Monthly Archives: September 2008

Day 77: Still Broken

Would you believe it – we’ve broken 2 more dishes since that last post! That’s 8 dishes so far!  The most recent one literally jumped out of the pantry closet by itself when we were working quietly in the kitchen.

On the plus side, I may have a taker for the pottery bits.  A friend of mine is planning a mosaic, and I think the lovely green and black pieces might be perfect!

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Day 73: Broken Dreams

Maybe the title of this post is a tad melodramatic, but my dreams of an empty bin have been shattered lately by a force that I can only can extreme clumsiness.

Over the course of four weeks, we have managed to break a grand total of 6 dishes! I have dropped or knocked three separate dishes (sometimes in comically slow motion); Grant has smashed one; Rhyannon shattered one; and the cat from next door snuck in and kicked a bowl off the counter when we weren’t looking (we know because we saw him high-tailing it out the cat door).

We have produced more broken dish garbage in the past month than in the past year! So my question is this: how do you recycle broken crockery and drinking glasses? Is it possible?

I have read that you can reuse them in fish bowls and flower pots, but at this rate, my flower pots will be all filled up by December!

And so, the bin grows ever heavier. I keep meaning to do an official check in. . . . I promise one coming soon, so you too can see how our respective waste bins are doing.

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Day 72: Big Spender

Grant has two identities: Work Grant and Real Grant.

You see, Grant works from home. This means that all of his business associated waste stays in our household, and all of his business related purchases have to be done by him personally. You would think this would be an advantage to the clean bin competition project because he has complete control over what he does or does not purchase. However, it’s not true.

Work Grant makes music and films which are, inevitably, burned onto CDs and DVDs. This requires a bunch of stuff including printer ink and discs not to mention hardrive space. “Your employer buys all your work supplies for you,” he says, ” so you don’t have to worry about office purchases or office garbage.” It’s true, it doesn’t really create a a fair playing field.

So, we reached a compromise. Continue reading

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Day 71: Dangers of the Bicycle

My roommate walked in the door on Sunday evening dripping with blood. That’s right, high drama for our otherwise placid household.

She was riding her bike straight along a road (as one is apt to do) when someone driving the opposite direction decided to turn left and smoked the back of her bicycle, sending her flying onto the road. Luckily she wasn’t too seriously hurt, but she is pretty scraped up and shaken up and isn’t allowed in the pool (she’s a competitive swimmer) until she heals.

Furthermore, she now has a bunch of band-aids in her bin and is about to have a few broken bike parts join them. This setback might well knock her out of her current first place clean bin position. (and my apologies to Rhyannon because the image doesn’t look a thing like you, but you must appreciate the graphic depiction of blood)

Seriously though. That was scary.

So, keep your eyes peeled when you’re driving out there, dammit! And if you actually do hit someone, have the decency to call an ambulance or drive them home or something – don’t leave them to haul their bike home on public transit! Geez.

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Day 70: You Can Recycle (almost) Anything

I’ve come to realize that recycling isn’t the answer to waste reduction. I constantly have to remind myself that reduce, reuse, recycle isn’t a trio of equally effective environmental terms, it’s a hiarchy. And recycling comes last. It is the least effective means of waste reduction.

Truth be told, most recycling is actually “downcycling” where the product is reincarnated as something further down the quality chain and one step closer to the landfill. For example, plastic milk jugs don’t get made into more plastic milk jugs, they get made into park benches and such, which means that every plastic milk jug, although capable of being melted down into other products, is in itself made of virgin plastic. Continue reading

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Day 67: Surprise Gifts

We had originally thought that we wouldn’t have to tackle the issue of gifts until our birthdays which are in October. We were wrong.

To be fair, Rhyannon did already have her birthday, and she managed to come through with mainly loads of compostable flowers. Grant and I have been dropping hints to our families, encouraging them not to buy material goods for us. So far so good. My brother returned from Europe with candies (consumable) in a little tin (recyclable and reusable). But apparently it’s not our families that we have to worry about, it’s those surprise gifts.

Continue reading

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