Friday, August 31, 2007


I created a little recycling station at work, just outside my office (you can see the corner of my doorway there on the right side. Oooou.). One of my co-workers, Beth, and I have loosely been known as the recycling nazis. We've both been known to go through people's wastebaskets to rescue recyclable items. And, if someone dares to throw away a recyclable item in front of one of us, they get quite the shame-fest.

Turns out people dodge shame rather effortlessly.

Well, yesterday, my office neighbor was talking to me and threw away a glass bottle RIGHT IN FRONT OF ME. When I went to save the glass bottle from the landfill, I found several sheets of paper in her wastebasket, too!

My reaction was something like:

The lame explanation was that, even though she is an "awesome" (the only awe I had during this story was how flippant she was about throwing that glass away) recycler at home, it was just "too hard" to recycle at work.

BAM! Inspiration.

I ran to get my fellow recycling nazi, and, using recycled materials, we created our little recycling station. We created a slogan for some creative marketing: "Dream big, start small." (Well, really the slogan came from the "what about recycling X, Y, or Z?" that cropped up. Sheesh. Some people!) And, we got the office artist to decorate our sign. Ya know, gotta make recycling appealing, even though most of these people are PARENTS, who apparently don't mind trashing their kids' planet. (This is the type of shame that didn't work.)

Anyway, I thanked my office neighbor for giving me a lovely sample of glassware to demonstrate the glass receptacle. I hope the bin is full next week!


Animal said...

Uh...I don't get it. Should I get it? Is it supposed to be funny? Is it as funny as the Trick Banana?

kat said...

You beat me to it. I posted the picture with the intention of coming back to write. I shall commence the explanation now!

Strangela said...

That's right shame people into doing the right thing!! What a lame excuse - "it's too hard to recycle at worK" At our office we have free bottled water but the bottles are only 10oz so people drink numerous NEW bottles everyday. It doesn't seem to dawn on them to fill the bottle up from the cooler and reuse one bottle throughout the day.


sdb said...

My lame co-workers actually throw away office paper in the garbage can right next to the clearly marked recycling containers. LAME! (and other choice words)

L*I*S*A said...

I hate when people won't recycle. Plain and simple. It's too easy to NOT do it.

Susan W said...

Rock on Kirsten!!! I hope all your co-workers take notice and stop being lame :)

kat said...

Recycling update - the plastic and styrofoam bins are proving to be quite popular. PLUS, many people are asking about recycling other things, such as newspapers or magazines. YAY!

Eleanor said...

don't know how I ended up on this blog, but I'm horrified at the general consensus on this.

I recycle when it's convenient, but I won't go out of my way to recycle unusual things, and I certainly won't retrieve objects from others' trash for recycling purposes.

What about the value of your human relationships and the inherent insult given when you trudge through others' trash?

My father polices the family garbage can and removes 'reusable' material.
My mother is a hoarder. Between the two of them, our family has disintegrated into chaos.

My father used to unwrap maxi pads that I hid with toilet paper when I was an adolescent, because he thought it was more environmentally friendly to put toilet paper in the toilet, and that it shouldn't be put in a garbage can.
Nevermind the awkwardness of your daughter realizing you've violated her privacy at such a tender age... the important thing is that he saved the planet, single handedly, by not allowing me to throw a few squares of toilet paper away!!!!

Human relationships are more important than recycling. There... i've said it. Wish I could say this to my father... [i.e.- hey asshole, where were you when my first boyfriend broke my heart? why did you care more about recycling paper on the weekends then about your own f-ing daughter?!?]

If you are reading this, there is probably someone in your life very agitated by your messed up priorities. Which person in your own life have you driven away and embittered because of your short-sightedness?

Oh yeah, and PS- just to spite my dad, and hippies with messed up priorities like him, I throw away recyclables whenever I can. So basically, I've cancelled out all his hoarding of recyclables in the basement with my wanton disposal of plastic bottles that I //could// have saved for the recycling can, but enjoyed unloading at the nearest public garbage can.

Perhaps you folks, too, are inadvertently undermining the cause of recycling by spinning off bitter un-recyclers such as myself.

//end rant//