Am I recyclable?

(a hometown classic column)

How I wish I could take my aging, tired body and put it in a blue recyclable street box and wait for the giant waste truck to come by and pick me up only later to drop me off reprocessed and revitalized. 

Can they just melt my parts down and fashion another new shiny one out of the mix?

Or would they turn me into a seat cushion?

I refuse to go the route of Hollywood Celebs with thick pocketbooks and thicker self absorption who recycle their faces at the local plastic surgeon. Most stars come out of the plastic machine looking wide eyed, swollen and ….scary.

Yes, plastic is recyclable but do we really want reused syrup bottles in our cheek bones?

Hair is a good recyclable part of our body. Women will grow their hair long and donate the locks to charities where cancer patients can have wigs fashioned from the reused material. That is a worthy cause. However, if I donated my never-had-a- good-hair day mop to someone they would hunt me down and slap me.


Or is bad hair better than no hair? There are days I would consider bald.


You can always wear a hat for a bad hair day.
The phrase “Reduce Reuse Recycle” can encourage us all to be more responsible Earth caretakers in which God intended us. He didn't provide a paradise with maid service. I believe the almighty wanted us to keep our room clean. Thereby, less junk in the landfill is better, and less trash on the side of the roads, the rivers and streams, and the ocean would follow as well.

In that intent, recycling is Biblical, whether you are Old or New Testament, all of the planet’s residences should take responsibility.

Another way we can recycle ourselves is by being an organ donor. What better way to reuse old parts than by reusing lungs, hearts, and a couple of kidneys? A dear friend passed recently and it was great comfort to his widow that seven families were given a wonderful and treasured gift.


After all, a second-hand heart is better than a broken one.

I can live with the idea of donating my organs, but please make sure I am completely dead. 

Why are folks stingy with their parts? They won’t be using them anymore. 

Not all things are negotiable, I draw the line at donating my soul, no matter how much the devil will tempt or bribe me with great guitar skills.

Brilliance is recyclable. I reuse great quotes from literature and movies in my writing and to update my status on Facebook. I don’t have time to produce my own wise sayings.


Words are always reused. In the seventies, “Sit on it” or “Kiss my grits!” became iconic phrases used over and over again, reused and abused! Totally, 'Like' totally overused.



Stories are reused. Cable television recycles old sitcoms. They can’t seem to make good ones anymore as if no one has an inspired new thought. Its sequels, part twos and remakes, oh my!!Solomon said there is nothing new under the sun (or at the movie theater.)

There is a point where recycling should be toned done.

How committed am I to recycling? I participate if it is made convenient or it profits me…then I recycle.

As a young entrepreneur in the seventies I would gather coke bottles and recycle them at the local grocery store. I wasn't interested in the green revolution but rather capitalism.

When baby number two came along, I invested in cloth diapers because the disposable ones were bad for the environment. It didn't take long before I could care less about the landfills but rather how not to see or smell what my son’s diet had reused in his diapers.

When we die we are suppose to turn back into ashes. Not today, we are stuck in non-disposable coffins that take up beautiful land plots and stick non-decaying plastic flowers atop the grave for decoration. How green is that?

Can’t I be fertilizer? I want my nitrate filled ashes to re-energize the dirt. I want my organ-less, bald body to degrade and donate nourishment to the Earth.

I want to be recycled.


People’s lives should have a recyclable mark on them. All lives can be made new. But, not all will take advantage of reprocessing their mistakes or poor choices. When a person gives up on reinventing themselves after making a mistake then they are sent straight to the trash heap. Wasted.

As a Christian, we love to recycle lives. You can be the sorriest piece of humanity that ever lived but in our faith, you can be transformed from trash to a reused commodity. That is probably why other religions are suspicious of our quick and easy reinvention system.

It seems I have answered my question. Am I recyclable? My hair, my brilliance or the lack of can be continually shared over and over again, my organs can bring hope to another person, my soul can be transformed from once was lost to now found. 

YES, I am a reusable material.



If only I could recycle my kids?
Can I put them in a blue box on my street corner for the recyclable truck next Monday morning? 





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