Recycling Quotes

Quotes tagged as "recycling" (showing 1-27 of 27)
Slavoj Žižek
“[T]his readiness to assume the guilt for the threats to our environment is deceptively reassuring: We like to be guilty since, if we are guilty, it all depends on us. We pull the strings of the catastrophe, so we can also save ourselves simply by changing our lives. What is really hard for us (at least in the West) to accept is that we are reduced to the role of a passive observer who sits and watches what our fate will be. To avoid this impotence, we engage in frantic, obsessive activities. We recycle old paper, we buy organic food, we install long-lasting light bulbs—whatever—just so we can be sure that we are doing something. We make our individual contribution like the soccer fan who supports his team in front of a TV screen at home, shouting and jumping from his seat, in the belief that this will somehow influence the game's outcome.”
Slavoj Žižek

Erma Bombeck
“Thanks to my mother, not a single cardboard box has found its way back into society. We receive gifts in boxes from stores that went out of business twenty years ago.”
Erma Bombeck

Victor Hugo
“All the human and animal manure which the world wastes, if returned to the land, instead of being thrown into the sea, would suffice to nourish the world.”
Victor Hugo, Les Misérables

Adam Minter
“Recycling is better--I won't write "good"--for the environment. But without economics--without supply and demand of raw materials--recycling is nothing more than a meaningless exercise in glorifying garbage. No doubt it's better than throwing something into an incinerator, and worse than fixing something that can be refurbished. It's what you do if you can't bear to see something landfilled. Placing a box or a can or a bottle in a recycling bin doesn't mean you've recycled anything, and it doesn't make you a better, greener person: it just means you've outsourced your problem. Sometimes that outsourcing is near home; and sometimes it's overseas. But wherever it goes, the global market and demand for raw materials is the ultimate arbiter.

Fortunately, if that realization leaves you feeling bad, there's always the alternative: stop buying so much crap in the first place. (269)”
Adam Minter, Junkyard Planet: Travels in the Billion-Dollar Trash Trade

Susan Freinkel
“Plastic should be a high value material... [It] should be in products that last a long time, and at the end of the life, you recycle it. To take oil or natural gas that took millions of years to produce and then to make a disposable product that last minutes or seconds, and then to just discard it--I think that's not a good way of using this resource. (Robert Haley)”
Susan Freinkel, Plastic: A Toxic Love Story

A.J. Lauer
“It doesn’t take long to realize you’ve made the wrong decision. You bump along with your eco-fueled ego in your eco-fueled vehicle and reuse every piece of plastic and glass you encounter, but it isn’t enough.”
A.J. Lauer, Armageddon: Pick Your Plot

Derrick Jensen
“Even if through simple living and rigorous recycling you stopped your own average Americans annual one ton of garbage production, your per capita share of the industrial waste produced in the US is still almost twenty-six tons. That's thirty-seven times as much waste as you were able to save by eliminating a full 100 percent of your personal waste. Industrialism itself is what has to stop.”
Derrick Jensen, Deep Green Resistance

Edward Humes
“Americans make more trash than anyone else on the planet, throwing away about 7.1 pounds per person per day, 365 days a year. Across a lifetime that rate means, on average, we are each on track to generate 102 tons of trash. Each of our bodies may occupy only one cemetery plot when we’re done with this world, but a single person’s 102-ton trash legacy will require the equivalent of 1,100 graves. Much of that refuse will outlast any grave marker, pharaoh’s pyramid or modern skyscraper: One of the few relics of our civilization guaranteed to be recognizable twenty thousand years from now is the potato chip bag.”
Edward Humes, Garbology: Our Dirty Love Affair with Trash

Katherine Boo
“Rich people’s garbage was every year more complex, rife with hybrid materials, impurities, impostors. Planks that looked like wood were shot through with plastic. How was he to classify a loofah? The owners of the recycling plants demanded waste that was all one thing, pure.”
Katherine Boo, Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death, and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity

“The paradox of life lies exactly in this: its resources are finite, but it itself is endless. Such a contradictory state of affairs is feasible only because the resources accessible to life can be used over and over again.”
I.I. Gitelson, Manmade Closed Ecological Systems

Mokokoma Mokhonoana
“Motivational speaking is the art of telling people what they have been told before … without them noticing.”
Mokokoma Mokhonoana

Peter F. Hamilton
“Societies only have waste products while acquiring fresh raw material remains a cheaper option than recycling.”
Peter F. Hamilton, The Naked God

John Cage
“Dad's oil dehydrator was a contained electrostatic field, one electrode down the center, the other the container's inner wall. Principal problem was finding a dielectric to separate the two. Refuse oil poured in came out as oil of the highest grade, dry chemicals, and drinking water. Petroleum Rectifying Company successfully prohibited its use.”
John Cage, M: Writings '67-'72

