Category Archives: consumerism

Day 267: Clean Bin in the MEC Catalog

grantjenThe Mountain Equipment (MEC) Spring Catalog is out!  But why, you may wonder, am I excited about a catalog full of stuff that I can’t buy due to the stringent rules of the Clean Bin Project?

Well, it just so happens that Grant and I, and our household’s waste-free, consumer-free initiative are featured on page 79!

For those of you who don’t live in Canada, MEC is our national co-operative outdoor equipment retailer and one of the most popular sources for gear and clothing for the self-propelled (think cycling, hiking, camping, rock climbing, ski touring, and paddle sports).

Hmm, isn’t it funny, you may now be thinking, that a catalog designed to sell material goods, is featuring an article about a project designed not to buy them. . . . Continue reading



Filed under consumerism, media

guest blogger: The Clean Bin sister says RETHINK!

First of all, I should let you know that I by no means follow “the rules” of the Clean Bin Project. I am, however, fairly conscious of the environmental and social impacts of my consumer choices, and fairly concerned about how much garbage I produce. That being said, there are some things I think are more important than packaging, and honestly, some plastic wrapped things I just love too much to give up (such as cheddar cheese and fair trade chocolate mmmmm).

I live in Ottawa, which sadly is miles behind Vancouver as far as recycling goes. We currently have a diversion rate of about 35%. Compare this with Vancouver’s rate of 52%, and Markham at 70%, and you see our capital city is in a bit of a pathetic state. (these stats are a couple years old, but if anything the gap has only widened) Continue reading


Filed under consumerism, recycling

Day 212: Winning and Losing

winnerThey’re running a promotion at the grocery store by my house.  Customers get these little game cards with every purchase, and you peel them open and – surprise! “Try Again”.

Then the garbage bins outside the store get filled with all these little pieces of cardboard until they are completely overflowing, and the ground is littered with “maybe next time” messages.

It’s a useless waste of resources, I know, but I still take the cards – they just hand them to you with the receipt.  It’s just paper afterall.  Then I peeled one open and . . . . . “WINNER!” Continue reading


Filed under consumerism, gifts