You've probably heard of the "Soup Nazi" who terrrorized Jerry, Elaine, and the gang with his proclamations of "No soup for you!". Well, I have recently earned the notorious moniker of "Recycle Nazi" in our home, hence the title of this post.
Until about three months ago, recycling wasn't an issue for me. I had too many other things to do. I wasn't about to rinse out ketchup bottles (we use a lot of ketchup!), peel labels off pickle jars, or crush every empty fruit snack box. (Yes, our consumption of fruit snacks keeps our dentist very happy.)
So, I'm not exactly sure what changed my mind. Recycling isn't "required" by our town so that wasn't it. (I wasn't about to pay to recycle. In fact, I think they should PAY me. But that's another story!) My family certainly wasn't pressuring me (keep reading). So, after careful consideration, I have determined that my decision to recycle was mostly to suppress the guilt brought on by other "recycle nazis" in our church home group. (Thanks girls!) Either way, the catalyst doesn't really matter; the fact that we are now recycling in mammoth proportions is what is truly important.
Each week, our two plastic tubs are overflowing with jars, bottles, newspapers, milk containers, and, yes, even completely rinsed ketchup bottles and flattened fruit snack boxes by the hundreds. We have also noticed an amazing decrease in the amount of trash that we have.
So far the only downside to our recycling efforts has been the reaction of our family, immediate and extended! The kids aren't nearly as excited about recycling as mom is. Audible groans can be heard when I repeatedly remind them to rinse out yogurt containers and pudding cups. Payton's jaw hit the floor recently when I dismantled a pair of broken swimming goggles so that we could recycle the plastic eyepieces. A few ladies at church giggled politely when I retrieved some plastic planters from the garbage can at day camp so I could bring them home and put them in our recycle tubs. My sister laughed out loud when she found out that I actually bring my pop cans and water bottles home from the pool each day so we can recycle them. And I'm pretty sure I had a case of the hives when we visited my sister in Michigan earlier this summer and we couldn't recycle anything. Each time I threw away something that was recycleable, I said "Aaargh we could recycle this at home!" The rolled eyes and exclamations of "Mu---ther" let you know that the kids weren't nearly as upset as their mom!
So I probably deserve the title. I don't know. I'm certainly no "environmentalist whacko" but I like to think that we are making a small difference and being good stewards of the earth God gave us. However, I will admit that I am eagerly anticipating the "new earth" God promises in Revelation 22. Somehow, I don't think we will have to worry about recycling then!