A few years ago, I had the opportunity to live in Germany for a couple of years, and the experience changed my life. I will never forget arriving there and just being in awe of how clean and beautiful everything appeared. I literally saw the same sparkle stars on all the buildings that are seen in children’s cartoons. As I became acclimated and learned more about the culture, I found out every person took responsibility for the environment in their daily life activities. The Government and citizens are working together, and their recycling system works. One of the practices that they have made into a science is recycling.
Caring by properly recycling
I will bet you that no one recycles like a German citizen. Every corner in the city has multiple recycling containers color coded and labeled with instructions on properly recycling paper, plastic, and glass waste. As an out of towner, I mixed my recycling item into the wrong canister from ignorance of their system. Within minutes, a native German would remove the item from the wrong container and show me the correct receptacle. I never felt that they were criticizing me; they were educating me. Now I want to help educate my fellow Americans of simple ways we can recycle. I want to start by explaining the Recycling Symbols or Resin ID Codes video.
It discusses how to separate plastic items from the plastic things that have toxic chemicals that can not have recycling curbside pickup. A website Earth911 has a search for recycling solutions by item type and your zip code to direct people to drop off the non-curbside recycling items (Recycling symbols #3,#6, #7).
Caring by reducing trash
Another of their practices is reducing waste in the first place. Their ideas were simple, allowing everyone to do them including myself. Why keep producing new items like plastic grocery bags when using a reusable cloth bag can be used repeatedly. It’s like the concept lets us not reinvent the wheel; we have the wheel, so let’s use it. Here are some examples of reducing your trash you can try.
-Making a coffee run to a coffee shop, bringing your mug, and using your cup will use less paper and help save trees.
-Carry a reusable water bottle. Plastic bottles are an environmental nightmare because of recycling mismanagement and the over-use of them.
-Use tap water and filter it with a Brita if you like. I have saved about $15.00 a week since I did this. It is so easy, and I don’t have to have all the plastic bottles in my recycling bin.
– Use reusable grocery bags instead of using paper and plastic bags from the stores.
I hope seeing this Vlog has inspired you to become more mindful of how to recycle plastics properly and to reduce trash in the first place. Many of the world’s creatures recycle by turning dead plants and animals back into usable nutrients for foliage and mammals. Moreover, people are responsible for changing trash back into reusable elements. We all need to get with nature’s program. It has worked for thousands of years. Unfortunately, human waste management is not.