Life is different in South Carolina. It’s more relaxed, you actually say “hey” and chat with people at the local grocery store, and the sweet tea is unbelievable. However, even though life seems dandy in the South, one thing is not. Being green. The South constantly sees in influx of new residents relocating from the North. Thus the complaints roll in about how things are different and the typical phrase is spoken, “Well, in New York, they do it this way…blah blah blah. South Carolina doesn’t [recycle].” My first reaction is: Then go back to New York! Yes, life is going to be different over the border. I don’t expect New Yorkers to serve me sweet tea, offer hospitality or even speak to me in the grocery store. So, why should you expect South Carolina to be like New York?

Recycling is not meant to be easy. It’s forced upon other communities, especially in the North, because of the population density. Just because you are squished in the bubble of your neighborhood, doesn’t mean you are the only one living in this county. Our county is still very rural. Unless you have lived here for awhile, you probably have never heard of Green Sea, Duford or Ketchuptown.

I compare recycling to flossing – you should do it, but you don’t have to. You are reminded (or nagged) that you should floss because there may be some negative and costly results in the future, if you don’t do it. The same goes with recycling. If you don’t recycle now, the future may be bleak.

How to Recycle:

  • Get a bin or a box – you can buy those online or at most stores. If you want an “official” recycling bin, go to Lowe’s, they cost about $10 each and they are stackable. Check out my Favorite Green Things.
  • Find your recycling center – visit Earth 911 for locations.
  • Start collecting at home, at work and/or at school.

My personal example of making recycling convenient: My daughter’s daycare is at a small church. They did not start recycling until I placed a container in the kitchen. Of course since I started it, I get the pleasure of hauling it to the Recycling Center. It’s definitely not a big deal because I pass by one every day on my way home. But the best joy of this is that this small church generates one huge bag full of recyclables every week and several boxes. I’m so proud of them!

The way I see it, people should recycle, especially if come from up North because they know how.

the author

Originally from Virginia, Jennifer C. Sellers is passionate about sustainability and conservation in South Carolina and throughout the world. She earned her BA in English from Coastal Carolina University and her MAS in Environmental Policy and Management from the University of Denver. She is a university sustainability coordinator that implements programs and teaches people about going green and being sustainable. Follow her on Twitter @MyGreenGlasses

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  1. Pingback: My Green Glasses » 3 Simple Steps to Be Average Green 27 Jul, 2011

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