Day 361: Clean Bin in the Globe and Mail

clean bin projectWith only 4 days left in our project (and at the risk of upstaging our final weigh in on Wednesday) the Clean Bin Project was in an article in the Globe and Mail today!

A national publication like this definitely reaches a scope of readership that is outside our regular network of blog readers, but it’s good for us to get outside our ‘bubble’ of support.  I keep wanting to check back in on the Globe’s website to see what comments people are putting up – both positive and negative.

So far, people have had some good points about how there is still a lot of landfill waste coming from industry etc, and that residential garbage may only be a ‘drop in the bucket’.  That’s definitely true, but why not cut down where you can and go from there?

I could go on and on about why we started this project and how it relates to the bigger picture and how we are definitely still supporting the economy by buying local food and spending money on local experiences, but maybe I should just let you read the article for yourself.

You can check the full article out here.

Thanks to Candice Vallantin for contacting us, and getting the Clean Bin Project out there with a great article.  If it stirs up any sort of discussion at all, I’d consider it a success.

8 Comments

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8 responses to “Day 361: Clean Bin in the Globe and Mail

  1. Monica

    Hey guys,

    Here’s a thought to help you counter the critics who say what you’re doing doesn’t count because industry makes more waste.

    There’s a great article by Joel Makower in this month’s issue of Mother Jones that connects the two waste streams. (www.motherjones.com/environment/2009/05/industrial-strength-solution)

    Makower has a snappy little name for the amount of waste produced by a country: Gross National Trash, or GNT. Garbage, or as people insist on calling it, municipal solid waste (MSW), is only 3% of the GNT pie. But Makower makes the link between that 3% and the 76% of the GNT that comes from industrial waste:

    “It’s only a matter of time before the story of GNT gets told and the public recognizes that for every pound of trash that ends up in municipal landfills” – and, I would add, incinerators – “at least 40 more pounds are created upstream by industrial processes – and that a lot of this waste is far more dangerous to environmental and human health than our newspapers and grass clippings.”

    If you’re cutting your consumption, then you’re cutting the upstream wastes. In other words, you’re doing your part to cut the GNT.

    Keep on keeping on.

    Monica, garbage critic

  2. Auntie Pauline

    Congratulations on making it to the national press. It was a great article and neat photos. Well done.

    Keith

  3. Shannon from Florida

    Congratulations on the article and thanks for the blog of your experiences. I’ve followed you for most of the year, and you have inspired me to be more aware of my ecological impact and to reduce it.
    I’ll miss the Clean Bin Project, but I will also look forward to seeing what you’re doing as you proceed with your documentary.

  4. Congrats Jen; that’s really awesome and wonderful that you have hit ‘mainstream news’. I know what you mean about it being ‘outside’ of your regular readers and that can be scary because we open ourselves up to criticism, but there is little point preaching to the converted all the time.

    If just one person reads your story and makes a change because of it, then it’s been a huge success and who knows where you have planted seeds with your story that will sprout in a few years time🙂

  5. What a fabulous article. I am very excited that you guys are coming up to the end of your first year. It’s been a fantastic twelve months and I still remain amazed at how little consumer waste you have. I hope the documentary will be available in the UK, please, please, please send it to one of our big networks. Otherwise, I might have to arrange screening myself😀 x

    • Thank you all for your kind and supportive words. That was a great link Monica – definitely crystallized how careful consumption at this end can affect a larger amount of waste upstream.
      Shannon- don’t worry, the Clean Bin will still be around. We’re not going to be quite as extreme as we were this year, but we’re going to maintain a lot of the lifestyle we developed along the way. If phase 1 was all about non-consumption, phase 2 will be about conscious consumption.
      Thanks Mrs Green and Mrs Almost Average. Watching the way you communication through media has certainly helped us and strengthened our resolve. Many people comment that it would be much harder if we had kids, so I often point our little Miss Green who is at least equally as conscious as we are!

  6. Congrats on your year of so little waste! Its inspiring. One point from the article about the broken dish shards – these are great to use for mosaic tabletops etc. So either a fun crafty project or the broken pieces can be donated to a local crafter to reduce your bucket (for the win?)

    • Reuse like crafting is great, but I tend to think of it as only a temporary diversion from the landfill (you’re not going to keep that lampshade made out of Popsicle sticks or that skirt made from neckties forever are you?). We included our plates and cups in our bins for the weigh because we thought it was only fair. However, a friend has offered to make a mosaic with them, so they will be diverted for now. Some of them are even quite nice – we broke two bowls that I made in pottery class that had lovely green and black glazing on them. Thanks a lot for your suggestions.

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