'Green' preacher patrolling her parents
BY Ask Amy
Wednesday, October 24, 2012
10/24/12 at 1:48 AM
Dear Amy: Whether I watched Disney's "Pocahontas" too much or because I am a firm believer in "green living" or because I have polytheistic faith, I am a consummate recycler and respecter of the planet. My parents, on the other hand, are not.
Their recycling efforts are minimal: newspapers, magazines, glass bottles. Any other paper gets trashed. Plastics are sometimes recycled but usually not. My parents hate clutter, and to them the recycling and trash in our four-car garage take up too much space, so they simply throw away their paper. I've seen my dad do it, and when I call him on it, he says, "No, no, honey, that is the recycling," or, "Don't worry, they will sort it out."
I have proposed having a dual system of placing a trash can next to a recycling can, or keeping the recycling in my part of the basement so that it doesn't clutter the garage, but that is "too complicated." I have offered to drive our recyclables to the recycling center, but, again, that is "too complicated" (also, I would have to deal with the carbon footprint of the drive).
Listing statistics and reminding them to recycle doesn't help; if anything, I come across as being preachy. How can I encourage my parents to recycle more and respect the planet? To me, their behavior is selfish and willfully ignorant. - Resolute Recycler
Dear Resolute: You do sound preachy. I can only assume that your "selfish and ignorant" parents have gotten what they have coming, a "green" preacher patrolling their four-car garage. You should offer to take over this process completely and deal with all the trash, garbage, storage, etc., yourself.
If you offer, and your parents refuse, you can point your energy toward the bigger picture outside your parents' household, organizing recycling efforts in your community.
You should also contemplate the day when you will be on your own. The beauty of running your own household is that you can do it exactly as you please. That's what your folks are doing.
Dear Amy: "An American in Switzerland" has in-laws who never close the bathroom door when they're using it. To insinuate that this is some sort of Swiss custom is ridiculous. I'm Swiss and I assure you, this is gross, no matter where you're from. - Swiss in America
Dear Swiss: This writer wasn't saying that this was a Swiss custom. But her in-laws' choice to tease her for her "American prudishness" made their open-door policy her problem.
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