Monday, July 4, 2011

Signs of hope

I've often been disheartened at the lack of recycling bins in public spaces and parks, and outside grocery stores, home-improvement stores and gas stations. Every time I look in the trash at one of those places, I see bottles and cans and recyclable paper. People who are very good about recycling at home tend to become lax when they're out and about, and the lack of bins next to trash cans only perpetuates that habit. So when I see recycling bins right next to trash bins in public areas, I smile and think "wow, that's awesome!" and then usually I write an attaboy to the establishment to give them positive reinforcement.

These are on Nicollet Mall in Minneapolis. It's not often I see recycling bins out on a street.

This is from the Downtown Improvement District's website:

And this is outside the #2 Hy-Vee (Hilltop Hy-Vee) in Mankato.

There's a recycling bin at both the entrance and exit, as well as bins for recycling plastic bags.

And when I went to their website to look for contact info, I found they have a whole page on sustainability. Here's my attaboy:

Hello! At the Mankato, MN store on Adams Street, I was so pleased to see that you have recycling bins right next to the trash bins at both the entrance and exit, placing the recycling bins so it's convenient and easy for people to recycle. Many grocery stores do not provide recycling bins outside their store, so I was glad to see that you do. Thank you for helping people to recycle more. And then I went to your website and read about all your sustainability initiatives. Keep up the great work!
Sincerely, Nancy Lo

And finally, here's some plastic packaging from Subway that made me happy:

I know it's not a very good picture, but on the container it says in large letters, "Contains at least 25% post-consumer resin." Post-consumer! Not just recycled resin! That's fantastic. And then I went to their website and learned about a bunch of their other energy-saving/waste-reduction initiatives. I'll be writing to them, too. If such a mainstream fast-food chain as Subway can do it, there's hope.

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