Monthly Archives: August 2008

Day 59: Practical Applications

Dave over at 365 days of trash has posted a great video on practical things you can do to reduce your dependence on plastic bags (and ultimately produce less waste at the grocery store). I couldn’t possibly have said it better, but I am am proud to confirm that we have been practicing all of his methods with great success over the past two months (except for the dog poo part – we don’t have a dog).

Thanks for the informative video Dave



Filed under guest writer, soft plastics

Day: 56 Guest Greener

So it seems that our waste-free lifestyle may have rubbed off on someone else.

Grant’s cousin, Stephen, spent a couple weeks with us this month after following our footprints and experiencing his first season of treeplanting (the traditional BC student job). Little did he know he was landing smack in the middle of the Clean Bin Project, and that garbage cans would be in short supply. Continue reading


Filed under guest writer, no waste on the road, recycling

Day 52: Slow Food Cycle

This past Sunday, despite the blazing heat, I participated in my first slow food cycle.

I am no stranger to slow cycling, as Grant and I did that for two months last year on the Slow Coast. And I am no stranger to food, as anyone who has sat next to me at a restaurant can attest to(“are you going to finish that?”). But I have never combined the two.

Actually, it’s the food that’s slow, not the cycling.

On Pemberton Slow Food Cycle Sunday visiters are invited to cycle around from farm to farm and sample food that was grown, prepared and served by the local farmer. Growing food is time consuming and hard work, especially when it’s organic, and this event is all about taking time to appreciate quality local food, and the people who grow it.

So how does this relate to being waste free? Continue reading


Filed under reusable containers, Uncategorized

Day 49: Plastic Straws and Paper Napkins

If you let your guard down, they pounce on you.

They get under your silverware or in between your muffin and your plate; they get tucked into the bag that you specifically asked not to have; they come wrapped around your icecream cone. I’m taking about paper napkins.

We’ve been doing our best to avoid this ubiquitous dining accessory, but to no avail. True, they are compostable, and we at the Clean Bin have been reluctantly pocketing the ones we get stuck with and shredding them with the veggie peels, but it’s so unneccessary, and I don’t really want the bleach and chemicals that make that napkin so snowy white leaching into my garden long-term.

Rule number 3 of the Clean Bin Project is to avoid excessive packaging, and to me that napkin under the muffin is screaming “excessive”. (Better protect that plate, it might get crumbs on it.)

Straws, on the other hand, are handy.

How else should you drink while laying in a hammock? Or while sick in bed? Have you tried a milkshake without one? Not the same. Have you tried to keep one and clean it out week after week? Doesn’t last long does it? The plastic straw was simply designed to be disposable. And that’s the problem with it.

I don’t pick up many straws, but we did accidentally get a couple in the aforementioned milkshake this week, and it felt terribly wasteful.

Part of the impetus behind the “excessive packaging clause” is the thought that lots of packaging is temporary. I don’t need a bag for the bread I’m going to eat this evening, I don’t need a napkin for a muffin I’m going to eat in 2 minutes, and I don’t need a straw for a drink that I’m going to drink in 30 seconds.

Of course, it’s all trivial.

But disposable this, disposable that – it all leads to housecleaning with a swiffer and having boil in a bag beans for dinner. Pretty soon you’re lugging two cans of garbage out to the curb every week. So here’s all of us trying to do the little things by foregoing straws and carrying cloth napkins.


Filed under Uncategorized

Day 47: Shambala

We’ve been away for yet another week-long trip that challenged our clean bins. This time to the Kootenays of BC (an 8 hour drive East of Vancouver) to the fabulous Shambala music festival.

Grant’s alter ego, Phontaine, was playing a dj set at the festival, so we decided to make a vacation of it, packed the car full of camping gear, turntables, and tupperwares, and headed out. Continue reading

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Filed under no waste on the road, recycling, slip ups

Day 33: How it all started. (aka “Thanks Mom”)

Mrs. Green over at My Zero Waste is hosting the Carnival of Trash next week. It is, in part, about inspirational people who are reducing waste and how they are doing it. And it got me thinking about how the Clean Bin Project started. Or rather, how the idea that we could produce less waste first got planted in my head. Continue reading


Filed under Uncategorized