On my continual quest to pare my life down to the basics and get rid of all unnecessary junk, I’ve just spent the past couple of hours being a good environmentally responsible member of society. Well, in a political sense, anyway. I have dismantled and discarded my collection of (very) old and unwanted VHS videos, diligently separating them into their solid plastic (recyclable) and not-so-solid tape (non-recyclable) components. Despite using a screwdriver to separate each container into two initial sides, this was not an easy process and in order to dismantle them properly I’ve had to physically bend and break old plastic, giving myself bruises and scratches, and ripping and breaking my already rather flimsy fingernails.
At the end of the process I now find my bins are full, and I ask the question – just how much tape was there? How many hundreds (perhaps thousands of meters) of useless pollution? And how much non-recyclable material do I still have hidden in obsolete objects around the house? It is a first world question, of course – How much landfill are we each responsible for if we each threw away all our non-recyclable rubbish? My possession count is very small compared with most people I know, but I am ashamed of the impact I will have on the planet in this process and aim to be more responsible in future – If I consume responsibly I should be able to eliminate the issue of waste altogether. Then I won’t feel guilty over the bin space I’m taking up – as there won’t be any. I hate to think of the impact on the environment the average consumer has…I’m not sure I want to know the answer.