Monday, July 18, 2011

Blindly Recycling

   Since I've been interning at ECOvention, LLC, my eyes are opening to a lot more when it comes to sustainability and recycling. For example, I never really took notice to the fact that my mother would save the soda cans we use, instead of just throwing them away in the trash. Throwing them away was what I would always do...  My mother would constantly tell me to put the cans and, for that matter, the plastic and glass bottles, in a special recycling bag.

   Now, without my mother even having to remind me, I unconsciously just do it. I asked my mother the other day when it is that she actually brings the bottles and cans we collect to the recycling machine.  I know that you can redeem money from the cans and bottles that are inserted. I learned that she saves them for others that are already collecting them. Usually around the neighborhood where I live, the people who collect them push carts with bags full of cans and bottles that they are going to recycle. For some, it is something they do on the side as a hobby; for others, it is their nine to five. 

   Not to long ago I read an article about can and bottle collecting. At the end of the article there was a chart that told you how many cans one would have to collect for a certain item or opportunity, as well as the amount of money one could make and the time it would take to do so.  I thought it was interesting to learn that it would take 880,000 cans to pay for one year at Brooklyn Law School. The amount made from the cans and bottles on average would be $44,000 and it would take three hundred and thirty nine days to do so.

   After reading this article, I felt that my mother was doing more than recycling but helping others as well. Sustainability and recycling to me now is more than just helping the planet. It begins with helping others who are willing to help the planet as well. I sort of see it as a cycle. By helping society, we can, in a way, help the planet. I am glad that my mother has gotten me into the habit of recycling. After saving the cans and bottles in that special recycling bag we have at home, I feel good, especially knowing that I am contributing to something that is great.

-Excited Intern K.

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