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I’m the “crazy” recycler at work.

I work right beside a Subway. Our staff walk right out of our front door turn left and into Subways door, order their meal, walk out Subways door and right into our door, eat their meal and throw out the plastic bag, extra napkins, paper it was wrapped in, paper cup and straw. I then dig through the garbage and rescue the recyclables and put them in the recycling bag 2 feet away. Then I go to Subway and get lunch (occasionally) they make my sandwich on the paper towel as usual, they cut it in half, hand it to me and then I walk out of their door, into the other door, eat my sandwich and then recycle the paper towel. And I AM the crazy one. They can’t even walk a few feet without creating waste.

I won’t even start about the Starbucks waste they create. I drink it almost everyday but bring my own mug so that it’s waste less. I’m this close to going through Starbucks garbage. I have an urge to separate the recycling that people were too lazy to put into the provided recycling bin or take home to recycle. Luckily some of the staff do add things to our businesses recycling bag (and some of them are really good about bringing their own mugs and meals from home). When it’s full I take it home and we start a new bag. I have saved all the bags and will be bringing them back to work to reuse. It makes me happy to divert unnecessary waste from the landfill. Last week I found out that cans of disinfectant we use can now be recycled so one by one the rest of the employees have been asked to put them in the bag when empty. Maybe it’s like my penance for all the other environmentally unfriendly things I do. Lately I have been floating around the idea of attempting a zero-waste day and they aren’t looking at me too weirdly.

I’m glad they humour the “crazy” woman at work.


“The future is not completely beyond our control. It is the work of our own hands.”

Robert F. Kennedy

“Human beings and the natural world are on a collision course. Human activities inflict harsh and often irreversible damage on the environment and on critical resources. If not checked, many of our current practices put at serious risk the future that we wish for human society and the plant and animal kingdoms, and may so alter the living world that it will be unable to sustain life in the manner that we know. Fundamental changes are urgent if we are to avoid the collision our present course will bring about.”

World Scientists’ Warning to Humanity, 1992


About stephanieough

Wife, mom, concerned citizen of the earth. Striving towards intentional living rather than blindly following. Former Education Specialist for a corporation, I have now taken a step back to spend time with my family and work closer to home. Hoping to reduce our waste through refusing, reducing and reusing so that we will not have to recycle as much. Also, I love to explore zero-waste fast food and take pictures of my sucesses. I'm a fan of British comedies like Red Dwarf and Black Adder, Kevin Smith and his movies, Asian food, documentaries, biographies and going to Las Vegas on vacation. If someone told me I could only listen to the Beatles for the rest of my life I would die happy.


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