Ron said, "You can't recycle these, they don't have a 1 on them." (It was almost 18 years ago and only "1"s could be recycled in South Carolina then.) I looked puzzled and said, "Oh. No. I meant, are we going to wash them and use them again?" Ron smiled and responded with, "Different culture."
Yep... throwing away all those good plates, cups, and utensils seemed a HUGE waste to me, coming from a country where a family might have only 3 to 4 plates and cups for 10 family members!
Thankfully, in the U.S. recycling seems to have caught on... but reducing and reusing are still foreign concepts.
In our International Training Center (or The Dorm) we have a cooler filled with sodas and beer in reusable bottles with the labels painted on... like the old bottles of my childhood. It was a sad day when plastic bottles and cans hit Nicaragua and the landfills became over-run.
In the U.S. the masses only reuse houses and cars which means our land fills grow and grow. People throw or give away clothes, shoes, and accessories at an alarming rate! Food is tossed. Paper goes into the recycle bin and new notepads are bought. Furniture winds up on the curb. Leaves and grass clippings are bagged and thrown away. The amount of waste is mind-boggling.
|A sign at a Managua park says "Recycle, Reduce, Reuse, Reevaluate, Restructure, Redistribute|