Monthly Archives: January 2009

Day 196: Paperless Meals Out

burgerWe try to take our reusable containers with us when we go out to eat.

Sometimes we forget.

Sometimes we remember, but then Continue reading

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Day 194: Seeing Red

ketchupA bit of a sad story today.  Grant and I were having lunch at a homestyle restaurant – plain white coffee mugs, glass bottles of ketchup, silver-topped salt and pepper shakers, and rib-sticking mac and cheese.

One of the waitresses came around and collected all the bottles of ketchup.  I assumed she was going to refill them, but when she came back, she placed a new, squeezable, plastic container of ketchup on our table.

“Grant,” I said, “I think we just witnessed the plastic switchover”.  Continue reading

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Day 192: Off the Wagon into the Snow

berriesThere has been lots of snow in Vancouver.  Lots of snow.  And our household fell right off the back of the old consumer-free wagon and straight into it.

Now, before you start to think that I’m just trying to publicly humiliate my roommate for falling off the wagon, let me assure you that everyone in our household has agreed that their purchases may be displayed at large.

In fact, when Rhyannon walked in the door the other week, the first thing she said to me, with guilt written across her face, was “I bought boots”.  She knew I would tell you. Continue reading

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Day 189: Milk Lids and This Week’s Waste

milk-recycling1I’ve been pondering milk containers lately.

I used to buy milk in 4-litre plastic jugs which are curbside recyclable here.  Then the recycling depot started accepting cardboard milk containers (no deposit unfortunately), so I started buying 2-litre cardboard containers instead.

Before long, we had piles and piles, dare I say a mountain, of cardboard milk and soya containers sitting on our front porch.  If that doesn’t say “welcome to our waste-free household”, I don’t know what does.  Continue reading

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Day 187: Food and Hygiene for Christmas

stars1

tin can star ornaments

Ask anyone and they will tell you that the highlight of their holidays is spending time with family and friends. We all say that holidays really should be about time spent not mostarsney spent, but then, when it comes down to it, we all go and blow wads of cash on an abundance of gifts, mainly material goods.  Why is there such a disconnect between what people say they believe and what they do?

I’m no different.  It feels wrong not to give anything to my loved ones at Christmas.  Luckily with my friends I have compromised and declared a gift truce – we all pitch in for the food bank instead of doing personal exchanges.  But with family, it’s different.

This Christmas, instead of declaring a moratorium on gift giving, we decided to keeping giving gifts, but to try to stick to the rules of the Clean Bin Project: give experiences or consumables or make things from what we already have. Continue reading

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Day 185: Happy Waste-Free New Years

Happy New Years!

So it has officially been 6 months since we started the Clean Bin Project.  Sometimes I think we’re doing quite well, and other times I feel like we are still creating mountains of waste, and the only difference is that we’re now segregating it into different piles.  Organized, but not necessarily to the point of waste reduction.

Up to this point, we have let ourselves pretty much buy anything that is recyclable.  We have a really great recycling program here in Vancouver, so we can recycle most everything.  That means our project is much easier than if we lived in the UK or New Zealand.

So in the spirit of keeping ourselves accountable for our waste, we’ve decided to take on a challenge proposed by Dave over at 365 days of trashContinue reading

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