Check out this post by Cheryl Leutjen the author of “Love Earth Now”
In another installment in my ever-so-scintillating #useitup campaign, I summoned the will to dig out the last serving from the old peanut butter jar today. Please, hold your applause.
This jar has been languishing for months, with just a tablespoon of spreadable product in the bottom. This is not a case of selflessness, the “I don’t want to take the last cookie” syndrome. Nope, it’s more likely the age-old tradition of “I don’t want to be the one to clean up this mess, so I’m going to pretend I didn’t see it” that this family holds dear.
Because a peanut butter jar does require diligence to clean it up enough for the recycling bin. Especially if you’re a water miser like me. If I could lick it clean to save a gallon of wash water, I would. And also because…TikTok. But I can’t, and don’t ask me how I know.
And that’s all hoping that plastic gets recycled at all, even the clean stuff.
Mary Beth, my sister-in-law in Louisiana, chewed out her town’s mayor a few months ago for rejecting her recyclables. The city collectors marked her bin of neatly-rinsed containers “contaminated” and left it on the curb like so much toxic waste. After all the time she spent cleaning those containers, well, she was eager to give the mayor an earful. I wish I’d been a fly on the wall. Now, she says the City has scrapped the recycling program altogether in the days of the coronavirus pandemic. . . .
So I’m grateful that the trucks collecting recyclables in Los Angeles are still rolling. I pray that my efforts to clean out this peanut butter jar are enough to ensure its journey on to a recycling center. Where it will be recycled into something useful again.
In any case, I’ve decided that the next jar coming into this household will be made of glass, so I can skip this particular eco-guilting headache. I know there are pros and cons of plastic versus glass, and I’m tempted to do the research before making this pronouncement. But I’ve been down that rabbit hole of eco-insanity too many times.
So I’m going to enjoy this tablespoon of peanut butter like the last drop of a fine Chardonnay. As I bless those recycling truck drivers, the peanut farmers, the pickers, the packers, the stockers and sales clerks, all endangering their own well-being, so we may eat.
Now, excuse me while I savor a moment alone with my peanut butter.