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“Its High Time You Start Thinking About the Environment” Says Girl Who’s Still Pretty Shaky on What Can Go in Recycling


Photo from Pixabay / CC0

Real life heroes are never like how they appear in storybooks. In life, heroes don’t ride in on white horses to save the day. They aren’t perfect citizens who always make the right choice. Heroes are messy and they are complicated, but they are heroes nonetheless. College sophomore Lindsay Rosen is no exception. While she's a strong advocate for the environment in every personal conversation she ever engages in, Lindsay has a very weak grasp on how her exorbitant amounts of trash can be recycled.

Being the strong woman she is, Lindsay never shies away from the tough conversations about sustainability needed to change the culture of passivity surrounding environmental justice. Lindsay is quick to call out even her closest friends on issues like not buying clothes from environmentally friendly producers, not turning off the lights, and not using sustainable forms of public transportation. What Lindsay is less quick to do is figure out if any of the hundreds of pounds of trash she produces each year can be recycled.

Although her passion for the environment is as central to who she is as her love of high-end thrift shops, Lindsay’s deep shakiness on the rules of recycling lead her to throw out an estimated 99.9% of her trash. “I read a study once that said if disposal companies find one piece of non-recyclable material in a full recycling bin, they throw the whole bin in a landfill,” Lindsay said. “I always say better safe than sorry! I’m doing more good by the environment this way than by trying to recycle wrong,” Lindsay argued, failing to acknowledge that a quick, 30-second Google search would lead her to a thorough and easily digestible list of dos and don’ts of recycling.

Lindsay isn’t the hero we deserve, but she's the hero we've got.