Recycling (in the U.S.)

Before the triple disaster of 2011 in Japan, I was concerned about the environment. However, after the meltdowns happened–and seeing how this affected not only my family, but all of northern Japan (especially those nearest to the power plant)–I became more actively concerned.

The reason for the existence of nuclear power plants is to supply electricity. (There are other ways of supplying electricity and each has its own issues.) Thus, it is people’s consumption of electricity that is wreaking havoc on the environment.

Other consumptions, like of plastics, are also wreaking havoc.

Being a nation of islands, Japan has always (even before 2011) been stringent about recycling. People here know that recycling is expected and thus routinely do it.

I think the U.S. is catching up with Japan’s mentality regarding recycling. Slowly, but surely. (The U.S. has a lot more land area than Japan which is probably one of the reasons it is more complacent about recycling. America seems to almost have unlimited space for landfills….seems to, anyway.)

These were the recycling bins in the Minneapolis International Airport. I was very pleased with them.

In Japan, I often carry around my thermos (filled with water, only.)

When I travel from Japan to the U.S, I make sure the thermos is empty when I go through security. (Liquids are not allowed to pass through security, except in very small amounts.) Then when I get into the terminal, I simply fill up my thermos at a water fountain. I see so many people purchasing the (EXPENSIVE!) bottles of water that I sort of feel like I am one of the very few people who carries around a thermos.

However, the Minneapolis International Airport supports travellers with thermoses!

Look at the photo above. There is a place to fill up one’s thermos!!  Way to go, Minnesota!

I helped eliminate waste from disposable plastic bottles. Yay me!


The bottom photo is the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport in Texas:

Texas hasn’t yet built in a water filler for thermoses. That’s okay, though. I just filled up my thermos using water fountain.

I’ve never seen a thermos water filler in Japan, either. However, Japanese people frequently use thermoses. (They also loved to use plastic bottles–of water, tea, juice, soda.) But thermoses are super common.

I do love my thermos. For me, the most important factor is that it doesn’t leak when I shut it. Also, that it’s the right size. (You may just want a very small one to slip in your purse.)

The reason I only use water (or very light tea) is that I find it can be difficult to get strong smells out of a thermos. So I simply don’t do coffee in my thermos.

Thermoses are cool!


And so are canteens!

(Photos of thermos and canteen come from Coleman’s site:  This is NOT a paid promotion.)


About kireikireikireiI am a mom.

2 thoughts on “Recycling (in the U.S.)

  1. Very informative post and important post! I totally agree with you that we need more recycling in the US. I just read that plastic waste was found in the deepest parts of the ocean. In addition to being found in whales who ingested it. So, it’s also a serious international problem. 😊


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