Welcome once again to Fandango’s Provocative Question. Each week I will pose what I think is a provocative question for your consideration.
By provocative, I don’t mean a question that will cause annoyance or anger. Nor do I mean a question intended to arouse sexual desire or interest.
What I do mean is a question that is likely to get you to think, to be creative, and to provoke a response. Hopefully a positive response.
This past Saturday I wrote a post about recycling empty toothpaste tubes. While I’m pretty diligent about recycling items that I know are recyclable, I’d never thought about doing so with empty toothpaste tubes. I went to my local recycling company’s website and found out that toothpaste tubes are, in fact recyclable. But the website’s instructions for recycling them said to “use warm water and soap to rinse out the rest of the toothpaste.”
I was actually surprised that most who commented on that post said that they do, in fact, recycle their toothpaste tubes. But several commenters pointed out that washing out items that are to be recycled uses a lot of water.
Willowdot21 wrote, “I do all the recycling bits too, but I do begrudge using water to clean them out. I do but it seems so wastefull when so many do not have enough water.”
And Jim Adams wrote, “Each time I wash out a can, bottle, or plastic container, I feel like I am wasting over half a gallon of water. In California where water is more precious, 37 million people can easily waste 37 million gallons of water daily.”
In response to Willowdot’s comment, I wrote, “We are in a drought [in California], so that’s a consideration. And to Jim’s comment I wrote, “I’m not sure if thoroughly washing those items to be recycled is more environmentally smart than just tossing items like used toothpaste tubes in the regular trash and saving all that water.”
And then Jim commented, “This might make a nice Provocative Question for you to ask.”
So here we are and my question is about choices we make.
Most recycling programs instruct us to thoroughly wash and dry the items (other than paper or cardboard) before putting them in the recycling bin. If you lived in an area that is suffering from a severe drought (as I do), would you choose to waste the water necessary to comply with those instructions, would you ignore them and throw unwashed items in the recycling bin, or would you put recyclable but unwashed items in the trash (landfill) bin?
If you choose to participate, write a post with your response to the question. Once you are done, tag your post with #FPQ and create a pingback to this post if you are on WordPress. Or you can simply include a link to your post in the comments. But remember to check to confirm that your pingback or your link shows up in the comments.