The Other Three Rs - 405 Magazine

The Other Three Rs

I am a big believer in recycling.

I am a big believer in recycling. I remember being taught to “reduce, reuse and recycle” back when I was in elementary school, and being the rule-follower I am, I’ve diligently tried to apply those three principles ever since. When curbside recycling was temporarily suspended while we lived in The Village, we bought a sorter and dedicated a place in the garage for it (and allotted quite a bit of floor space to the spillover, too, since it turns out two people can generate a fairly large amount of recycling every few weeks). Our monthly expeditions to the recycling center to turn in our haul became a weird sort of Saturday morning ritual – not as delicious as leisurely brunches with lattes and scones, but fulfilling in a different sort of way.

Now that I live in the Oklahoma City limits, I still corral all my cans, plastics, glass and paper into the bins each week and send them along to be recycled. For some reason, OKC doesn’t take cardboard (hey, could you get on that, OKC?) so my garage continues to play host to a good quantity of “to be recycled” bits and pieces until we get around to taking it in for processing. I’ve found lots of uses in my garden for plain brown cardboard, which frees up some space in the garage but encourages a very bad cardboard hoarding habit that my husband isn’t totally thrilled about. However, because he’s been agitating to add solar panels to our roof ever since we moved in two years ago, I figure I have some latitude with the cardboard for the foreseeable future. And I’m the one with the ad hoc recycling center set up in my office to gather all the aluminum cans and paper refuse from the Slice staff and schlep it home to be recycled each week. It is a deeply ingrained habit, to be sure.

With sustainability on my mind, I’ve been looking forward to this month’s cover story by Sean Becker, “Oklahoma Rocks Renewables.” He investigates the endeavors in our state into renewable sources of energy and efforts to capitalize on resources like wind, water and sunshine. Several large organizations, such as the City of Edmond and the University of Central Oklahoma, have made dedicated efforts to institute sustainable practices in their daily operations, not just because it is good for the environment but because it makes good business sense. Of course, our area is already quite well known for our energy prowess when it comes to fossil fuels, and it’s fascinating to see the progress being made in these additional avenues for the future. I picture renewables and fossil fuels working together to create long-term energy independence, while at the same time reinforcing the importance of conservation and moderation, because who can know what the future will bring?