Do we need Carrots on a String to Recycle?

Standing in line at an office supply store, the sales person called me next. She was a boisterous woman of ethnic origin who asked me if I had a “Rewards Card” with this store. I said no. She said “You don’t want money back – to recycle printer ink cartridges?” “You don’t want to get money or save money?” and a onslaught of other questions.  A lady standing right next to me watched this entire episode silently with her hands crossed at her chest.

From my perspective, I don’t need money to recycle. I choose to do it because I feel it in my heart and its a responsibility I take as a human being living on the planet.  I certainly don’t force others to do it or make them feel ashamed for their choice. If a person takes interest, I may share a perspective and offer to educate.

I said “No thanks, As a conscious global citizen, I recycle because I want to help the planet and the ecology – not because  money will coax me to recycle. But thanks for the offer.” I didn’t judge or criticize her for her approach, realizing this was her stance in life, her perceptions, or she was doing her job. It was her reality, not mine. Yet, anyone else outside of me would have felt very embarrassed or ashamed for not having the Rewards Card or not taking money to recycle.

In the end, the sales lady didn’t get it. She shook her head in disbelief and bit annoyed by my standing my ground and stating my truth in a diplomatic way. It was like two worlds speaking different languages about recycling. Though, I caved in and said I’ll take a brochure and consider it.

My mom experiences this similar situation every time she is at Whole Foods. The people at the checkout counter want to force her to take the .5 cents for recycling a bag. They try their best, even push it on her. My mom states every time, “No thanks, I do this because I want to.” And the people look at her as if she has 4 eyes.

I left there with this blog post in mind. Do we need money or incentives to Recycle? Do we need to make another feel ashamed for not recycling or not taking money to recycle?

Surely, for those who would otherwise not do it can be drawn along with a carrot on a string. Do we have to have rewards for things that should come as a natural responsibility? Interesting issue to contemplate. All around, no one should be made to feel ashamed or embarrassed for their choice. Each individual will be conscious according to where they are in life and their path. It is a good reminder to see how you approach Recycling.

  • Is being a global citizen enough to want from your heart to recycle? Or do we need money and other such items to lure us into recycling?
  • Do we need to be forced or humiliated because we don’t take money for recycling?

What are your experiences? Or thoughts on this topic?

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