"It's not easy being green"...Kermit the Frog
I've always been a recycler. Ever since the City of Rockville dropped a recycling bin off at my parents house when I was in high school, I have dutifully put the glass, cans & paper where they belonged. However, I have never been one of the zealous crunchy green people.
I was thrilled (while there were news reports that others were terribly upset) when the county delivered the BIG BLUE BIN. This gigantic rolling bin was for all paper products. No longer did we have to break down cardboard boxes, put newspapers in paper grocery bags, or wait for a special pick up for glossy magazines and phone books. The county declared that they would take everything! I manage to fill that bin up every week with junk mail, shredded documents, newspapers and paper packaging for other household items.
I was vigilant in my plastic recycling as well, constantly checking the number on the bottom to see if it was recyclable. While surfing the county's recycling page on their website, I was upset to learn that I had been putting things in the recycle bin that were not recyclable. evidently, only narrow neck plastic containers were accepted. [This has recently been changed and now we can recycle margarine tubs, takout containers, yogurt cups, etc.]
My husband has always supported my recycling efforts, but was definitely not as into it as I was. That all changed when he begrudgingly went as a chaperon on our 7 year-old's class trip to the recycling center. As gross and loud as the place was, he came home with a wealth of information and has begun to get more involved in our efforts to be green-ish. We are now discussing plans to set up a compost bin in the backyard and have slowly started to replace appliances with more energy efficient models. Much of what we are doing to be even slightly green-tinted have come out of an effort to save money. As I look at some of the changes in our behaviors (rinsing out paper towels to reuse them to wipe down the counters, using dishwater to water the patio plants, etc) I realize that when I used to complain about my parents being cheap, they were really being green long before it was fashionable.