The GLGG is back from a brief hiatus, so thank you for still existing.
If you use aluminum foil at home, you may be surprised to learn that this shit’s easily recyclable. You can’t necessarily throw a crusty sheet into the recycling bin, but here’s what you can do:
Clean it well. The foil should not be soiled in burnt bits or oil, so rinse it and do a little scrubbing, need be.
Ball it up. The aluminum is easier on the recycling facility (and more likely to get recycled) if it comes in a dense ball. Some say you should aim for the size of a tennis ball — so maybe you’ll need to wait until you accumulate three sheets (to the wind) before you dispose of the aluminum in the bin.
Recycle: Once you’ve got a sizable ball of clean-ish aluminum foil, shoot it into the recycling bin like you are Shaq (when you miss, just pick it up off the floor and place it gingerly inside the bin).
While we’re well aware that our recycling system is hugely flawed and misleading, aluminum in particular gets props here. This is because, unlike plastic and other dopey materials:
Aluminum is infinitely recyclable
Aluminum is the *most* valuable item in the recycling bin
I don’t really believe this fact, but who am I? According to the Aluminum Association, 75% of all the aluminum ever produced to date is still in use today (only 9% of all plastic ever made has been recycled lol)
Recycling aluminum saves about 90 percent of the energy it takes to make new aluminum
None of this is to say aluminum is the solution to the pollution crisis. I just wanted you to know you could recycle your aluminum foil at home, really. There are many more sustainable alternatives to aluminum foil, and maybe I’ll tell you about them one day.
Also, I took a single chemistry class last year, so let me tell you something else. The periodic symbol for aluminum is Al.
And here’s one for you history buffs! Aluminum foil and tin cans were basically currency during WWII; Americans were encouraged (sometimes mandated) to collect these metal materials for scrap drives, since they could be turned into things like airplane instrument panels, ammunition boxes, and beer cans.
Local efforts to collect more scrap metal were clever and fun! Some theaters held “scrap matinees,” in which they would accept scrap materials as payment for a special movie viewing. This is so cute to me.
I could say more about the wonders of aluminum but I’ll let you go.
But, wait, before you do:
Remember a couple of weeks ago when I wrote about how ExxonMobil has been behaving like a true a-hole?
I barely do either. But I wanted to note that this fossil fuel-fueled giant may finally face some repercussions. Soon after reports of the Exxon’s planet abuse dropped, the company got nicely berated on a shareholder call. In a vote, shareholders also demanded disclosure on Exxon's lobbying activities and spending.
Additionally, at least two Exxon board members were kicked to the curb, replaced by some folks who seemingly care about the environment and might be able to keep the company a tiny bit more accountable.
Do we think all of this happened because of this very newsletter? We don’t not.