Clara Cannucciari
“We really never, never threw anything away. You think you know about recycling? We invented it. We had to. We were desperate. Sometimes maybe the only thing we had to work with was a couple of leftover baked potatoes from the weekend, and that was all there was to eat. Didn't matter to us that much. Ma just baked them again. Twice-Baked Potatoes really were kind of a treat for us, and we'd never complain when she served them.”
Clara Cannucciari, Clara's Kitchen: Wisdom, Memories, and Recipes from the Great Depression

Patrick White
“It was Sunday, and Mumma had gone next door with Lena and the little ones. Under the pepper tree in the yard Pa was sorting, counting, the empty bottles he would sell back: the bottles going clink clink as Pa stuck them in the sack. The fowls were fluffing in the dust and sun: that crook-neck white pullet Mumma said she would hit on the head if only she had the courage to; but she hadn't.”
Patrick White, The Vivisector

Wendy Cope
“A Green Song
(to sing at the bottle-bank)

One green bottle,
Drop it in the bank.
Ten green bottles,
What a lot we drank.
Heaps of bottles
And yesterday's a blank.
But we'll save the planet,
Tinkle, tinkle, clank!

We've got bottles -
Nice, percussive trash.
Bags of bottles
Cleaned us out of cash.
Empty bottles,
We love to hear them smash
And we'll save the planet,
Tinkle, tinkle, crash!”
Wendy Cope

Adam Minter
“In fact, Wen'an was the prefect location for the scrap-plastics trace: it was close, but not too close, to Beijing and Tianjin, two massive metropolises with lots of consumers and lots of factories in need of cheap raw materials. Even better, its traditional industry - farming - was disappearing as the region's once-plentiful streams and wells were run dry by the region's rampant, unregulated oil industry. So land was plentiful, and so were laborers desperate for a wage to replace the money lost when their fields died. As I hear these stories, I can't help but wonder: How much of the plastic that Wen'an recycles was made from the oil pumped from Wen'an's soil? Are all those old plastic bags blowing down Wen'an's streets ghosts of the fuel that used to run beneath them?”
Adam Minter, Junkyard Planet: Travels in the Billion-Dollar Trash Trade

Jen Hatmaker
“It started as a selfish act and has turned into a way of life. I can't stand to watch someone throw anything away that belongs in my green bin.”
Jen Hatmaker

“Since 1963, LEGO bricks have been manufactured from acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene copolymer - ABS copolymer for short - a plastic with a matte finish. It is very hard and robust - import criteria for a children's toy. Laboratories in Switzerland and Denmark regularly test the quality of the ABS. The plastic is distributed to factories as granules rather than in liquid form. These grains of plastic are heated up to 232ºC and converted into a molten mass. Injection moulding machines weighing up to 150 tonnes squeeze the viscous plastic mass into the desired injection moulds - of which there are 2,400 varieties. After seven seconds, the brick produced in this way has cooled down enough to be removed from the mould. The injection moulding method is so precise that out of every million elements produced, only about 18 units have to be rejected. Unsold bricks are converted back into granulates and recycled.”
Christian Humberg, 50 Years of the Lego Brick [With 6 Legos]

“You mustn’t throw them away. Let me have them.”
Diane Samuels, Kindertransport: A Drama

James Ponti
“If this had been a public-school locker room, there would have been some gray jumbo-sized garbage cans nearby, and I probably could've taken care of cleanup by myself. But apparently the girls of St. Andrew's don't throw anything away, because all they had was a tiny wastebasket and some recycling bins. There were bins for paper, plastic, and glass, but none for rotting corpses. Go figure.”
James Ponti, Dead City

Susan Freinkel
“I'm not out there suggesting that we should ban every plastic product. But there are some whose environmental costs exceed their utility, and the [plastic] bag is one of them.”
Susan Freinkel, Plastic: A Toxic Love Story

Ashley Asti
“How is the ocean not enraged,
swelling—
how is it not furious with grief:
we have drowned it in plastic,
its waves are no longer its own.
How does it survive this,
blistered by our carelessness?
We are drops of the ocean:
why can’t we see this?

—when plastic outnumbers fish”
Ashley Asti, The Moon and Her Sisters

Dayna S. Rubin
“Take it all, all of it!" Greg cried out. "These things here...I've been making them better, fixing them. It doesn't matter...they don't matter. I've been here before." He paused to try to collect himself. "It's my past, my present...these things--" He lifted a hand out to the objects around him. "These things are me." Now whispering, "Can't you see me?”
Dayna Rubin, Running Parallel

“This little piggy saved some water,
This little piggy biked for sun,
This little piggy used windmills,
This little piggy used sun,
And this little piggy squealed
'Re-re-recycle!'
All the way home.”
Jan Peck and David Davis illustrated by Carin Berger

“Do not throw me out. Please.”
Diane Samuels, Kindertransport: A Drama

Theodore Dalrymple
“One of the reasons that the area would never be renovated, however, was the council’s insistence that each house had three large plastic trash-bins on wheels, each a bright color: green for the bottles left over from last night’s drunken orgy, red for stolen goods now surplus to requirements, purple for dead bodies and used syringes, all in fact that a modern British urban household needs to disembarrass itself of.”
Theodore Dalrymple, Farewell Fear