This is so sad, though there is more than a kernel of truth to it. Individual efforts mostly make people feel better about themselves (hey, I recycle, makes me feel good!). It is the Onion and it does go too far. Of course individual efforts add up, and more importantly, force the important players like government and big industry to modify their behavior just a little bit (at least that is what I tell myself).
Every day, without fail, I meticulously organize my recyclables into five distinct categories, thereby subtracting an eyedropper’s worth of garbage from the countless tons of waste that ferment in our landfills. It only takes a few extra minutes, but just think of the impact it totally lacks. I also refuse to use anything but “Earth-friendly” paper products—some of which contain up to 10 percent recycled materials. For me, it’s worth shouldering the extra cost, but, unfortunately, only a scant few of us bother to do the same. And growing some of my own organic vegetables in my backyard garden also, to my immense gratification, reduces the use of toxic chemical-based pesticides and herbicides present in corporate farming techniques by as much as 0.0000000000000000000000000000000000000001 percent.