Today was a busy day. David and Susan from the Gillian Deacon show came and filmed me making rice milk, setting bags up to dry and talking about making cards. That took three hours! It was cool though, and you will be able to see a short segment (I’m thinking 5 minutes tops) on the Gillian Deacon show on CBC. I will also be on the show in person. It airs Monday January 22nd at 11am and again at 2pm. If you tape it for me, reuse an old tape please:)
While we were taping, a woman from Global called wondering if I would like to voice my opinion on the city of Toronto’s recent statement that they will cut the number of grocery bags goes to landfill. Would I???? I would love to voice my opinion to someone other than Kyle (who has heard it all before)-that’s one of the reasons I started the blog-to give Kyle a break from my rants. Unfortunately, by the time I called back, she had found someone else. Instead, I will voice my opinion to you! Ooooo aren’t you the lucky one…
…Firstly the city wants to start a bag recycling program and then they want to aim to cut down on the number of bags being made. I say scrap the first step. Yes, recycling is better than sending things straight to landfill, but not by much. It expends enormous amounts of energy, and the actual amount of the material that is used again is very small- most is waste (not to mention pollution from the trucks and recycling plants). Plastic bags are particularly bad. The reason there are not more recycling programs for them is that the only thing they are used to make is lawn furniture-and how much of that do we really need in the world? We probably have enough existing plastic bags to last a few years without manufacturing more. That’s enough time for people to get used to carrying cloth bags around. I don’t think plastic bags should ever be given away for free. In fact, I think the reusable options should be cheaper -flimsy plastic bag $1.99, reusable cloth bag $.99. Bring your own bag and get a discount or points or some sort of reward. The city is also talking about having officers enforce garbage regulations and give fines. I think that is actually a pretty good idea, but I think they should give the job to existing city workers who don’t have much to do, rather than creating a whole new department…although if we were charging people for garbage pickup, per bag, there would be more money to play with. Kudos to the city for trying to make important changes though. Their hearts are definitely in the right place. I just don’t have faith in recycling. I think it’s an out we use- a way of redeeming ourselves for all our sins against the earth, but it’s not very effective and really should be a last resort.
Harmony milk called back. I had left a message yesterday that said (roughly) ” Hi. I’m Sarah McGaughey. I really love and support your company and all the good you are doing for the environment. I’m doing a project where I am not making garbage for a month and during that time, I can’t get your bottled milk because of the little plastic seal on top. There’s a TV crew coming tomorrow and I don’t want to give you bad press because I really appreciate all you do. Please call me back so we can discuss this….” So Art called me back to say he appreciated my support and he thought the garbage project was an important and noble cause. Basically because of very strict dairy laws, he can’t do anything about those trashy bits. They have to use a safety seal in order to legally use the reusable bottles. A few times he started a thought ” What I could do for you is….” and then cut himself off “Oh, no no then we would be liable.” The dairy industry is a tricky business. He was very, friendly, helpful and kind though and I strongly encourage other people to buy the milk in reusable bottles. You can get it at 4 Life Organics on Augusta, and you can also special order it from David at Etherea (Davenport and Ossington). I did send Art the picture of the milk jugs (thanks Jen). He said he would look into it, but he needs to get the bottles from Canada because in the states they come in Quarts and he needs litres. I’m not sure if the seal would meet safety standards ( a lot of our laws really have to change in order to make protecting the environment possible, but that’s a rant for another day). He also told me that they make a lot of keychains from those little plastic thingys. They are pretty cool looking-Kyle suggested making a necklace, but I just don’t know who would wear it! As I don’t need any more keychains and I don’t know anyone who does, I think I will stick to making rice and almond milk for the one hardcore month of zero trash, and I will resume getting Harmony milk and cream after. I think the goodness of the reuable bottle system, and the organic milk and the well treated cows overpowers the badness of the little plastic tab, but I will avoid it for the project to accomplish the 31 days of Zero Garbage.
Tonight, I went to a concert at the Tranzac. I got really thirsty, but they only had plastic cups so I drank from the tap in the bathroom and later I reused a friend’s cup. It’s not easy being garbage free in a bar-it’s too loud to explain what it is that you want and why.
That’s all for now. I’m working on a post about shopping but it’s not quite finished and it’s way past my bedtime, so it will have to wait.