Friday, August 21, 2009

Environmentally Sound

Hey there Blog Fanatics

We had an amazing Words on Water last night down at the OL' Saltwater Sounds. Miramichi born and now Fredericton based Carla Gunn read to us from her debut novel AMPHIBIAN. It's about an intelligent and articulate 9 year old boy named Phin who is dealing with his anxieties about the damage being done by humans to the environment. I'm looking forward to reading it. And I mean that...I bought the book and will read it soon. I too feel anxious about the environment, I feel as though any effor made by me to keep things a little greener will go un noticed, but really, every little bit helps and doing something is better then doing nothing. Excuse me while I climb off my soap box...

And as we always have with Words on Water, we had a theme and rightly so the theme was "Environment". I wrote a story of sorts about my Recycling Woes. Enjoy!


Recycling Ramblings

I like green and I like being green but a certain Frog was right when he said it wasn’t easy...

I try my best to recycle…I sort my cardboard from my paper and rinse out my soup cans too; sometimes scrubbing extra hard to rid the tin of food and sticky hues.

They sit patiently in my kitchen closet in a bag or in boxes until they overflow to the floor. I load these into my car where I burn fossil fuels to take them to their temporary home among the hopefully correctly recycled items.

The big blue recycling bins are around the town. I usually take them to one in the collage parking lot. Perhaps they feel smarter as they lie and wait to become anew? Perhaps they wonder if they will become new paper that will be used to write beautiful prose or breakthrough scientific research.

But what about plastics you say? What about milk jugs, and pill bottles? What about strawberry clam shell containers that can slice your fingers open while trying to retrieve a sweet piece of forced into ripeness red fruit? What of these oil based homes for food and drink?

Well… I recycle some…of...them, but this is where the green turns to blue. For in my fair town, a frustration is growing…well with me anyway…I’m not sure how other people feel when they flip the lid of yogurt container knowing that they’ve bought something they can’t recycle here, but for me the pain goes deep!

1 and 2! Oh you’ll do! Come with me! But 6,5,4 and 3…stay where you are! You’re not recyclable in this town you see!!

It’s not a thing I can control…I understand recycling is costly…and to recycle all numbers means more computer numbers in the budget…

But it causes me such woe to throw away the margarine tub (a 5) and recycle the lid. It hurts to buy the coffee that comes in the easy to grip container (a 6) knowing that it will be separated from its top in the end.

So, I keep them…I keep them all…the margarine bowls and yogurt containers, the coffee tubs and mushroom restrainers, the apple sauce cups and so, so, so many containers…and yell WHAT AM I GOING TO DO WITH ALL OF YOU???

There’s only so many crafts you can use them for, only so many dried foods that you can store, only so many buttons and beads around and rocks and shiny trinkets abound. I fill them up, I give them away, I store them store them and still they stay.

I try to buy things that do not come in plastic containers I can’t recycle. Mushrooms in bulk and tomatoes too…no wait I can recycle tomato containers...they are a 2. Buying bulk beans is great, except the bag has to go, in with the garbage…woe upon woe.

Hey, hey! Did you know you can buy peanut butter in bulk and honey and jam and and and…the container you put them in is a 5! A 5! They’ll still in be in landfill long after I’m alive.

I want be gree even if, from time to time, trying to do so makes the air around me blue and my face a bit red. I can’t change the world, but I want to make my place in it a little cleaner. Recycling, composting and buying smarter...these things help me sleep a little better.

But I will always swim in the guilt of freezie wrappers and chip bags, plastic housing that cheese comes in and the waxy paper on band aids. And although I wince when these and other such items are tossed in the trash I feel a bit of the blue fade when our family of 3 creates less then one bag of garbage per week because of trying to be green.


I also wrote a song, based on my story, but I only read the story. Below is the song so pick a tune, any tune and sing along with...

The Being Green Blues

I do my part to recycle
Separate the best I can
Paper goes in that box
Cardboard in that bin
Shopping bags and tin cans
A recycling we will go
But when it comes to plastics
My heart is filled with woe

Flip over your containers
A triangle lays in wait
To reveal a tiny number
The master of its fate
Now in the town where I live
This number can bring on pain
When I discover my apple cup
Can’t be recycled again


1 and 2 you can come with me
Because of your recyclability
6,5,4,3 what can I say
You’ll live in my basement
To be reused someday.

Now recycling is expensive
It takes a lot of green
Not being green hurts my soul
A pain that’s felt not seen
The plastics I can’t recycle
Become homes for other things
Rocks, beads, rice, beans
Necklaces and rings

We recycle all that we can
We even compost too
Making so little garbage
The gray can’s a wee bit blue
Recycling even a little
Can keep your conscience clean
Don’t listen when the Frog says
It ain’t easy being green


And that, as they says folks, is all.

I hope you're all having a lovely summer and remember

Being Green isn't a


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