Fed up with being able to recycle only a fraction of the waste he produced on a daily basis, Ned Haskell of Nashville, Tennessee, decided to go 100 percent sustainable, and began putting all of his trash in the blue recycling bin outside his apartment.
"I've been thinking of going off the grid for a long time," said Haskell. "I'm glad I finally made the leap."
What prompted him to go completely green? According to Haskell, it was his growing awareness regarding global warming that made him increasingly uncomfortable with his large carbon footprint. "I couldn't continue on the way I was before. Sometimes I wouldn't even recycle beer cans, just because I was too lazy and wasted to look beyond the regular garbage can. I felt so ashamed."
Eventually, he said, that shame reached a breaking point. "I knew I had to go all in, or just never look myself in the mirror again. I decided to go all in."
And go all in he did, as did all of his trash - straight into the recycling bin. "It takes some discipline," said Haskell. "But it's worth it."
Even so, Haskell acknowledged that living 100 percent sustainably isn't without its social challenges. "Neighbors will sometimes confront me, saying that my styrofoam takeout containers, batteries, and electric cords aren't recyclable, but I ask them, have you tried? Sanitation companies aren't going to recycle things just for the heck of it. We have to demand it. And that's what I do every day."
Haskell noted that he's learned to take such criticism with a grain of salt. "There are always going to be haters. Not everyone may be willing to go hardcore sustainable, which I understand. The bottom line is, I feel good about what I'm doing for the environment."