I was scrutinized by a friend a couple of months ago when he watched me washing out a ketchup bottle before throwing it into the recycling bin. “What are you doing?” he asked, with a smirk on his face. “Aren’t you going a bit overboard? You are cleaning the trash before throwing it into the garbage?” “Nope”, I snarled back at him, “we cannot be too caring when it comes down to our environment. Every little bit helps!”
Unfortunately, the American culture in general is used to wastefulness and the selfish ‘someone-else-can-deal-with-it’ attitude. I cannot speak about the rest of the world, but I can speak about a small and often overlooked country called Austria, my birthplace.
Even 30-plus years ago, I still remember clearly, my mother and other family members would bundle paper neatly (yes, neatly) before stashing it into a container until the weekly assigned drop-off day had arrived. The food cans and bottles were rinsed out and driven to the nearest recycling center, with the boxes of paper and plastic items. The convenience of trucks picking up those items at your door step wasn’t available at the time. However, the City expected all citizens to participate and no one thought that was in any way intrusive or inappropriate. Everyone felt it was their duty.
So let us take another look at how we can make the same commitment to our planet. Each of us, individually, might not have a great impact in this undertaking, but like with all matters a collective effort can move mountains, literally.
Here are some facts about recycling that might interest you: The average person uses 650 pounds of paper each year, 2.5 million plastic bottles are used every hour in this country, about 80% of what Americans throw away is recyclable, and our recycling rate is only 28%. I think, like with everything in life, education is the key. Do you spend your time researching environmental issues and how to solve the problems? Probably not - but starting right here and now in your household, and teaching your children the importance of living with compassion and concern for our planet is a must. Each and every one of us counts, each and every one of us can make a difference.
From a metaphysical/ mental perspective taking care of our mother Earth has of course great importance. Our carelessness reflects the uncaring attitude about everything but ourselves. Having said that, and knowing that our thoughts and actions are causative and responsible for everything that befalls us every day of our lives, we must change our habits and mind models about life itself.
Life is a gift. It is to be cherished and nurtured. We are here to learn and grow and find our way back to the Light. As our journey includes the all-inclusiveness of Love and the responsibility to help and uplift our fellow men, it makes sense to start with the smaller things first. How will you be able to live according to the Laws of the Universe if you cannot event live according to earthly Laws?
Our capacity to love does not stop at people - it includes all living creatures, plant life and Nature itself; and if you and each and every one of us creates a little piece of heaven – just imagine! The world would be heaven itself!