Recycling makes you (read: me) feel good

I’m not sure why I always feel so sunny and virtuous when I recycle. Today, when I volunteered to take my neighbor’s cardboard and newspapers with me to ye olde recycling center, it just about made my day.

Now, I don’t pretend that recycling is the answer to the world’s problems, but I do have a theory why I always feel better after recycling. It’s this:

The world is huge, and the problems we face are exponentially enormous. So it’s nice, once in a while, to see how a small action can have, if not a big, then at least a “not small” result.


If I shop at the grocery store 2-3 times per week, and I use my cloth bags that I keep in the trunk of my car to tote my groceries, I’m not using at least 6-9 plastic bags a week. 52 weeks in a year (ok, 50, to give me a chance to forget my cloth bags) and I’m not using 300 – 450 plastic bags each year. Say I live another 20 years (I hope to live more, and hopefully plastic bags won’t be around by then, but you get the point), and I have not used 6000 – 9000 plastic bags.

Now that’s a stat I can smile about.

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