Does Recycling Spark Happiness?

by | Nov 29, 2019 | Conscious Living

The Marie Kondo Effect: The Joy of Recycling

anva-recycled,@ Canva

I have to admit I don’t watch much television and I watch Netflix even less. It wasn’t until I saw people on Facebook talking about doing mass clean outs of their homes and offices that I discovered Marie Kondo. At this point, you probably have to be living off the grid to have not heard of her.

Marie Kondo is a Japanese expert in the art of organizing and tidying homes and lives. She has written four books on the subject and has been launched to international stardom with a Netflix program.

Shortly after Netflix added her program, I was reading stories about how charities were suddenly overrun with excess donations.

You see, Marie has this one imperative question that she says you should ask yourself when you are organizing a space. Does the item you are looking at spark joy? This is a compelling question for those on a decluttering mission. It could be simple for people who initially received joy receiving or buying items, but now they take up space and have no further value. Other people have deep attachments to things and will readily admit that every item sparks joy.

I wanted to take this theme of sparking joy and apply it to another topic, recycling. If you were to ask me if recycling sparks joy, I would respond with a resounding yes! Recycling is so much more than simply placing waste into a bin. It’s a lot of things actually.

Joy for Our Planet

When I go through my own living spaces and need to tidy up, I think about the way I could use an item in a different way. What we purchase in grocery stores provides valuable ways to reuse things. Glass jars are a favorite of mine. You can place bulk food items in them, make them into a reusable straw holder or even a makeshift flower vase. If you are an arts and crafts person, so much of what we toss can actually be recycled into something new. Creativity is abundant here.

When it comes to donating items, this is also recycling. We are keeping stuff out of landfills and giving them yet another use for others. Personally, this really sparks joy for me. I look at all of my spaces and I see abundance. If I am no longer using an item, I think of how another person can enjoy it and get use from it.

Closets, offices, play spaces, dens, man caves, women sheds, they are areas where most of us have a lot of abundance and could likely use a good tidying up. Instead of tossing items out to the garbage though, make sure to donate good reusable things. It is a superior form of recycling and perhaps sparking joy for the next individual.

Transformation is where the excitement can be found when recycling

And last, but not least, we can visit the waste items that go to a recycle bin. Does this spark joy or can it? Yes! Recycling in its most simplistic form is taking an item like plastic bottles and making it into something new like a park bench. How cool! Items like aluminum cans are infinitely recyclable. Did you know that when you recycle cans, they can be holding new product on a store shelf in 60 days or less?

There is a company called Terra Cycle that takes hard to recycle products like candy wrappers and toothpaste tubes and makes them into new products. Why is this joyful? When we make waste into something new, we don’t need to take or use virgin resources to make a product. We prolong our resources. We save landfill space. It creates economic value in the places we live. As our human population increases, we need to be more innovative with the resources we currently have. Let’s allow Mother Earth that same joy.

I encourage you to look around and see how recycling can be joyful to you. Visiting this idea in another way may spark creativity and passion within your own home and life.

Join me in sparking joy for our planet.





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