This weekend I went to the movies to see The Lorax, a movie based on the Dr. Seuss book. I have read many Dr. Seuss books, both as a child and as a parent, but couldn’t recall reading this one. As such, I didn’t have any idea what the movie was going to be about, other than a character with a funny mustache named “Lorax.”
What a pleasant surprise when I learned the move had an important environmental message to it. I hope that all of the young children who surrounded me at the theater that night remember the message and go the extra mile help protect our great planet. While there are some inspirational efforts by both groups and individuals working towards a less greedy and more earth-conscious life, what I see personally is a lack of enthusiasm or follow-through on many people’s parts.
I’ve been back in NJ for about 10 years now. When I first moved back to the state I grew up in, I didn’t see a lot of recycle bins at public places including schools and even the “Farmer’s Fair.” Both adults and students would wind up throwing their plastic soda and water bottles in the one garbage that was available, the one that gets taken away and added to some landfill near or far.
Fast forward about 5 years, and I was happy to see more blue bins marked recyclables at schools, fairs, and other public places. While it was a step in the right direction, what I haven’t seen is any real commitment on many people’s parts to take advantage of these recyclable bins and/or to use more reusable water bottles rather than the disposable kind.
We are creatures of habit. Students eat their lunch and throw away their garbage. They’ve done it that way for years, so many forget that they can/should separate the water and juice bottles. My son tells me that not many kids at high school pay attention to the recycling bins. They just throw all their garbage into that one big bin, which “magically” disappears overnight … how sad.
I believe there are still states in the US that do not legally require recycling. Sure it takes a little effort, but really, separating plastic and glass isn’t a big deal, and yet it keeps the garbage from piling up.
With Earth Day coming up and movies like The Lorax sharing positive reasons why making the effort to reduce and recycle are imperative, I truly hope more kids and adults alike will care about the amount of garbage we produce and change our habits. As Dr. Seuss so intuitively said, “”Unless someone like you…cares a whole awful lot…nothing is going to get better…It’s not.”