No can left behind (Day 93)…

soda can

You’re standing at the bus stop, you just swigged the last drop from a bottle of iced tea, your arms are loaded with a day’s worth of shopping, there’s a garbage can right next to you and no recycling bin in sight. Do you hold on to that sucker and wait to recycle it at home? Or just hope no hippies are looking, apologize to Mother Nature and toss it in the garbage?

Before now, I’d probably do the latter. Same goes for all the paper news releases and promotional junk I get at the office — the recycling bin is only steps away, and yet “steps” requires getting my lazy butt off my chair and walking, whereas the garbage can under my desk requires nothing but a flick of the wrist and maybe a swivel, so I’d often just toss it all in the garbage (how many Hail Marys does this add up to? Anyone?).

It’s not that I never recycle. At home, I’ve grown up with blue, grey and green bins, and when I’m out, if I happen to pass by one of those three-holed receptacles with different slots for paper, plastic and garbage, I’ll make sure to put whatever crap I have in its proper place.

But my attitude has always been that of the convenient recycler — if someone puts the appropriate disposal mechanism in front of me, sure, I’ll take part. But don’t expect me to go out of my way or anything.

Until now! (Sorry, that’s my favourite segue)

I’m officially committed to recycling anything and everything than can be recycled, no excuses. If it means carrying around armfuls of newspaper and pop cans with me until I get home, so be it. It’s time to suck it up and deal with some inconvenient recycling.

As I’ve already started toting a reusable coffee thermos and water bottle with me everywhere, don’t buy any take-out food that comes with disposable packaging or plastic cutlery, and don’t chew gum anymore, I’ve already saved myself some trouble. It’s mostly at the office where I start to slack off (note to boss: I mean slack off with regards to recycling, not work! … nervous laughter), so it’s time to buckle down and respect the third R.

Photo courtesy of crassy777 at Flickr

8 Responses to No can left behind (Day 93)…

  1. Hellcat13 says:

    My boyfriend laughs at me because I always tote my recyclables home with me when there are no existing containers. But I feel good about it 🙂

    Simple solution to your office woes: Place a bin under your desk that is dedicated solely to recyclable products. Save yourself the walk until the end of the day, and recycle it all at that time.

    My workplace doesn’t actually even have garbage cans – we make do with teeny tiny little bins about the size of my coffee travel mug that we empty ourselves. We have full-sized recycle bins at each desk that get emptied every other day. I can usually go a week before I have to empty my garbage bin, which is generally granola bar wrappers and kleenex. I take my composting home with me in my reusable containers.

  2. Hellcat13 says:

    Oh, and speaking of reusable water bottles, I am IN LOVE with my Swiss Sigg aluminum drinking bottles. I picked one up about 10 years ago while in Switzerland, and it’s still going strong. I’ve recently purchased 2 more–one for my office and one for my night-time beside-the-bed water that the cats kept knocking over. They’re a little hard to find in Canada, but I know there is at least on shop in Toronto that carries them (Curbside Cycling) Well worth the price, and they’re so pretty, too! A great feature is the variety of tops that are available.

    The official website is here:

    and also has some good info on the bottles.

  3. Chile says:

    Hellcat13 is right. A second bin under your desk would allow you to remain highly productive at work. OTOH, regular stretching and exercise for desk workers is recommended. It’s a tough call. 😉

  4. Stefanie says:

    I am with you on that one. I’m pretty sure everyone in my office thinks I’m weird for taking all my soup cans, coke cans, plastic utensils that i use during the day home with me so that I can put them in my recycling bin. But hey, why should I just be green at home?? If its something I truly believe in I should do it no matter what, no matter where I am. Even if I leave the office everyday with clans clunking around in my purse. Ha!

  5. Hellcat13 says:

    I should mention that I now have the above-mentioned boyfriend trained to bring HIS recyclables and compostables home from the office. 🙂 He doesn’t actually laugh at me anymore!

  6. pat farquharson says:

    all office workers should have a blue box under their desks. (I do). Recycling should be easy- tell the Post to help out on this one.

  7. Anon. says:

    I can’t believe you’d go 93 days with tall this and even think about throwing something recyclable away. I mean you’ve UNPLUGGED your FRIDGE, I can’t see how a couple extra steps is too hard for you. It’s kinda bad enough you work for a newspaper with all the trees it kills plus all the plastic bags or whatever it’s delivered in. But, at least you’re going to start now.

    I check everything for the 1 or 2 and if it has it, I take it home to rinse out and recycle. Better yet, I’ll be taking my own container to get my smoothie from now on.

  8. patty t says:

    As long as you don’t recycle the puns. Please keep those fresh!

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