When I lived in apartments in North Georgia recycling was next to impossible. My complex did not participate in any program or pick up and the closest plant was an hour’s drive away. I hated the amount of waste we were generating as a two-person family, but I personally was unable to do anything about it on a regular basis. Moving out to Phoenix there was a large difference in the acceptability of recycling resources. Now living in a three-person household we may generate a bag of waste a week and up to two bags of recyclables.
Why did not being able to recycle bother me so much? As Pagans we practice an earth-based religion, and if so then what happens to our scared space should be a major influence on our practice. Look at other religions that hold sacred space in buildings and special places. Do they leave these “houses” of their deities dirty and neglected? No, so why is the earth, our sacred space any different? Taking care of the earth is an act in its self of devotion to our home and to the Gods when placed into this context. But, your thinking, recycling is a no brainier due in part to the large recycling movement of the ’90s; however, according to US Environmental Protections Agency (EPA), 66% of the materials we throw into landfills could be recycled.
That means all that talk in the ’90s and early 2000s didn’t really make that large of an impact. I don’t think I know a single person who would not say recycling is important, but how many of these people recycle on a regular base? When Earth Day rolled around the company I was working for made a big fuss about how green and energy efficient the buildings were, but the free cups in the break rooms were styrofoam and there were no air driers in the bathrooms. As you can see above, one styrofoam cup takes 50 years to decompose and a paper towel 3 or 4. So, a large company that has over 500 employees at one campus; witch an average of each employee using up to three cups per day and six paper towels. . . I should see some astonished faces.
So, not only are we not recycling what can be recycled; we are not making simple changes to recyclable or earth-friendly materials. Why? cost. Styrofoam is cheap, people prefer patter towels because driers are loud and unreliable, its hard to remember reusable shopping bags, and so on. Are you taking part in recycling in your home and office? Is your neighborhood and workplace recycle friendly? If you said no to any of these, then what are you doing about it? There are a ton of resources out there on the internet for learning how to recycle in your city so I implore you as a Pagan, show gratitude to your Gods for such a beautiful earth and keep it that way.
If you live in the Phoenix area please see this link to understand the recycling program here: http://www.recyclecleanphoenix.org/faq/
As always please feel free to comment and share! If you have any questions or wish to get in contact with me please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org