By Ulli Klein, Second Nature’s Director of Operations & Communication
(This post is part of a weekly series by the Second Nature team about why we do what we do.)
“Where does this one go?”
That was probably one of the most common question I heard my father ask. It was the mid 80s. Germany had just started a nation-wide recycling program and, like with many things German, the program was strictly enforced including “Trash cops” checking residents compliance by going through their trash.
Here was my 63 year old father, standing in the kitchen with the aluminum lid of a yogurt container in one hand and the container itself in the other hand staring at the three different colored trash cans.
“Where do I put this,” he would ask again and if no one was there to answer, he would quietly place container and lid on the counter and scurry out of the kitchen in hopes my mother would take care of it.
I was convinced there was no way to retrain his old mind.
There are still days where I feel that the United States, my adopted home country, is a lot like my father was 20+ years ago: Willing and able but confused about living a sustainable life – and I say that with a lot of affection for both, the United States and my father.