The County Council wants to know what kind of recycler I am.
It hasn't actually singled me out for special attention, you understand, rather it is posing the question
to all readers of its regular newspaper who manage to make it to page 7. All I need to do is to answer ten multi-choice questions in order to discover whether I am (i) an Eco-warrior; (ii) an Eco-master or (iii) an Eco-Apprentice. Even if I score nul points,
like the unluckiest contestants in the Eurovision Song Contest, I can still count myself an Eco-Apprentice.
I struggle for a while with questions such as what is the estimated worldwide consumption of plastic
material, and how long will the energy saved by recycling one plastic drink bottle power my computer - till it dawns on me that most of the answers can be found by reading the front page lead article which I must have skipped over somehow on my way to page
7. Armed with this handy tip, I progress from being an Eco-Apprentice to a stalwart Eco-Warrior in just a few minutes. I am not necessarily any better at recycling but who knows where all this knowledge will lead me? For instance, next time you slip on that
new fleece jacket, ponder on the fact that it might have been made from twenty-five two-litre drinks bottles. Not a lot of people know that, unless they read Connections from cover to cover.
I love questionnaires
like this, ones that sum you up based on your answers and present you with a character assessment. Or assassination if you answer incorrectly. My favourite of all are those which appear in children's comics where your answers take you through a kind of flow
diagram, via mostly yes or no answers, to a diagnosis at the bottom of the page. The most recent one I completed was in a comic called Horrible Histories where I could end up as Henry VIII, Charles II or George IV. (I was Henry, in case you want, or need,
to know.) My quiz-master, Young Sam, thought this was extremely funny.
Most days there is a quiz on Facebook asking me if I want to find out what colour my aura is, what Disney character I most resemble, or
what kind of mother I am. I am a sucker for all of them though I don't share any results which I don't agree with. Sometimes, indeed, I have to go through the same survey three or four times, giving different answers each time, before I am satisfied that the
verdict on my personality is fair and just. Doubtless this is partly the reason why the opinion polls failed so spectacularly to forecast the result of the General Election.
When I do share my result on Facebook,
at least two people will immediately inform me that they have been given the same result as I have - these two being the Youngest of the Darling Daughters and my fourth oldest grandchild, the Lovely Eleanor. I do not know, having never asked them, how many
times they had to answer the survey before coming up with a favourable result.
Looking back through the recycling questionnaire I can see that it is intended to lodge in my mind new guidelines on what can
be stashed in our blue-topped recycling bin. It must be working, too, because I have just, without thinking, washed up two yoghurt pots, the carton our butter came in and the plastic tray in which our salmon steaks rested so cosily up to the moment I tipped
them into the frying pan. Maybe I am a real Eco-Warrior after all?
PS In case you need to know (and I do like the Daily Blog to be educational once in a while)
the estimated worldwide consumption of plastic materials is 100 million tonnes. Which is quite a lot. Plus the energy saved by recycling one plastic drink bottle could power my computer for 25 minutes. There doesn't actually seem to be any correlation between
the number of plastic drink bottles I am recycling and my actual electricity bill but then there's the thing about being an Eco-Warrior as opposed to being Henry VIII.
It's not about the
number of wives you can recycle. It's all about the Greater Good.