Waste Not, Recycle Not
Today is America Recycles Day, with thousands of nationwide events organized by the Keep America Beautiful campaign. But some folks aren’t impressed, such as Lloyd Alter of Treehugger, who writes: “It is my favorite holiday of the year, more comedic than April Fools Day and scarier than Hallowe'en. It is the day when Nestlé Water, Anheuser Busch, Alcoa and Pepsi get together with their friends at the American Chemistry Council to pat you on the head for picking up their shit. They have spent fifty years teaching you how to throw stuff away; now they want to teach you to sort it all into neat little piles for them.”
Alter and others rightly point out that American communities should be aiming for “zero waste,” not “more recycling.” And they have been doing so for years, so it’s easy for them to, ahem, recycle a few old stories to educate us about how to really make a dent in our consumptive lifestyles. Try “Recycling is Bullshit; Make Nov. 15 Zero Waste Day, not America Recycles Day” (also from Treehugger) and “There Are At Least 10 R's, And Recycling Is The Least Of Them” from Planet Green.
-- Reed McManus