When I was 14 years old, my family moved to a new town where we didn't recycle. We had up to that point, so I am sure it had something to do with the town, or Waste Management there.
Suffice it to say, for many years I was not in the habit of it. When I married the Jarhead, our 3rd home was on Quantico Marine Base where the housing is beautiful, and feels like your own. They provided us with some pretty blue bins, and feeling like a snazzy, grown-up homeowner, I decided I would be responsible and recycle. I will openly confess though, I was pretty lazy about it. When it came time to clean out the fridge, I wasn't about to even open the 6 month old sour cream; let alone scoop it out and wash the container. And the Jarhead had this nasty habit of leaving plastic lunch containers in his pack...for a week...and then bringing them home and placing them lovingly in the sink for me to take care of. Do you have any notion what a used protein shaker cup smells like after being sealed for that long? My nose was far too delicate for that kind of work, and into the trash it went. GNC loved us; we bought alot of shaker cups.
Fast forward to 2009 when we moved overseas and were presented with a stack of papers on the rules and SOFAS of our new home. A few pages were dedicated to...recycling. Turns out, it's mandatory here, which AFN commercials remind us of daily. I'm talking strict rules and guidelines. Everything must be placed in clear plastic bags and there must be a bag for shredded paper, a bag for colored paper, a bag for magazines and glossy paper. Cans, glass, plastic, cardboard boxes, which must be collapsed, lined up and taped together in a criss-cross pattern. The list went on and on. I was in shock and thought I wouldn't ever be able to do anything fun here, just expend my life in the cause of recycling, sorting trash into separate bins. Forever. *sniff*
Turns out it's not that big of a deal.
And now when it comes time to clean out the fridge and I find the green sour cream, I dump the contents and wash the container. My nose has adjusted. And my sweet tender conscience wins out against my lazy, snobby side in an all-out shoulder duel when I come across something kind of gross and am tempted to just chuck it all into the can. It's a close call as my devil shoulder exclaims that God never said to recycle! But then my sweet tender angel comes back with something along the lines of submitting to the governing authority and it's all up; I must do it, grumbling though I might be.
When there is something completely disgusting...like the Jarhead leaves a porkchop in a container in his pack for 9 days and then remembers it....old habits die hard...I, well, I let him take care of it and turn a blind eye. Pretty sure the plastic container goes straight into the trash, but I can neither confirm nor deny.
All this recycling has been a good influence on us, and we have tried to cut back on our waste. Which brings me to today, when I snazzily repurposed an old familar friend.
And then I tried to get a picture of it's germ fighting power in action. Fail.