last 2 decades have made me feel like even more of a pack-rat than I already am (and this is not good or healthy). Shame was socially engineered into my psyche should I ever throw away anything that could have been reduced, reused, or recycled.
I must say, the feeling of liberation came as a surprise to me. With that guilt and shame, I also felt relief because no longer did I have to sit and sort things and deal with them separately; I could toss them all into one big pile that went into one (or twenty) great big bag(s) and be done with it. It didn’t matter where it went, because the point is, I am free of it now. It’s no longer cluttering my space.
I’m sort of off the hook for now because, in 2010, my apartment complex does not even have a recycling program (and I’m starting to wonder if our city does either), so it’s not even really an option for me. Nope, the only way I can clear my Mother Earth conscience is getting some kind of hybrid or smart car and tooling around in that.
One word: hellno.
I’ll drive around my big solid stainless-steel pickup truck, knowing I can be taken seriously and that I will make it to my destination alive. No biodiesel for me, thanks. In fact, I moved out of an area heavily strangled by EPA controls over reformulated gasoline and my gas mileage actually (significantly) went up. And guess what? Our air is still great, and we don’t even have draconian EPA tentacles shoved into our orifices. Meanwhile, my former city sits in a toilet bowl with a brown toilet ring just on the atmospheric side of the horizon, shoving the hypothetical, socialist-influenced Green Movement into everyone else’s orifices. Lucky them.
My point is, I just find it interesting that a city with so much emphasis on the environment is actually one of the most toxic places in which I have ever lived, while another city who couldn’t give a rat’s ass about anything environmental (“green” is a color here, not a faddish campaign buzzword) is still one of the cleanest places I have ever seen. The paradox is more than amusing.
I still do wish I could recycle something, and I do wish my truck got slightly better gas mileage (let’s all turn to the oil companies who have been buying up all the more efficient technology), but until then, does a blog count as a confessional?