This is the only way recycling actually works

I do recycle, and when it wasn’t insanely troublesome I put out my recyclables on the curb to go where they needed to go. I do not have a lot of faith that recycling does a lot of good in the grand scheme of things. I won’t go on about the points Joel has on recycling, I’m sure some of you have heard it already. Tee Hee. Joel thinks of the financial reasons to recycle or not, very often too much money is spent to recycle products that are not really important to recycle. But I said I wouldn’t go into that so I won’t. To make my conscience calm down a bit I do a couple things to reuse things in our house. I use paper bags all the time. They carry food from Aldi, they carry school supplies, food for special events, they hold rags, they get used to wrap art for mailing. I reuse all those plastic containers that luncheon meat comes in. I hardly ever throw away the plastic bags from Walmart unless they have meat juice or milk products all over them. I use them to line garbage cans and I use them to pack up things for mailing or moving. Someday I hope to learn how to crochet these plastic bags and make cool stuff like floor mats, reuseable shopping bags, baskets etc. These things are no-brainers, a lot of folks do these things.
If you haven’t checked out a mag called Ready-Made you should. It has lots of practical ways to recycle things in your own home. This is the only way you know the products you don’t need anymore become something worthwhile. My neighbor Jan gave me some lettuce before she left for Christmas vacation since it wouldn’t last much longer. We couldn’t even finish most of it before it went bad but I knew I would use the container. I stuck it in the dishwasher and accidentally stuck it on the bottom rack. The dishwasher melted both sections flat but not goopy. I remembered a project in Ready-Made that had a bowl made out of construction site fencing. It was cool all orange and hexagony. But I thought I could do the same thing with my wonky lettuce container. Show Nuff. I turned the oven on at 400 degrees and when it was pre-heated turned off the oven. I stuck a bowl with tin foil over it on a funky cookie sheet and centered my plastic sheet over top. I turned the oven light on and watched the plastic melt. The plastic turned out kinda milk glass looking(cool!), with little dishwasher splotches on it(not so cool). I did melt one edge a little too much but I still love how it turned out! It will grace our table for a while. And so kid friendly!


4 thoughts on “This is the only way recycling actually works

  1. I would actually be interested to hear about what you’ve discovered about the recycling pros and cons. People in Germany are required to recycle and we all have four large garbage cans and four separate garbage trucks come each month to pick it up. We recycled before we came here but we didn’t do compost which is required. I have no problem doing compost if I have somewhere in the yard to dump it but having it waiting in a large garbage can?! Gets pretty nasty in the Summer. I love Ready Made and I need to try making some things. Like you we reuse paper bags, containers food come in (we don’t reuse them to put food in if they have recycling code numbers 3 or 7) and use plastic grocery bags for trash etc. I like your plastic placemats:)

  2. Erin, I have no idea about the rain forests either. That was part of an article I pasted.
    I agree buying and making quality goods that last is where part of where the recycling focus should be directed. We buy something of quality at a thrift store rather than buying some piece of crap at Walmart. I put most of the responsibility on the consumer. The people that buy crappy products are responsible for keeping the company that sells them in business.

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