Tuesday, 21 October 2008

I Worked Hard But I Didn't Recycle

I was tidying the house a bit yesterday. Nothing major, or at least not what most others would call major, but for me it was hard work. My legs hurt if I stand for too long, bending does my back in something chronic (I’ve wrecked my back because the leg pains cause me to walk and stand all wrong) and I tire really easily. I hoovered half the rug, sat down; hoovered the other half, sat down; tidied stuff off the surfaces, sat down; carried the rubbish out, sat down; wiped the surfaces over, sat down. You get the picture?

Anyway, I was upstairs in the bathroom emptying the bin when I noticed that somebody had thrown an empty shampoo bottle in it - a bottle that should have gone in the recycling. There was also an empty toothpaste pack in there (not the plastic container but the box it comes in) that should also have been in the recycling bin. Now I generally expect anybody to take stuff that needs recycling down with them and put it outside in its proper place - the recycling bin. Clearly, that hadn’t been done. But what did I do? Did I take them out and dispose of them properly? No, I took them out, sighed and then threw them back in, tied up the plastic bag and took it all down to the landfill bin.

And do you know what? I didn’t even feel guilty. I was knackered, and just didn’t have it in me to do anything about it. I’d done the clothes wash, hung it out, done the dishes, made dinner, vacuumed the living room, porch and kitchen, tidied the living room, stripped my bed, got rid of some rubbish from my bedroom (including putting some stuff in the recycling bin and some other stuff in the charity shop box) and I just didn’t have it in me anymore to worry about it. I just wanted to get finished, sit down (again!) and do nothing else for the afternoon.

You’ll probably think I’m letting the side down but I’m not a purist and I’m sure as hell not perfect. I do what I can to make life easy on myself - I’ve simplified considerably since the start of the year and although there are still areas I’m working on (and some I haven’t even got round to thinking about starting on yet), I have to find a balance that keeps me relatively healthy through leading a quieter, simpler life that’s kinder on myself, the environment and my purse, and I’m not going to allow myself to stress or push myself too far physically for the sake of a few items that didn’t go into the recycling bin. It happens.

During the weekend I also threw a tin can in the landfill waste. I’d fed the dog and as it was evening and I was practically on the point of collapse, I just didn’t have it in me to wash it out there and then. I didn’t want a dirty dog food can standing on the worktop overnight either, so it went in the normal kitchen bin. But hey…. how many things did I recycle or find a way of reusing? Well a whole lot more than I didn’t, that’s for sure, and that’s what counts.

I really need to get an extra bin for the bathroom though. There should be room for one, so I don't really have an excuse.

Sharon J


Image Credit: Dylan Hartmann


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Teena said...

Ummm Ahhhh!!! Lol, hey we all can't be perfect all the time can we? I admit to sometimes just being so knackered some days that rinsing out the milk carton at 11pm at night and trasping down stairs to put it in the otto are such a chore. You shouldn't carry guilt about such things...it happens to all of us

Teena said...

p.s. At least you try which is more than some persons can say and they are also more capable than yourself

Richard said...

I will be virtuous on your behalf and pick up a can or two on the way back from town.

donna said...

don't be hard on yourself Sharon, we all have times when we can't be bothered/ we're just too tired. you do so much more than many people i know. you have to take your health and sanity into consideration- look after yourself, we need your words of wisdom :)

Jack said...

Yeah, no need to get all down on yourself for not being on the ball with respect to absolutely everything! The fact that you have simplified so much is all you should focus on. This whole thing is a process and you are on the right path.



Anonymous said...

We've all done it Sharon, I think as long as we are all trying to do our bit most of the time. I've had to stop stressing so much over it, as ranting at my son for 5 minutes over a baked bean can in the normal bin, is not the most productive use of my time ;)

Jennifer said...

Hi Sharon
No one asked you to be a martyr for the environmental cause so don't act like one! :D You live your life as you can and respect the environment as much as you can but that doesn't mean be perfect at it! Bless your heart for telling the cyberworld out there of your 'sins' though.......we've all been there ...... :D


Sharon J said...

@ Teena. Only perfect most of the time eh? ;-)

@ Richard. You mean you wouldn't have done otherwise?

@ Donna. I'm not being hard on myself. That's the whole point. I don't see the benefit in beating yourself up over lack of perfection becaues perfection's a non-starter anyway.

@ Jack. That's exactly what I do focus on :)

@ Move to Portugal. Yeah, I think as long as we do our personal best that's good enough.

@ Jennifer. Me, a martyr? Not a chance. That's why I don't intend to push myself further than I ought to - I won't make myself ill for the sake of a few cardboard boxes or a plastic bottle.

Lizzie said...

I have a bin in each room and sling everything in it because we have to sort glass, paper & metal, food scraps & rubbish rubbish. So I sort them out at the time of emptying instead. Its surprisingly quick and easy. I can tell you I am a real laze bag because I also wash tins and glass jars in the dishwasher. I know, what a slothe, but if there is room then.....

Sharon J said...

We also have bins in each room but sorting everything as I empty them would be too much for me. It really doesn't take much to wear me out. I regularly pluck out the odd thing that didn't ought to be there, though. As for the dishwasher, if I had one I'd do the same (washing up really leaves me in need of a sit down!)