The plastic in a pen might be 10 grams. According to Wiki Answers recycling saves double the amount in weight of oil. That’s 20 grams of oil, about 1/6550 of a barrel of oil. At $90ish dollars a barrel in 2012, that’s about 1.4 cents worth of oil.
You can’t just throw the pen away — at least in some recycle programs — you’ve got to remove the non-plastic — sort it by type, etc. So can take a lot of your effort to do this. If it’s a hot or cold day, you could easily lose 1.4 cents of heat/cold from your home, just by going outside to a recycle bin!
We all have limited time and a limited amount of energy, so it’s important “not to sweat the small stuff”. This is a really important concept in ecology, because if you win the battle, but lose the whole war, so to speak, then overall, you lost.
Probably what you want to do is use your time to consider how you can really make a difference. Start by looking at an article on “How to Reduce your Ecological Footprint”. If you can work on ANY of those things, and make some improvements, it would probably be MUCH better than recycling a few ounces of metal and rubber in a windshield wiper.
A couple things make recycling windshield wipers unlikely — and you might consider the same things for other products.
When you start seeing those kinds of things, then suspect you’re looking at something where there’s almost no ecological return for your effort. Try finding new things you like to eat that don’t have so much meat. That’s going to make a BIG difference! (And you’ll find some great stuff!)
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