Wednesday, May 19, 2010

ABC Wednesday Challenge R

It's ABC Wednesday again, and this week, the letter is

The obvious topic for me to cover was RIGHT here in my blog title. But that seemed to be REDUNDANT.

Being in an environmentally sound and Green Mood, I wanted to address a topic that has been the buzzword of a generation.


The Alphabet Generation, or Playstation Generation, grew up with RECYCLING programs being the norm, They were pushed at my kids in school, and all of the teachers made sure the kids came home and told us how irresponsible we were as parents if we didn't participate.

Of course, there was a fee to participate, you had to buy a bin, and then give your RECYCLABLES away to a big waste management company, so they could sort them and sell them. But hey, it was all for the good of the environment and all that right?


Here's another R word.


Uh-Oh, I can feel it bubbling up inside me... I am about to go off on a RANT here.

One of my favorite bloggers, Karyn at CanDarbry Garden, wrote a post entitled "Why I Recyle" It is an excellent post and I encourage everyone to READ it thoughtfully. But if you choose not to, for whatever REASON here is a summary.

She tracks products through the RECYCLING process, from the big trucks who pick the stuff up to the bulldozers that load it onto ships where they ship it overseas, so someone can sort it, process it, make something new out of it, load it on a big ship, send it back to us, and sell it back to us.

She includes graphics and pictures and everything and makes it fun to read.

But what it boils down to is a certain skepticism that RECYCLING programs do as much good for the environment as they do for the back pockets of the people who operate them.

I tend to agree.

Does that mean we don't RECYCLE?

Of course not. Karyn points out her favorite recycling center is Goodwill. Ours seems to be Salvation Army. They are closer.

RECYCLING doesn't have to be, and never should have been, about putting your trash into little containers and putting it on the curb.

It is about REUSING things.

Technically that isn't RECYCLING, I know. The EPA came out with their fancy
Campaign and tried to separate what thrifty and frugal people have been doing for years into little compartments.

REDUCING your use of something, only buying what you need. REDUCING your waste. (as opposed to those of us who should reduce our waist, but that's a different topic for another day.) Making sure you use what you have.

REUSING things.

Wikipedia defines REUSE like this: "Reuse is to use an item more than once. This includes conventional reuse where the item is used again for the same function, and new-life reuse where it is used for a new function."

And finally RECYCLING, whic is when materials are broken down and remade into something new.

One of the RECYCLING practices I DO actually fully and wholeheartedly support is composting. Composting breaks down your organic matter and rebuilds it into incredible gardening medium.

I will be dedicating a post to composting in the very near future.

Another one of my favorite bloggers, Diann at The Thrifty Groove, often blogs about the ways we recycle. Here is one of my favorites of hers.

So, RECYCLING can be, and is, about much more than just separating out the trash that the junkman can sell from the trash that he can't.

It's a bout common sense, frugality, thrifty living and in todays world, that is just plain REALITY!

What do you RECYCLE? Do you have things that you REUSE in unusual or creative ways? I want to hear about them.

Please take some time to check out what others were INSPIRED to blog about this week, at

ABC Wednesday,

and feel free to add your own blog to the list as we work our way through the alphabet.

~{@ @}~ ~{@ @}~ ~{@ @}~ ~{@ @}~
Be sure and join me each Tuesday for Tuesday Trivia Tie-in, where readers are invited to share trivia and show off their treasures.
Read all about it here


  1. Glass, paper, green waste, plastic and other. I've got a green wheelie bin for compostable green waste, a grey wheelie bin for the other, plastic bags for the plastic. All those containers are provided by the council. Glass I have to take to the bottle bank and paper to the big paper container. Phew!

  2. Thanks for the thoughtful commentary.
    I can't wait to read your composting post, one of my favorite ways to conserve energy.

  3. Terrific, thoughtful post, Troy! Great one for the R day and every day! Hope your week is going well!


  4. Troy I love this post! I reuse as much paper and boxes as I can. I am looking into composting but haven't done that yet. I am of course a thrifty person and buy used more then new. I have been taking plastics to our recycle center but realized how far away it is and the gas used to do that is causing more damage then not recycling the plastics and glass. Geesh what a crazy world. Our trash pickup does not do recycle. I love what you shared and I will go read those blog posts for sure! Great R!!!!

  5. We routinely recycle glass, plastic, aluminum, newspaper and magazines. I used to compost but never really got the hang of it. I remember a saying my grandma used to say, "use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without." Good words to live by in our consumable age. Thanks for reminding all of us about our responsibilities.

  6. Re-use is something I can get excited about for sure. Good post and I'll click on the recommended sites.

  7. Responsibility, that is another R word and your post summarizes that wonderfully, thanks for sharing... where am I off to now... to unload that truck load of recylced mulch that stands on my driveway that we collected this morning from the dump!! $15 for a bed full if anyone else is interested!!

  8. We seem to be a "disposable" society. I try to reuse things as much as possible. The county recycles and separates everything we put in the garbage can. We also have a green waste can.
    All my cans and plastic bottles I give to my granddaughters. they take them to a near by center and get money which has payed for their vacation this year.

  9. Very interesting! I often ponder what happens to the things we so carefully sort and 'recycle'. Some local authorities have much more stringent laws than others.
    We compost though two large compost bins don't really seem to be quite enough.

  10. Thanks for sharing. I often wonder myself where all my recycling ends up...

  11. we recycle plastic; unfortunately, the city only takes #1 and #2.. Newspapers and other paper. we have a very good shredder (diamond, not just strips) so our shredded paper gets recycled too. I've been bringing paper home from church to recycle as well. Aluminum gets recycled.

    we compost.

    I'm annoyed when people throw in the garbage recyclable, even returnable bottles. I might have REMOVED one or two...

    ROG, ABC Wednesday team