Category Archives: consumerism

Feminine Hygiene Chain Letter


I went to two conferences in the past two weeks, and in the process I learned a lot about social marketing.

At the first one, they were using a Mac computer for the presentations, and the first speaker commented about how Mac’s are the best computers and how much they love them.  Strangely, every single subsequent speaker, also mentioned their love of Mac products in their talk.  At first I thought that they were getting paid for the plug, but then I realized that Mac has developed such consumer loyalty that its clients have become its greatest advertisers – free spokespeople if you will.

The point is that people spread the word about products that they like.  Products like ipods or. .. . . divacups. Continue reading



Filed under consumerism, Hygiene

Wrap Up Results

weigh in

photos credit: Travis Smith

So we’ve had a few days to settle down here after the finale of our Clean Bin Project Year.  I know people are dying to know who won.

We had the official weigh in our backyard on Canada Day, exactly 356 days after the start of our project, and we managed to lure about 40 guests with free food and drinks.

We ranked each of the 3 roommates using three criteria: landfill garbage weight, landfill garbage volume, and consumerism (a scientific ranking of awesome to very bad depending on if you bought “stuff” during the year).

Continue reading


Filed under consumerism, recycling

Day 365: The End!


Can you believe it has been a whole year!  I have all kinds of things on my mind for the last day of our buy-nothing-zero-waste year, but I only have an hour on my lunch break, so I’ll make it quick.

We’re going to have the weigh in tomorrow.  We have borrowed a scale, a pile of cloth napkins, and set of wine glasses, and I’ve been baking a few snacks for guests.  The bins are actually looking neck and neck.

Unfortunately it looks like Rhyannon is flying out of town -her flight got changed by the airline, but I am harboring a secret belief that she is trying to escape embarrassment because Continue reading


Filed under consumerism

Day 301: Oh the Irony

harddriveWe ran out of hard drive space while making our documentary, and, you guessed it, we had to buy a new hard drive.  Two actually, since we double back up everything having learned the hard way that electronics are not infallible.  We’ve had two hard drives fail on us in the past (Western Digital in case you were wondering what the brand names was – and I don’t mind saying that we don’t recommend them). Continue reading


Filed under consumerism

Day 286: White Pants Show Down

not-buying-itGrant is losing the consumer competition. He can site “work exemption” all he wants, but we all know that buying clothing is a definite no no.

Maybe we need a little background first.  Before we started the Clean Bin Project, I actually read a book by Judith Levine called Not Buying It: My Year Without Shopping which was, predictably, about a similar project where by she and her husband didn’t buy “stuff” for a year.

I distinctly remember feeling ripped off when I read that they were buying materials for their home renovation, and even more perturbed when Judith went out and bought (horrors) a pair of pants! That’s an immediate fail in my books, and we vowed to be pretty stringent in our own take on the game. Continue reading


Filed under consumerism, slip ups

Day 279: Rubbish Art

noblewebster_trash-shadowA popular idea is that we can reuse our waste in some sort of arts and crafts project, thereby “saving” it from the landfill.  While I realize that this type of thinking is only prolonging the inevitable, I do think that the process of making art from trash can say some pretty interesting things about our culture (and can be beautiful to boot).

I’m not talking about gluing Popsicle sticks onto cardboard here; I’m talking serious art.  Like that by Tim Noble and Sue Webster (yes, I had never heard of these people either, until I read about them over at the Everyday Trash blog.  But one look at their work and you’ll see why I was compelled to share it.)

This piece was created from 6 months worth of the artists’ garbage.  I’m not an art critic, so I’m not going to attempt to articulate how this relates to zero waste, but it does make me think about consumption (and why the heck did they throw out that perfectly good roll of toilet paper there in the front?).

In any case, anyone who can make a pile of garbage look like anything but is pretty cool in my books.  Click here for more pics.


Filed under consumerism