The tearing of the green...

The presents have all been unwrapped and put away, the tree is getting ready to go back up in the attic and all we are left with is empty boxes, torn wrapping paper and lots of cardboard.

Sound familiar? This is the time of year that I really feel for those guys on the trash truck. During the holidays we have more trash in a week than some small nations, it seems.

I sometimes wonder why we need to package an itty bitty MP3 player in a package big enough to hold a bowling ball. Plus, it’s wrapped in some kind of invincible plastic that was created by a mad scientist.

It seems that Americans are obsessed with packaging. At first, it seemed harmless. In fact, it might have even been for safety: childproof caps, then sealed in plastic and placed in a cardboard box six times its size.

Then marketing came into play. Put it in a pretty package and we will buy it. Add some shrink wrap and you’ve got the perfect gift. Why do we need to waste so much?

Nothing makes me crazier than CD packaging. In fact, I have almost cut an artery trying to open a CD. It is virtually impossible to get into without breaking at least one nail — just when I finally get them all the same length. Now I have to file them all down and start all over again.

Who figures out how to wrap these things anyway? I think it must have been the Chinese. If they can’t poison us with the food or kill us with lead paint, maybe they will just drive us insane attempting to open a CD case.

For just $14.99 you can order the amazing Package Shark. Yes, some brilliant soul has invented a tool specifically to open plastic packages. I never order things off of TV late at night, but I really think that I need one of these, and if I order it soon I’ll get not one but two of the amazing Package Sharks, which will bite through anything I want to open.

When is all of this going to stop? Styrofoam cups, disposable diapers, aluminum cans, plastic milk jugs.... and the trash just keeps growing. How do we end the madness?

Recycle, reuse and conserve. Just maybe we can change.

I’m a firm believer in recycling. We have tried several times in the Lyons household. But it is not easy; it takes time.

We used to go to the local recycle centers, but sometimes I would forget to stop and end up riding around with 600 aluminum cans in my back seat for a month. Forget that.

We were one of the first in Sussex to sign up for curbside recycling, and we got our little blue bin with colored plastic bags for newspapers, cans and magazines. But still it was time consuming to separate it all out and bags were all over the laundry room.

But the Delaware Solid Waste Authority has made it easier that ever. Just a few weeks ago, they delivered our rolling can. No more separating, no more bags to trip over while I am carrying a basket full of laundry — and it stays outside! Yes, we have a winner.

There are no excuses now. We are recycling! And so should you.

In the past few months, the Coastal Point has published numerous articles about Bethany Beach, South Bethany and Fenwick Island adding townwide curbside recycling pick-up. If you haven’t signed up, do it now. Even if you are not in a town, you can still be a part of it. Go online to today or give them a call at 1-800-404-7080 to sign-up.

It is no secret that the Millville’s recycling center on Route 26 is one of the busiest in the state, so we are in an area where people care about recycling.

And so do we… Today marks our first special feature pages dedicated to making the area we all call home a better place to live.

“Going Green” is the brain child of Coastal Point office manager, writer, mother and entrepreneur Monica Fleming. A regular section in the first issue of every month, it will feature local and regional stories on conserving energy, organic foods and products, eco-lifestyles and anything else to do with going green.

If you have “green” products or services that our readers need to know about, please contact our advertising department. If you have a story to share about your “going green” experiences or other ideas, please contact Monica at (302) 539-1788 or e-mail her at

Please join us in making our community truly green.