In a sociology class the other day, we were asked why Oregonians like to recycle. Most people said because it’s good for the planet, or some form of pleasing remark. I however, said I recycle because the cost for me not recycling is numerous informal sanctions from people that watch me throw my can away in the garbage. Or the glare I get from someone when I put a piece of paper in the trash when a recycling bin is in the room. I would say I’m just lazy, but I think the reality is I just never really put thought into what sort of damage people do to our earth with waste. Because of all this, I’ve recently switched to a metal water bottle because I was wasting money buying plastic water bottles all the time, and it was starting to burn a hole in my wallet. Additionally, I did some research into where plastic bottles go when people casually throw them away or litter and was disgusted with what I found. It is known as the North Pacific Gyre, and its a massive floating island of plastic waste. We had been attempting to solve the problem as to how to dispose of this, until so many sea creatures inhabited it. Now it serves as refuge to some amount of organisms that deems it “protected”. Despite the minor benefit of being a home to few, this is the devastating that we would allow something like this to go on. While I may still forget to recycle from time to time, I believe the over all benefit in pollution reduction and harm to the planet is far greater than the cost of finding the right receptacle for disposing waste.