Monthly Archives: February 2010

It’s Contagious

It’s funny how one thing leads to another.

Take, for example, consumerism.  At the outset of the Clean Bin Project, we decided that we wanted to buy less stuff.  That lead to us taking a better look at packaging and trying to reduce that too.  Then the whole darn thing became a “zero waste” project, and the non-consumerism became more of a means to help us achieve our goal of no landfill waste.

But even stranger, is where we’ve gone since then.  It seems that once you get passionate about a single issue (for me, consumerism and waste), pretty soon you find yourself thinking about all kinds of topics that are somehow related.  Take, for example, eating local.

I originally started shopping more at the farmers market in a simple attempt to avoid food packaging.  But as I got to know the faces of our local food producers, I started to feel loyal to certain stalls, and I started to feel really good about buying fresh, local, organic food.  The packaging thing was still important, but frequenting the market instilled other values in me as well.  I love the sense of community, the knowledge that we are buying the freshest possible product, and the fact that we are directly supporting the local economy.

Don’t get me wrong, I was a fan of farmers markets before the Clean Bin Project, but I was only a casual browser.  A couple tomatoes here, a piece of fancy cheese there.  By sunday night, I’d be at the supermarket getting “regular” supplies for the rest of the week.

Our project made me realize that the markets are a real food source instead of just a lovely saturday afternoon activity.  Now I grocery shop at the farmers market, trying to buy enough (package-free) apples, broccoli, eggs, and bread to last me until the next week.  (In the winter, when it runs only every two weeks, I have to really stock up.)

And, as one thing contagiously leads to another, buying fresh food has also made me more dedicated to growing fresh food.  This year, as I gear up to plant my veggie garden, I’m already getting excited about choosing which varieties of local and organic seeds to sow.

So, although I never would have predicted it, our little project in zero waste has turned me on to local food in a big way.

What’s your latest passion?



Filed under consumerism, food

Radio Netherlands

What do donkeys in Sicily, an on-line transport marketplace, and musical garbage in Taipei have to do with the Clean Bin Project?  We were all recently featured on  Earthbeat, an eco-minded show on Radio Netherlands.

In lieu of a “real post”, I’m going to point you over the interview Grant and I did (it’s in English of course) as part of a larger show on garbage.  It included stories on a range of rubbishy subjects from Amsterdam’s waste to energy plant to an interview at Unpackaged, that great package-free shop in London that I discovered a few weeks ago.

We were actually really excited because it meant we got to go to the CBC radio studios here in Vancouver and get a glimpse into the “behind the scenes” working of radio.  I was pretty impressed with the massive servers and high tech equipment and left with a real appreciation for the value of our national public radio station.

Thanks to Marnie and Jan from Radio Netherlands for hunting us down and having us on the show.

Click here to listen to our interview or here to learn more about the other stories.


Filed under media

Delicious and Waste-Free Catering

You know how I feel about over packaged food.  Particularly over-packaged take out food.  It’s just plain unnecessary.

Why the heck can’t we just have a nice lunch ordered in to the office that doesn’t come wrapped in styrofoam and accompanied by plastic cutlery?

Apparently we can.

Grant and I recently did a zero-waste lunch-n-learn with a corporation here in Vancouver.  (Basically we just talk about the Clean Bin Project and people think we’re either awesome or crazy).  In keeping with the theme, the fabulous organizers went the extra step to ensure the lunch was zero waste as well.  And this is where I met Michael Kraus, the founder of One Planet Catering. Continue reading


Filed under food, food waste