You can get kids excited about anything. I regularly visit an elementary school classroom and teach them about the benefits of recycling. I let them know what they can recycle and why they should keep these materials out of the landfill. This past week I congratulated them on how well they have been doing and told them they helped recycle over 400 pounds in three weeks. You wouldn't believe the response I received. They cheered, they clapped, they hugged! I'm pretty sure one boy started crying with tears of joy. And then a chant bursted out, "Mr. Ed! Mr. Ed! Mr. Ed!". Man, it was great.
If only we could get this excited about something so simple. Maybe we need to think about it differently. What works for me is looking at the numbers. When I lived out in Portland, Oregon, they picked up our trash once every TWO weeks. So much of our trash can be recycled! I see the progress here as well, every week. With 10 customers, over 400 pounds have been kept out of the landfill, in three weeks! That is huge! It may not seem like a lot at first, but it adds up. You are making a difference, you should be excited.
So the next time you're drinking out of a plastic bottle, cheer, clap, hug the stranger next to you, and toss it in the recycling bin. You kept one more item out of the landfill, and it's adding up. Oh, and feel free to start chanting my name.
-Star City Recycling