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In 2006 I had lived in Cedar Key for almost a year and hadn’t recycled anything. I’m embarrassed to admit it today, but I didn’t even know about the trailers. I lived with my retired father who really couldn’t be bothered and, like most children do, followed suit. Then I met the man who would turn out to be my future husband.
When I first met Eric one of the things that amazed me was his dedication to recycling. He would put everything he could into used shopping bags, tie them up, and truck them down to the trailer across from the market. He would give me the ‘look’ if he found a jar or can in the trash that I’d forgotten to rinse and set aside. As you can imagine I curbed my bad habit ASAP all in the name of love.
So here we are today. It’s been over four years now and I’m a fanatic about recycling. After the first year I surpassed my own husband, finding more things to recycle than he ever knew. These days I even get to shoot him the look when I find a dirty plastic container in the trash. Recycling is actually a lot of fun and now even more so with our new bins being easily picked up outside my front door. I hear people all over town talking about their own bins and how excited they were to receive them.
Shopping is another way recycling has changed our lives. Two examples of this would be eggs and milk. We only purchase eggs in clear plastic or paper cartons because Styrofoam cannot be recycled. However, with milk, the plastic jugs are recyclable and the cartons are not. After a while you want to buy the items that can actually go into the little green bin. You feel good every time another item goes into it, as if you did your good deed for the day. You feel like you contributed back to the world because in fact you have.
My father who lives in Rosewood still does not recycle but I’m sure he would be more apt to learn if they too had curbside recycling. His friends keep their own little bags for cans there and lately I’ve noticed he’s been using them. So I asked him “If I could find you a neat little green bin would you use it for other recyclables?” He said yes.
I find it really amazing what a little a green bin can do for the human spirit.
Thank you, City of Cedar Key, for curbside recycling.
This column is a project of Cedar Key’s Energy Advisory Panel, which welcomes first-person accounts of how individuals are conserving (or, even, aspiring to conserve) our community's natural resources. Your submission may be made via email firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include your full name and your phone number.