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A Manner of Speaking Jul/Aug '93

by Bonnie Neugebauer
July/August 1993
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Article Link: http://www.childcareexchange.com/article/a-manner-of-speaking/5009276/

Recycling can be a dangerous thing.

Sunday at dusk. Aaron struggles out to the curb with a blue toter filled with waste paper. Adam follows close behind with sorted bottles and cans. Our recycling efforts line the sidewalk awaiting the morning pickup. We fill the trunk with usable items for Goodwill, take books to the secondhand bookstore, and shop the neighborhood yard sales. Our recycling efforts offer a certain sense of satisfaction; they smack of virtuous industry. But are we really deserving of that self-applied pat on the back? The need for recycling arises from the fact that we end up with more of something than we can use - our tastes and needs change, we buy too much, we receive things we don't want or can't use (junk mail, strange gifts, excess packaging). So we are left with excess, and now our environmental efforts have brought us to the point of community recycling efforts to help us figure out ways to use or reuse what is left over.

But wouldn't it be better if there wasn't anything left over? If we could/would learn to buy only what we need, shop ...

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