By Kyla Brennan
I recently blasted our 21-year-old son after finding an item in our garbage so overt in its recyclableness it was ridiculous.
“Your generation is so un-green and my generation is being blamed,” I cried. “We have to save the earth. It’s the only planet with chocolate!”
I was confident in my sweeping generalization, as I have repeatedly found similar contraband in his younger sisters’ garbage.
He responded, “Mom, it’s not your generations’ lack of recycling that was the problem, it was more a policy issue, a focus on microrecycling as opposed to macrorecycling, among many other things.”
Ok, so clearly he’s not too stupid to recycle, just too lazy.
My generation, however, have been frantically Reducing, Reusing and Recycling since we heard about the depleting ozone layer. What ever happened to that, by the way? I gave up aerosol hairspray, for goodness sake, in the Aqua Net 80’s!
Our parents generation complied with the three R’s out of necessity – glass jars were essential for canning. Composting guaranteed zucchini as big as the Thanksgiving turkey. The “waste not, want not” mantra was a living reality.
As a mother of young children I walked the green line. I sent lunchbox items in reusable containers I knew I would never, ever see again. I was determined to protect my darlings from the walk of shame to the garbage bin in the lunchroom.
I feigned delight and fascination while stirring stinking, rotten food and adding the crucial layer of leaves in the school compost program.
At Brownie camp, I almost lost my cookies (Minty Chocolate, not Classic Vanilla, thank you!) while spitting (post tooth brushing) foam into a communal container covered with cheesecloth to avoid contaminating Kananaskis Country with a scant amount of Crest soaked saliva.
My children were so green they fairly glowed. My plucky elementary schoolers would save the planet! Thank God, because I was too tired to do it myself. Then the apathy of adolescence arrived in a soul sucking cloud and the blue bin was suddenly as unattainable as Everest.
So, yes, apparently I microrecycle and would like to continue to believe that my efforts are worthwhile. And yes, I will continue to remind the young adults in my home how to properly do the same. Or nag, depending on your perspective.
Oh, and what was in that brown envelope lying in my kitchen garbage? My son’s Carbon Rebate cheque. Nice.
Kyla Brennan is a bosom buddy, golf playmate, and newest Sangria Sister content contributor.
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