Identity crisis

I’m receiving conflicting signals here. On the one hand, I want to live a clutterfree, Zen existence. If I’m not using a half-empty bottle of face cream, throw it away! No sense filling my cupboards with stained Tupperware and ill-fitting lids.

Then again, I live on a stream and work for an eco-friendly institution. Must recycle, recycle, recycle. (The stream has nothing to do with anything, except we have so much trash from moving that it’s sort of piled next to our garage door because we haven’t yet received our trash bin. Yesterday when I got home from work, there were sheets of newspaper in the trees and a piece of styrofoam — from the new microwave, I think — halfway down the slope to the stream. Styrofoam! Think of the salmon!)

My Scaling Down book tells me to throw away all empty margarine cups. My Conservative Sustainability newsletter tells me to provide my own containers when picking up take-out.

The last newspaper where I worked had a column called “Where do I take my …” It offered advice for disposing of sheet metal, old VHS tapes and the like. Every time I read the word “landfill,” I heard it in my head as “LANDFILL!” A personal attack.