Monthly Archives: February 2009

Day 228: Yogurt Making Magic

yogurt3Grant always gives me a hard time for buying yogurt.  It is pretty much the only thing we still buy in a plastic container, and he doesn’t care for it much, so he likes to chide me for the wasteful packaging.

I have actually cut down on my dairy consumption a lot since we started this project, but I still buy one every week or three (and I personally do think that the transparent Fraser Valley yogurt ones are great for reusing in the freezer because you can see what’s in them).

unfortunately, although the containers can be recycled, they can’t get made into more food grade containers, so it does mean that every yogurt I buy is encased in virgin plastic.

I’ve been reading for awhile now about people making yogurt at home.  Continue reading


Filed under DIY, food

Day 226: Why Eat Out?

That is what I keep asking myself.  Why eat take out when you know it’s just going to be a big hassle to explain that you want your  falafal wrap in your own container with no paper wrapping? NO paper.

Then I receive a wrap covered in two pieces of paper, a napkin, and a paper bag INSIDE my reusable plastic container.  No joke.

I know it seems like I’m asking for it by even trying to dine out, but there was nothing at home to make lunch with, and I did pick a nice local restaurant that doesn’t use styrofoam which I thought indicated that they were trying to cut back on needless waste.  I even heard the order-taker tell the wrap guy to make it with no paper involved. . . .

In retrospect, I should have asked for it on a “for here” plate and then transferred it to my container myself.

It’s not in the Clean Bin Rules, but I’m going to try a new approach and mail the paper waste back to them with a nice letter.


Filed under food waste, slip ups

Day 224: Toxic Shampoo And More

shampoo2If you didn’t already need another reason to stop using store bought shampoo and conditioner, the Canadian government just decided that 16 chemicals, two of which are common ingredients found in shampoo and cosmetics, are actually toxic.

According to a story on, Siloxanes D4 and D5  which are found in products such as shampoo, antiperspirants, lipstick, textiles, paints and coatings, sealants, plastics, and food additives, were determined to be substances toxic to the environment. Continue reading


Filed under Around the house, Hygiene

Day 222: Indoor Cake Greenhouse

cakeA couple weeks ago, we had friends over for dinner, and they brought a delicious cake.  But not just any cake, a cake that was (gasp) packaged in a hard plastic case!  Of course, we didn’t say anything, and it is curbside recyclable #1 PETE plastic, but we wouldn’t normally buy something in such a large, disposable package.

It seemed like too good of a container to recycle right away (reuse before recycle is always better), so it has been sitting in the “rigid plastics” section of our kitchen recycling center ever since, waiting for an idea.

Well, this morning I had a great idea for reusing it: indoor greenhouse! Continue reading


Filed under Around the house, reusable containers

Day 220: Out of Conditioner

shampooI knew it would happen.  After 220 days, I’m officially out of conditioner (actually, I ran out of shampoo too, but I have a previously rejected half bottle bottle still under the sink).

I’m able to avoid the dreaded bin because the bottle is #1 plastic (curbside recyclable), but I’m going to try to last the rest of the project without buying more conditioner based on the fact that I’m not convinced that hair products are actually essential hygiene.

It’s the same reason that I’m not buying mascara or eyeliner.  They look good, but I can still function and maintain basic levels of  “clean” just fine without them (ie.  I don’t smell). Continue reading


Filed under Hygiene

Day 217: Fast Food Meltdown

wendysI like to think of our Clean Bin Project as a competitive support group.  Each of the three of us has our bins and are personally vying for the “least landfill trash generated in a year” title, but we also support each other and make sure we’re on track and making good waste decisions.

That’s why personal vacations are dangerous.  You’re support group is not there when you need them.  Temptation is everywhere.  Especially, as it turns out, along the highways of Idaho and Washington where fast food joints jostle for advertising space and strip malls dominate the landscape.

Grant went away for a week “with the boys” in the United States and came back with unmistakable evidence of a fast food binge.

Continue reading


Filed under food, food waste, reusable containers