#TBT | Being Green in Louisiana

I've talked a little before on how I learned about recycling at a young age, with a lot of influence from my parents. Before there was Project Front Yard, before Keep Lafayette Beautiful, before bike lanes, before single-stream recycling, this is what "being green" in Lafayette looked like.

The city has had curbside recycling for over 25 years, but back then we had the three separate bins for glass, paper, and plastic. I remember helping bring the bins to the curb for pickup, and hating that I had to make separate trips every time, especially when the glass bin was clanking like crazy. The bins were phased out to make way for the single-stream recycling bins, which I believe came about in the early 2000s. (And while single-stream is more convenient, it also introduces more problems.)

Even back in the early 1990s, the mountain of cloth bags was a thing. Or, in my house, at least. The old grocery store Delchamps paved the way by providing sturdy cloth bags for shoppers who wanted to avoid paper and plastic. And these are actual cloth, not that cheap reusable material so many bags are made with today. Although stained, they've stood the test of time, and as a grown-up I use the  bags on my own shopping trips.

Can you just imagine how many plastic bags have been saved in this one cloth bag's 25 year history?

And then there's the popular Don't Trash Louisiana! yellow bumper sticker that could be seen on cars during the 90s...and can still be found on some public service vehicles! Although the graphic design and wording change over the years, the message is still the same.

The conversation may seem louder now, but it's not a new one. There have been advocates championing to reduce, reuse, and recycle for more than 40 years. These little throwbacks are a fun reminder that many before us have worked hard for the planet, and that there's still a lot we can do.

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