Recycling… because trash isn’t really trash!

I just moved all my stuff out of my office, as we had a broken water pipe next door and my flooring warped. All my stuff is boxed and stacked under the front portal (porch). As I was packing up all the books and collected cool stuff, I started feeling oppressed by all my stuff.  It’s like my stuff has me, rather than I have stuff.

I have a lot of good books and magazines about sustainability. I want to  start a library, a sustainability center reading room; share all my good stuff. Well, maybe I’ll keep my cool collected stuff. It’s amazing how much stuff we have….I bet all the storage units in the US combined would cover Texas!

Have you seen The Story of Stuff? It’s a real eye opener, it’s incredible at how much waste is created as our stuff gets mined, manufactured, and transported. Something like 6% stuff, 94% waste!!!!

Enough about stuff… what about recycling?… 

Recycling is one of the Big Three…Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. Once we reduce and reuse, we have less to recycle, que no?!

Margo Covington, a friend of mine, wants to put together an interactive website/ regional map to connect the “not wanted any longer stuff” to someone that would make good use of the stuff. Ideally, from industrial and agricultural waste, to household and commercial trash, someone’s trash can be someone else’s feedstock. After all, there is no “away” to throw stuff away anymore. It was all an illusion.

A couple of years ago, Margo organized a class that went to the local landfill transfer station, and we brainstormed on what new products or services we could make by diverting “trash”. Some places do a way better job of recycling than Santa Fe. How’s your city doing? got some hot ideas?? Share them here!

Manufacturers are awakening to the responsibility and opportunity to make it easier to reuse or recycle their products; It’s called Extended Producer Responsibility where they are responsible from the get go.  The manufacturer owns the product, and we just use it for awhile. Then we give it back to them, and it’s their job to recycle. I love this idea. It’s like we’re partners, no more us vs. them!

Join in! Share your idea, resources, lessons learned, and recommendations! Together we can make sustainability real!

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