I have been a recycler all my life. My Mom and my Nannie were recyclers, too. They taught me everything they knew and that was what got me started. Then I taught science for a long time and I always taught about recycling. I used cloth grocery bags before most people even realized there was such a thing.
My Mom and my Nannie saved aluminum foil. I know that sounds crazy but it is true. Whenever they used a piece of aluminum foil to cover something, they would carefully wash and dry it. Then they would let it air dry. Finally they would carefully fold it up and put it away for another day of use, covering something else. They lived through the Depression and WW2. They knew what it was like to do without something. So they reused everything they could-including foil. They didn’t call it recycling. They said they were frugal. You are probably thinking “yuck” regarding reusing foil. Well, I am in my late 60’s and it never damaged me, I never got sick from food covered with the reused foil. So—–it must have been ok.
Glass jars were reused, too. You could can vegetables in them or store leftover foods in them in the refrigerator. We never threw away glass jars. NEVER. BTW, we did not have plastic storage containers at my house-either. The sodas we drank came in glass bottles. We had to return them to the store to get our deposit back. There was NO aluminum cans when I was growing up. Listen carefully again. We had NO aluminum cans. We had NO plastic bottles. Milk was delivered to your house in a glass bottle. Ah-the good old days.
And newspapers? Well, they were saved, too. Every year our elementary school had a big paper drive. Yep! You heard me right. A paper drive. The front of the school had a covered walkway and there would be a sign with each teacher’s name on it. For one week, we would collect every newspaper that we could find. We would tie them in bundles and put them in the stack for our class. By Thursday, the stacks of newspaper would be taller than our heads. The entire walkway would be covered with stacks of newspaper. On Friday afternoon, a truck would come and collect the stacks. The school would get a check that they could use for programs in the school. And the winning class? Well they got a prize, too! The paper drive was the B.I.G. fundraiser for the school. As soon as it was over, people started collecting their papers for the next year. They stacked them in their garages and on their porches. It was a BIG deal.
So that is what started me in recycling. Thanks Mom and Nannie for making me more careful with this earth that God has given us!