Day 21: The Opposite of Green is Red

Yesterday I partook in a blatantly un-green activity. I took Grant’s sister-in-law and niece out for their birthdays for that most feminine of pampering rituals, and I participated.

I had a pedicure.

(and yes, those are my toes, and no, I don’t only have 8 of them – the little ones just didn’t make the photo.)

Never having had a pedicure before, I didn’t realize a) how lovely they can make your toes look and b) how much waste is associated with them.

Trying to abide by The Rules, we had specifically chosen to pay for this “experience” for a gift as opposed to buying clothing or other objects that would eventually end up in the landfill (and break Rule #1 – no buying material goods).

Not including the polish they used (which was most certainly not in a recyclable container) I ended up with a plastic package used to keep the sterilized equipment sterile and another plastic bag containing a set of those little foam toe separator things (you know what I’m talking about ladies). Luckily I caught on when they were doing Taylor’s toes and managed to reuse hers so they didn’t have to open a new package, but I’m still stuck with the waste in the end.

To be fair, I understand that hygiene is very important in aesthetic services, and they can’t be running around cutting everyone’s grimy toenails with the same pair of clippers. And I did appreciate that they used washable towels and bulk lotion. Still, I have a feeling there’s room for improvement.

So now I’m faced with the bin. The plastic will go with our soft plastics recycling. Is it fair that I hold off on throwing those toe separators away? After all, if I ever do yearn for silky smooth, shiny painted tootsies again, it would be best if I brought my own toe separators wouldn’t it? Should I add them to my bathroom drawer of assorted bottles, lotions, and makeup brushes, or is that cheating?

Maybe my main problem is that I’m just in denial that couldn’t make in even for a month without generating some garbage and am now sitting in third place in our household competition. I think in future, the best advice would be to deal with plain toes and get a massage instead.



Filed under slip ups

7 responses to “Day 21: The Opposite of Green is Red

  1. I love your honesty in this. It’s what I find too; I *think* I’m making a better choice and then things just go pear shaped before you’ve realised what has happened (you’ll see that in our weigh in tomorrow!)

    As for toe separators, I really think they are unnecessary. If you press your toes onto a hard floor then your toe nails don’t get on top of one another. Ok, it means you have to stay like that for 5 minutes; but you could meditate 😉

    But if you use tissues or cotton wool balls at home anyway, then why not use those instead (and then use them for their intended purpose afterwards). Or, I don’t know, make your own from an old bath sponge or something LOL!

    Your toes look great – love the colour 🙂

  2. Jen from Clean Bin

    Thanks for the comment Mrs Green. I think I’ve decided to keep them if just to prolong their landfill fate. Thanks for the tips. I’m looking forward to your Wednesday weigh in!

  3. Hey Jen and the rest of the CBP team.. Just a little note to let you know that Karen and I have been reading along and have been inspired to evaluate our consumption habits. Keep it up! Cycling/walking to work and eating veggie isn’t doing enough these days and it’s good to have a reminder that you can always do more 🙂

  4. Jen CleanBin

    Thanks Rob! Sometimes we feel like all we’re doing is redistributing our waste into different bins – yes, it gets recycled, but I’m not sure we’re actually producing less over all. We’re working on trying to track better so we know we’re not only diverting, we’re also reducing. Funny though, we keep on running into people who are already doing what we are doing, but they’re just quietly living the lifestyle instead of making a big project out of it!

  5. melissa

    I’m sorry but your toes are not attractive and there are other options for toe separators.

  6. Hi Jen,
    I love to have my nails painted. Any ideas on how to do this in a zero waste way? Thanks

    • I’d do search for more sustainable nail polish companies. I haven’t heard of any brands that refill containers, but I would definitely be looking for biodegradable products. Here’s a list to get you started:

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