My day job, when I'm not being HILARIOUS, is working as a very serious, hard-working producer for cable reality television. So the other day, I was talking with a co-worker and we got to chatting about "living green." Here's the conversation that ensued:
ME: "I have been trying to go more green lately."
Co-Worker: "Yeah, but I hate when people think recycling makes them 'so responsible.' I mean, that started 20 years ago. It's not new, it's just part of life."
ME: (high pitched nervous laugh) "HAHAHAHHAA! Yeah. HAHAHAHA! Jerks those people. ... Jackasses even. HAHAHAHAHAA! Ahem... oh look, is that the time? Is that clock made out of recycled plastic, do you think? HAHAHA! I should go mulch something. TA!"
You see, I'd JUST started seriously recycling about a week prior to this conversation. And I'm 30-mumble-years-old.
Okay. Now before you go all Ed Begley Jr. all over my ass, just calm your organic rage for a nan-second and listen while I defend myself with very well thought out (and legit) excuses:
1) Recycling bins are not always available in LA... but porn is accessable 24/7. You would think recycling in LA would be easy, right? WRONG. I've lived her for 10+ years and I'm currently living in the first apartment to have recycling bins. All my other apartment managers told me, "It's too expensive to get recycling for our building." Awesome. Your Coach purse was expensive too, but you got that, didn't you? Is that saving the Earth or just your reputation around your fake friends? (I like to project.) So I place blame on my past apartment managers (cuz it's easy and true).
2) I tried to recycle once and failed worse than Donald Trump in a hair show. When I was married, my husband and I decided, "Even though our building doesn't have a recycling program, let's keep everything and recycle on our own." So we kept everything! Bottles, plastics, cans, cardboard, magazines, all paper, etc. Now, let me explain. We were not rich people and lived in an already cramped apartment, so then throw on top of that the fact that we were actively saving our garbage... let's just say that my OCD tendencies were stretched to their limit, along with my patience and good nature. So after living in our own personal Unstrung Heroes, we finally loaded up the car and went to the recycling plant. We were so jovial, "We're contributing to saving our planet!" we said. (We were also thrilled to have a place to walk in our apartment again.) Fast forward to 2 HOURS LATER... we emerged hot, filthy, angry and with a whole $8 in our pocket for our endeavors. We felt like we'd done a lot of work for nothing. We sacrificed our living environment and comfort level for $8. Let's just say that was the last time we visited the recycling plant.
3) I'm stupid... and stuff. I admit that I never really gave that much thought about it. I left phone chargers plugged in all the time. I'd leave with lights left on so I could identify the Boogie Man when I got home (he's real, ya'll!). I'd throw away cans, bottles, paper, plastics and everything else into the garbage can. I'd drive around at night for over an hour just cuz I didn't want to go home yet. I thought Earth Day was "cute." I really just didn't get it.
But the day I got it... OMG, I got it. I happened to notice that my medicine bottles from the pharmacy were recyclable. (I told you I was clueless, so stop yelling!) I stopped to think...
I've been on average 2 medicines a day since 1990. Refilling 1x a month. So that's 24 bottles a month. 24 bottles a year x 18 years... 432 bottles (minimum - I get other random illnesses a lot) that could have been recycled.
My stomach sank. That's just medicine bottles. I read like 9 magazines a month. I'm a writer, I've printed THOUSANDS of pages over the years. Tossed hundreds of water bottles. I don't even want to think about all the carboard packaging I've thrown out over the years.
Holy. Shit. Balls.
I. Am. An. Asshole.
Dear Planet Earth,
I'm so sorry, I hope you can forgive me.
And I hope that my not recycling doesn't contribute to the end of the world...
Electricity is The Devil!
PS - Is it okay that my dog pees on you?
So now, "going green" has become a lifestyle that I'm trying to incorporate into every aspect of my life without becoming a complete snotty twit about it. Oh sure, it's been about 4 weeks of this lifestyle, but better late than never, right? I recycle everything thanks in part to my awesome apartment manager having the wherewithall to be environmentally conscious! I unplug everything that I'm not using (still working on the TV and electronics). I got my dog a patch of grass for inside the apartment so I wouldn't have to use pee pads (which were filling up my garbage can every other day!). I have re-usable bags for when I shop. I use cold water to wash my clothes (thank you Coldwater Deep Clean Tide!) and I'm saving to buy a eco-friendly car. I think I've found a solar charger for my cell phone even!
I know there are a million other things I can do to be green, but I'm still in square one of all this. So short of turning Amish (the most eco-friendly people on the planet!) this is my contribution to keeping the Earth from committing suicide. Maybe someday I'll even get a mulcher for my apartment (although I'm not sure what I'd do with the mulch...) and solar panels for my car (even though it will probably look stupid, kinda like the Smart Car which really doesn't look that smart, to be honest). But until then, I'm gonna be really excited about my bag of recyclables. And try to figure out how to get my dog hooked up to a wind mill...