Category Archives: soft plastics

Reusable Produce and Bulk Bags

Ok, so I was raving about my favorite mesh produce bags the other day, but, lest you think I work for Moukisac or something (which I don’t), I thought I’d share a little of my research into other bulk and produce bags that are available out there You know, in case you decide to go the plastic-free route. . .

First off I should say I was pretty impressed to see how many North American manufacturers there were out there keeping it local.  Secondly, each bag has its own strengths and weaknesses (for example, the cotton bags are generally heavier than their synthetic counterparts, but then I’d assume they’d be biodegradable at the end of their life. . . .) but it’s fair to say they’re all better than using those flimsy ubiquitous plastic produce and bulk bags. Continue reading

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Filed under reusable containers, soft plastics

Island Recycling and Plastic

tire planters

Tires reused as planters at the cabin

Island life is different than the mainland.  It’s slower – and cooler (at least it seems that way after last week’s scorching weather in Vancouver).  It makes you forget about things like technology. Which is why I haven’t written this blog in so long – I’m pretending to be an islander.

But there is one thing you can’t escape from, even here at a cabin in the woods and near the ocean.  Garbage. If anything, the amount of garbage is accentuated by the knowledge that we are on an island, and what comes onto the island must be ferried off. Continue reading

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Filed under food waste, no waste on the road, soft plastics

Day 143: Drinking Straws and New Vocabulary

straw-pendant-light

“No straw please.”

Although I always try to say it, sometimes I forget.  Or they can’t hear me.  Or they forget.  Or they don’t care.  Or whatever.  Regardless, I have quite a collection of drinking straws in my “un-numbered plastics” bin.

I had been intending to recycle them at the end of the year, but lately another option has caught my crafty eye.  Lampshades.  Check out how to make this cool one from Addicted to Decorating here.  But don’t buy your straws like they suggest, reuse them.

If you don’t fancy yourself a craftsperson, you can still recycle your drinking straws at any place that takes mixed plastics.  If you live in the lowermainland, we go to the Pacific Mobile Depot (North Van or Vancouver Island) or Happy Stan’s.

Speaking of which, I learned a new term today care of Happy Stan’s.  They write a “tip of the month” on their website, and this month’s is right up our alley:

Precycling is the step before recycling. This is the process of making a conscious choice to purchase or use products and services which will have a less harmful effect on the Environment.

That is EXACTLY what we are trying to do.  Yay for new vocabulary.

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Filed under DIY, soft plastics

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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Filed under interactions, recycling, soft plastics

Day 107: Ditch the Plastic Carry Bag for Crying Out Loud

It’s so simple. Everybody knows about it.  We all have them.  But are we using them?

I’m talking of course about fabric shopping bags.  The golden (and easy) first step towards reducing your environmental footprint.  I realize I am probably preaching to the choir here, but humour me.

I’ve asked a few cashiers how many people bring cloth bags to the supermarket, and the answer is always “lots” or “most people”.  Is that true? I decided to find out through an impromptu, unscientific survey.  I set up a stakeout on a few local grocery stores and counted people coming out: plastic vs fabric.  The results were shocking. Continue reading

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Day 83: Recycling Parade!

I don’t have much experience in parades apart from a brief stint as a girl guide, but this weekend, Grant and I participated in our first ever Recycling Parade!

A friend of mine, Miss M, lives in an amazing building called Quayside Village.  They recycle and reuse so much at Quayside that they don’t even have a garbage dumpster.   They are an entire apartment building living virtually waste free! How is this possible with so many people?  We were invited to come and tour their recycling facilities, and, lucky for us, it happened to be the day of the great Recycling Parade. Continue reading

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Filed under soft plastics, Uncategorized

Day 59: Practical Applications

Dave over at 365 days of trash has posted a great video on practical things you can do to reduce your dependence on plastic bags (and ultimately produce less waste at the grocery store). I couldn’t possibly have said it better, but I am am proud to confirm that we have been practicing all of his methods with great success over the past two months (except for the dog poo part – we don’t have a dog).

Thanks for the informative video Dave

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Filed under guest writer, soft plastics