Can I Have Too Many Recyclables?

I gather up my trash and recyclables, so proud of my big bag of recyclables and little bag of trash that I decide to photograph them. Then it occurs to me that maybe this is not such a good thing after all. Can I have too many recyclables? I look through the bag and I see how much is junk mail and newspaper and realize the answer is yes.

Small trash bag on the left, large recycle bag on the right

Trash on the left, recyclables on the right.

For the last two years I’ve been fretting about the newspaper. Every time its up for renewal I keep my paper-subscription and think “next time” I’ll go digital. I love walking down the driveway in the morning, picking up the paper, reading it while drinking my coffee, and saving articles to share or reference later. Uh-oh, my newspaper subscription is due for renewal now. Can I make myself go through with it this time?

What’s stopping me? – Old habits and a 13-inch laptop screen. But, paper saved in the first place is better than paper recycled. It’s past time to try that digital subscription.

Then I realize there’s another, deeper reason that I’m still taking the newspaper. It’s a link to a happy time in my life B.C. – Before Cancer – when Bob’s cancer was years in the future; we had apartments and lived in Kansas City. We always got the Kansas City Star on  Sunday. It amused us when it started coming out the evening before, and when we were out on Saturday night we always stopped to buy one on the way home. So I have to acknowledge that the newspaper stands in as link to a simpler time, not just pre-cancer, but pre-hoarding.

I have good newspaper-memories from this house too. Bob used to bring me a New York Times and a weekend Wall Street Journal as a treat on Friday afternoons. We worked the crossword puzzles together, passing them back and forth across the table.

Now, as for the recyclables – I’ll go to work on cutting down on junk mail, but maybe I’m not quite ready to give up the newspaper after all.

What physical things are you hanging onto for reasons of the heart?

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5 thoughts on “Can I Have Too Many Recyclables?

  1. Nothing compares to holding a real book in your hands; they are so lovely. However, I can get most at the library! I read mags on the net and a newspaper can be used for so many other things, like cleaning, fire-starter, etc.!!!

    • Reading magazines online or on a Kindle sounds like a good way for me to start cutting down on paper. Funny, I always worry about the death of newspapers and think “but what’ll we do for birdcages?”

  2. At least you are approaching things with a sense of humor. I spent the summer after I retired working for a non-profit organization called Lifecare where we made minor home repairs allowing seniors to remain in their homes. Many of these folks were so buried in their stuff that I couldn’t believe it, and then they had a giant yard besides It was none of my business but I would ask them why they didn’t consider selling the house and moving to, for example, a condominium. Many of them would tell me that Henry, or whoever, would turn over in his grave if they sold the house. Better, I guess, to leave it for the kids to fight over. It was sad, almost tragic.

    By the way, I can’t give up the newspaper either. I have tried and tried, now I don’t even think about it anymore.

    • Thanks for the comment, David. (a condo, yes! that’s my goal) I’m glad to hear I’m not the only one left with a newspaper, though I will definitely try to switch “next time” … also, so pleased to find out at this months’ neighborhood dinner club that each couple at the table still subscribed.

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