After my eco-tour of Costa Rica, and in honor of our globally warmed weather this weekend, I loaded up my Prius with garbage and dumped it at the Mercer Island Spring Recycling event on Saturday afternoon. Besides a stash of household batteries I've been keeping for the past year, I finally got rid of an old computer monitor that's just been wasting space (only $10 dump fee). I arrived at about 1:30pm, expecting to have to wait in a long line like last year, but there was no wait at all.
When you make a commitment to recycle, you're reducing waste, but you're also taking a stand that everyone should be able to live in a safe, healthy community, and to stop putting dumps in low-income communities.
Unfortunately my reasons were more selfish than self-righteous: I recycled because, well, I needed to get rid of that monitor and the regular garbage people won't take it. Same with the batteries, which I prefer for their high-energy content, in spite of the nasty chemicals inside. As for putting dumps in low-income communities, I think Alisa's got it backwards: dumps are located near affordable housing because well, nobody wants to live there.
Consumers’ skepticism was given credence in a report on “the six sins of greenwashing,” which found that the overwhelming majority of environmental marketing claims in North America are inaccurate, inappropriate, or unsubstantiated. After examining 1,018 consumer products bearing 1,753 environmental claims, researchers concluded that all but one made claims that are either “demonstrably false or that risk misleading intended audiences.”
By the way, here's a calculator to show how much energy you're saving my reading my blog: