Monday, July 4, 2011

Leaving Our Lives at the Curb

Lucky Charms Cereal, 11.5-Ounce Boxes (Pack of 3)  Every other Wednesday is Show and Tell Day on the block. Actually, it's Recycling Day -- but it can feel more like a National Enquirer expose. There at the end of the driveway are our three cans full of recyclables: the Lucky Charms and Cocoa Puff cereal boxes, the bottle of wine, the plastic jugs of Welch's grape juice, the Amazon cardboard boxes, the Gatorade bottles too many to count, the crumpled Uno's Pizza box, the Biotene dry mouth rinse, and so on.
Mori-Nu Tofu, Silken Style, Extra Firm, 12.3-Ounce Boxes (Pack of 12)  We don't have to wait until a distant civilization unearths our landfills of detritus that will explain how we lived. We put it on display curbside every two weeks. We know the neighbors who prefer beers, and the ones who prefer one too many. We know who eats healthy and not so much. We know who drinks skim milk and who lives on pizza.
Rubbermaid Commercial Medium Deskside Recycling Container, Rectangular, Plastic, 28 1/8 quart, Blue (295673BE)   Recently, our recycling company started accepting almost everything in a single stream. Our trash has gone from a couple of cans a week to nearly nothing. Now, we recycle almost everything. It's a grand feeling, helping out the environment and all that. But as I drive by my pile of recyclables, I can't help but think what it says about my lifestyle -- and my family's. I clearly feed my child too much sugary cereal. Does the low-fat and skim milk cartons compensate? And surely the tofu tray that juts out on top earns me some bonus points.
  Perhaps this public display of culinary and otherwise consumption will be the real fix for America's (and my) bulging waistline. After all, the true way to help the environment is not to buy it in the first place.

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