Some reflections on recycling

On a recent drive into work, I was thinking about how this blog, the Herald’s new GreenTeam, and overall environmental activism take up time that I could be spending on other things, such as running or socializing or reading.

This is the thought process that has led me to complacency in the past. With so very few reminders or positive reinforcement toward our green goals, I understand why many people don’t recycle or don’t care.

I have come across several desks at the Herald that have two bins, where only one overflows with trash and recyclables. This leads me to a question: What is responsible for the ignorance? Awareness could be the answer, yet I can’t think of a better method of making someone aware than giving them their own recycling bucket, with the appropriate symbol on it.

I’m sure I would meet resistance if I spread recycle reminders across people’s desks. Most folks don’t like being told what to do, especially if they’ve been doing it wrong so long. Habituation and laziness are responsible.

I’ve been made aware of recycling campaigns at the Herald in the past that were successful, but died off in time. Did the leadership fade? Did the movement dissipate?

For real change to happen at the Herald, it’s vital to analyze where things broke apart in past initiatives. So as we move forward with new ideas, let’s figure out what we can do to keep our momentum and energy.

Does your company have such recycling initiatives under way? How do you keep them going? Let us know. E-mail

-- James Steffens works as a creative assistant at the Herald.