My wife and I have been separating our recyclables for years. Before the city started curbside recycling, we’d take it to the local Wal-Mart which had a recycling drop-off, and later we hired a local guy who would pick it up from the curb once a week. So we’ve always been a little more environmentally conscious than average.
However, my wife takes it much more seriously than I do. I will rinse out cans, plastic yogurt cups, etc and throw them in the recycling. In my opinion stuff doesn’t need to be squeaky clean as long as you make some effort to get the food off. I don’t even bother with things like peanut butter jars, margarine tubs, etc because they’re just too hard to get clean, so in the trash they go. My wife, on the other hand, will throw them in the sink and wash them with all the other wash-by-hand dishes. Which is fine if she wants to do it, just don’t expect me to follow suit.
Because of the recent news about the giant floating island of plastic and garbage out in the ocean, she is now refusing to use plastic straws when we eat out. She bought a set of metal reusable straws that she keeps in her purse and washes them out when she gets home. She hasn’t started keeping forks and spoons from home in her purse to use instead of the plastic ones, but I figure it’s only a matter of time.
But here is where I think she’s starting to take it a little too far. The other night we took the grandkids to Chick-fil-A for dinner, and as we were leaving my wife started collecting the plastic salad containers and the kids’ chocolate milk bottles so she could take them home and throw them in the recycling. “I don’t want them winding up in the ocean!” she said. She’s apparently been doing this for a while now when she takes the grandkids out for lunch, it’s just the first time I had noticed it. And I guess it just seems a little extreme to me, but I don’t know… What do you think?