I Threw Out the Can


The other day I threw out a can instead of recycling.

I believe in taking care of the earth. We have the right kind of bulbs. We recycle everything that can be recycled. I use cloth bags. We buy mainly locally and organic if we can. We use natural cosmetics, grooming products and cleaners.

Yet I could not bring myself to wash out the potato soup can. I was tired of washing out the cans. I didn’t want to ever have to do it again.

But, the next day I saw a can. I rinsed it out. I kept going.

We have enough guilt in our lives, without adding eco-guilt. Do what you can. Feel good when you lighten your ecological footprint. But, don’t kick yourself in the rear with it when you can’t be pure eco-friendly.


  • TED GRIDER says:

    Thanks for the article on eco-guilt. Yes, getting uptight over one aspect (for you, cans) of that which we don’t do is the wrong approach. I find myself taking a “season” away from recycling (ie, during Christmas week or Thanksgiving). It allows me time to focus on people rather than “things and stuff” I appreciate your comments.

  • Kristianna says:

    I buy those danimals smoothies for the kids sometimes, and I tend to jam a straw through the foil to minimize the mess, and never want to go through the hassle of cleaning it afterwards, so those I toss into the garbage. I figure I recycle almost everything I can. I buy from a local produce co-op. I worm compost.

    We can only be so perfect. 🙂

  • Maggie says:

    Glad to see your post on eco-guilt. I was cleaning out my fridge last week and found several “leftover” items in plastic containers that had been in there for an unknown amount of time. These were recycled farmer’s market yoghurt containers that are reused many times at my house. Anyway, I could not bear to wash them this time so just tossed in my regular trash. I really felt guilty about not cleaning them but I just couldn’t bring myself to open them. I recycle everything I can but sometimes, it’s better for my sanity to just toss. Thanks for reminding us that doing the best we can is good enough.

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