Here is a sneak preview of the op-ed I wrote for the Tallahassee Democrat about the problem with recycling anxiety in the era of climate change:
We’ve all been in this situation before. You’ve finished your coffee and you’re looking for the trash. Just as you’re about to aim for the nearest bin, the dread sets in. Is this cup recyclable? Is the lid? Is the cup too frothy? Will the recycling police find me? Why do bad things happen to good people?
That’s right — I, too, suffer from recycling anxiety. You’re not alone. I’m here to tell you it’s not your fault.
Full transparency: I work for an environmental organization and I still get that feeling. I had a hunch other people weren’t always sure what items were recyclable or not, so I did what any sane person would do: I rolled up my sleeves and dug through my neighbor’s recycling (with permission, of course).
Among empty plastic water bottles, newspapers, and empty boxes of pasta, I found dirty pizza boxes; an orange juice carton; a glass tomato sauce jar with sauce remnants; a tall Starbucks cup (smelled like a mocha); various frozen food boxes from Trader Joe’s; and an assortment of loose paper in a plastic Target bag.
Ask yourself: Which of the previous items does not belong?