Minnesota Farmer

Raised to recycle
November 24, 2012, 2:28 pm
Filed under: cats, Farm, food, garden, make a difference, Trees | Tags: , , , , , , ,

I don’t get it!  Why is everything so throw away today.  This week I found a perfectly good cooler in the trash.  There are constantly cans and bottles being thrown into the ditch.  Doesn’t anyone care for Mother Earth?

I was raised to recycle.  My parents both grew up just after the Dust Bowl and were children during WWII.  They lived with rationing here in the U.S. that was nowhere near as bad a in Europe, but significant.  You just made do.  They went to the hog lot to pick up the corn cobs after the pigs ate the corn off of them to use for fuel to cook their meals.  Living with little is how they were raised.

Still today we keep metals aside to sell for scrap.  Cloths get patched not ditched.  Yesterdays going to town jeans are todays work cloths.  Buildings that are no longer usable are torn down to be used in new construction.  I rarely saw my dad buy new nails, we just straightened the old ones.  If it could be used for something else later, it was.

I’m still a reusing person.  I walked the yard today to pick up the tree branches that came down in the recent wind so they could be used to heat my house and shop.  I have more than enough wood from fallen trees to heat my buildings.  My cats eat the household meat scraps and other food scraps go to the compost for garden fertilizer.

I know it’s harder to live like this in the city, but at least more people could recycle rather than throw away.  We have so much here and we are just using it and land filling it, or buying it and then forgetting where we put it.

A few years ago on a trip to South Africa I saw people who lived off of the money they could earn recycling plastics.  It takes over a cubic yard of plastic to earn a few pennies, pennies that we would not even pick up if we saw them on the ground.

I don’t get it.  We have a lot to learn from people who have less than we do.  One of those things is making use of the things we no longer need.



3 Comments so far
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Hi Michael, Your are absolutely dead on in your comments about our throw away society. Unfortunately there seems to be no obvious carrot to compel humans in North America to be more aware of the amount of stuff we put into landfill or ditches at the sides of roads. And the stick we use, fines for littering, doesn’t stop the abuse because there is no one to enforce anti-littering laws.

Ideally we should all be able to reuse the things we buy, endlessly recycling materials so that nothing gets put in landfill. A slow cooker could even turn the plastic, used oil, old tires, and other garbage into fuel. If designed right we could all have one of these built into residential and commercial buildings. The fuel could be used to heat and cool our homes, or provide for our vehicles while we still use diesel and internal combustion engines.

I often wonder why we moved away from the conservation mentality that was very much first of mind in the period of the Great Depression. Did the Second World War and the post-War period make us forget?

Comment by Len Rosen (@lenrosen4)

I agree. Far too many people think of everything as disposable. I catch myself at times realizing I can do better. I think almost everyone can do better.

Comment by Janice aka JPlovesCOTTON

I just read the first half of “Moby Duck.” I am too depressed about the issue to read the second half. I grew up on a small half hobby/half subsistence farm in NE Minnesota in the 1950’s. The only real garbage was some stray bits of metal, mostly cans and jars from the few canned and bottled things my mother actually purchased.
Thank you for this blog which I have been snooping on for a month or two.

Comment by Clyde of Mankato

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