Recycling has been on my mind since last time my cousin (pictured above with her mother, now deceased) visited from Germany. She commented on what seemed to her an appalling American wastefulness, an obliviousness to the need to conserve resources, as if unaware—or unwilling to acknowledge—that resources are finite. Even human-made resources like plastics won’t be with us forever, since plastics are made from petroleum, and there’s only so much recoverable petroleum left in the earth....


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