I don’t know if there’s a recyclers anonymous group but I feel like my life is spiraling out of control. My name is Angie, and I have a hardcore recycling problem. I didn’t always have this issue. I didn’t even recycle 5 years ago really. I mean, I would recycle a bottle here or there, but that was the extent of it. Now, I don’t even buy stuff at the store unless I can recycle it or reuse it. I actually feel like that part of my life is pretty noble. I throw away less than a bag of garbage a week. Usually less than half a bag. I compost all my leftover food. Well, not all, but most. If it’s something really good, I’ll take it and throw it on the side of my house for the critters to eat, because I would rather them go there than to try to get in my compost bin, even though, they still do sometimes. But it’s gotten terribly out of hand. I carry a re-usable grocery bag with me everywhere I go, because it’s easy to put stuff in. I keep my wallet in there, my water bottle, my books, my paper and pen just in case I come up with some ridiculous idea that needs to be written down, other re-usable grocery bags in case I need to stop at the store on the way home. Did I mention I ride the bus too? Not just because it’s environmentally friendly. I also don’t have a car right now, but if I did, I would still ride the bus most of the time because I live in the city and it only makes sense. No parking. Extra exercise. Meeting new people. Hot bus drivers.
But back to this recycling issue. It has become a problem. I go to work and I leave with all the recyclables. Not like cardboard boxes or anything, but just with coworkers plastic bottles or cans. And I bring them home and recycle them. I will pick recyclables up off the ground and bring them home. I have, a time or two, stopped somebody who was about to throw a bottle away in the trash can and said, “Are you done with that? I’ll take it.” I’m sure they thought I was some crazy homeless person, but I’m just super green. I can’t bear seeing all that plastic and cardboard and aluminum being tossed away knowing it is going to end up in a landfill somewhere when I could just throw it in my catch-all bag and take it home and put it in my recycle bin. Problem solved. I take recyclables out of people’s cars when they give me a ride home. I know they probably think I’m a complete and total weirdo, but they probably aren’t going to do anything with it after it gets thrown in their floorboard, right?
I’ve been trying to curb this habit a bit. And by curb the habit, I mean I keep trying to collect the recyclables without anyone noticing that I have a bag full of smuggled plastics. I don’t want to be that lady that walks around picking up trash everywhere she goes, but I think I am. I just want to get a t-shirt made that says, ” Quit being an asshole, recycle your shit.” But I fear I would wake up with a mountain of human feces in my front yard and I don’t think that is compostable or can be used for fertilizer. But I guess it would make a hell of an Instagram photo.