I have a problem I must confess to you all. I am addicted to recycling. As addictions go it's pretty harmless. It causes no bodily harm, it won't endanger my family or my job, and I won't end up bankrupt over it (I don't think).
There are 2 avenues to my recycling problem. The first is your basic "reduce, reuse, recycle" program. My family of 5 produces 1 garbage bag of trash a week but we completely fill up the recycling bin. Every cardboard box, every plastic bottle and milk jug, every aluminum can gets the "green" treatment. Boxes are broke down flat, bottles are rinsed out and then crushed, cans are washed as well as their lids. When I check the mail each day, I immediately scoop up all the junk mail and envelopes that everything came in and put them in the bin. And those little plastic windows you find on some envelopes? I tear those off and throw them away before I recycle the envelope. I can't help it. I have been known to pull things out of the trash can that should have been recycled. Even at someone else's house.
I can't explain my reasoning behind all this. As MC will attest, I am NOT very green. I like to leave all the lights on in the house just so a room isn't dark when I walk into it. I refuse to use those twisty, energy saving lightbulbs. They are a toxic nightmare. They take too long to warm up besides. And I never remember to do my laundry at night when it's not peak electric usage time. The only thing I can think of for my obsession with recycling is that it feeds into my Borderline OCD. It's like, if I don't do it, I'm breaking the rules.
But the other side of my recycling habit I fear borders on hoarding. I've spent years making crafts out of things that were discarded and picked up at garage sales, thrift stores or even dumpsters (yes, I have literally gone dumpster diving). With a little bit of paint and some hot glue, I can find a purpose for just about anything. So when I see someone tossing out something that is perfectly usable, my radar starts beeping and I want to jump in and rescue it. After all, I could make something out of that!
That's fine and dandy when I'm making things and then turning around and selling them. But most of the time, I'm just not doing that. I see the potential in an item and hold onto it so that someday I can make something really cute out of it. The problem is, someday never comes around and I'm stuck with a household full of possibly usable items. I'm pretty sure that we packed up more "craft" items when we moved than we did furniture.
It's not just potential craft projects that I rescue either. When I was walking out to my car the other day after work, I saw a paperclip on the ground. It was the really big kind--the ones we use at work every day. I had to stop myself from picking it up and putting it in my purse. I hated leaving it on the ground when it was still shiny and usable but I made myself keep walking. That was about 2 weeks ago and I'm still thinking of that blasted paperclip.
I could just chalk it up as another of my oddball quirks but why add to the already substantial list? So instead, I'm choosing to wrap it all in a silver lining. I can't pass up on usable objects NOT because I am a neurotic hoarder but because I see the potential in all things. What some see as worthless, I see as awaiting its purpose. What some see as today's trash, I see as future treasures. Just because an item has fulfilled its intended use, doesn't mean it's now useless.
At least, that's the story I'm going with.
Don't believe it? How about this? My name is Slacker Mom and I am a recycler.