Category Archives: recycling

Day 185: Happy Waste-Free New Years

Happy New Years!

So it has officially been 6 months since we started the Clean Bin Project.  Sometimes I think we’re doing quite well, and other times I feel like we are still creating mountains of waste, and the only difference is that we’re now segregating it into different piles.  Organized, but not necessarily to the point of waste reduction.

Up to this point, we have let ourselves pretty much buy anything that is recyclable.  We have a really great recycling program here in Vancouver, so we can recycle most everything.  That means our project is much easier than if we lived in the UK or New Zealand.

So in the spirit of keeping ourselves accountable for our waste, we’ve decided to take on a challenge proposed by Dave over at 365 days of trashContinue reading

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Day 157: Jump-Start Your Balls

ballsWe’re pretty sporty.  I mean, we have lots of sports equipment.  From baseball gloves to bicycles, snowshoes to swimming goggles, our shed, basement, and closets are filled with gear.  What I’m saying is if you want to do it, we got the stuff.

And, when we’re talking traditional team sports, you gotta have balls: volleyballs, soccer balls, footballs, basketballs, squash balls, tennis balls.  But the thing with balls is, they usually need to bounce, and once a ball has lost its bounce, it’s all over. Isn’t it? Continue reading

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Day 155: Young Minds Need to Know

jen-recyles1

I hate public speaking.  In fact, I have been known to throw-up before public speaking (my university car pool buddies can attest to that).  But I’m getting better at it, and last week Grant and I got to test out public speaking skills at a local high school.  We spent a morning block with three classes of mostly grade 8’s from Charles Tupper Seconday.

We showed the video of us on the news, we did a little presentation about the Clean Bin Project, we watched some of the Story of Stuff, and we brainstormed ideas for how the kids could reduce waste and consumption both at school and at home. Continue reading

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Day 147: Bright Ideas

bulbSo, we aren’t buying stuff, and that includes household goods.  Like light bulbs for instance.

Did we stock up?  No.

Are we going to give in and buy some? No.

Is it silly to not buy these modern essentials and then make up for it later by buying a bunch of them to replace the ones that died during the year?  Probably.

First off, I thought it wouldn’t be a problem because these new energy efficient light bulbs are supposed to last 7 years or so.  Figuring we’ve only lived here for 5, I calculate that we have about two more years worth of bulb left in those guys.  I say this in jest of course because I can tell you that more than one of my $7 energy efficient bulbs have died before their time. Continue reading

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Day 141: Don’t Believe Everything You Read

paperIf, in fact, what I read online is true, and “each week thousands of Globe and Mail readers make Margaret Wente’s column their first read”, then I feel that I have to speak out.

Allow me to paraphrase her Saturday article subtitled “Recycling targets seem to be based on the belief that the more we recycle, the faster we will go to Heaven” in which she snidely downplays the impact of disposable plastic in our society and infers that environmental municipal laws are based more on warm fuzzy feelings than economics or rational decision making.

First off, she introduces the fact that “it takes a great deal more energy to manufacture a reusable ceramic cup than . . . any kind of disposable cup” but goes on to justify using disposables because one would have to use their mug “a whopping 1,006 times to break even” compared to using polystyrene cups.

I agree with the facts, but not the justification. Continue reading

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Day 132: Our Car is Not On the Clean Bin Program

subaruOur car doesn’t seem to understand the Clean Bin Project.  It is trying to thwart our clean bins with broken auto parts and old engine oil.  Well, at least the latter can be recycled.  But buying new parts in almost unavoidable.

Now, before you all go into shock, yes it’s true.  We have a car.  Continue reading

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Day 73: Broken Dreams

Maybe the title of this post is a tad melodramatic, but my dreams of an empty bin have been shattered lately by a force that I can only can extreme clumsiness.

Over the course of four weeks, we have managed to break a grand total of 6 dishes! I have dropped or knocked three separate dishes (sometimes in comically slow motion); Grant has smashed one; Rhyannon shattered one; and the cat from next door snuck in and kicked a bowl off the counter when we weren’t looking (we know because we saw him high-tailing it out the cat door).

We have produced more broken dish garbage in the past month than in the past year! So my question is this: how do you recycle broken crockery and drinking glasses? Is it possible?

I have read that you can reuse them in fish bowls and flower pots, but at this rate, my flower pots will be all filled up by December!

And so, the bin grows ever heavier. I keep meaning to do an official check in. . . . I promise one coming soon, so you too can see how our respective waste bins are doing.

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