Sometimes it’s hard not to pay attention

The idea of this project is that it is something I can do without trying to force change on others. Sometimes it’s hard to only focus on me though! It’s become apparent that only 2 of the 4 units in our house, ever take recycling out. It’s usually us, and now I can’t do it because I’m too pregnant, so it’s Kyle and every once in awhile, our immediate neighbors.

Although I know recycling is not the answer, I still feel it’s better to do it, than not, if you are getting the packaged goods.

The raccoons got into the garbage and spread it all over the driveway. It’s full of cans and bottles banana peels, and other foods. In fact hardly anything inside really needs to go in the garbage. It’s mostly compostable or recyclable and the bins are right there beside the garbage bin. I feel slightly defeated, seeing that, even though I know it doesn’t really have to do with me. I guess it just makes me feel powerless.

Ok, the other idea of this project is that it focuses on the positive, so I’d better end on a positive note. Rob Grand from Grass Roots was in The Toronto Star this weekend, talking about eco friendly cleaning supplies. And, I’ve been noticing it’s easier to do things like use my own plates at take out restaraunts and refuse bags at stores because so many other people are doing it so businesses are getting used to it. Yaaaay!

Another good thing is that I have started my nomoregarbage book. I have an introduction chapter and a rough draft of the outline, so it may really happen! Now I just have to take that to the publisher and see if they still want to do it. My fingers and toes are crossed.

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7 Comments

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7 responses to “Sometimes it’s hard not to pay attention

  1. I totally feel you on the neighbour thing – I am always amazed at how ignorant people can choose to be.

    We’re in the midst of a civic strike and live in one green city, yet I look around and I see people consuming like crazy. They don’t seem to get that, while inconvenient, the trash piling up *in our streets* is our doing. We made it, not the city, not the union – us. And now we have to live with it.

    It has been really enlightening, like your raccoon.

    I have also noticed the switch here, I don’t get much take-out but no one bats an eye now when I ask for no bags (or, in the case of my trip last night, that all my food be put into the same bag). What is truly amazing is how quickly it has happened, it feels like overnight. And it is very much thanks to you and people like you showing schlubs like me how to do it.

    Can’t wait for the book!

  2. It’s a great idea to put these thoughts, strategies and ideas on to paper. If you wrote a book, I would definitely purchase a copy. Good luck!

  3. Mom

    Go Sarah! We love books.
    Did our shopping today with our own bags.
    And refused a bag with no grief. We are trying.

  4. Thanks for the encouragement everyone. I found out today that there is already a book called Trash talk, so I need to rethink the title, but that’s OK. Hey and thanks for the comments- I love comments:)

  5. Hey there — You should definitely write a book! I’m writing one about my green year but garbage in itself is such an interesting and complex topic. I’d totally buy it.

    Also, are there are Toronto restos that you’ve found are especially good at dealing with bringing your own containers? I’m committed to not doing take-out unless I bring my own plates and cutlery but I still get shy asking all these people over the phone about it 🙂

  6. Nick

    Hi there

    Good luck with your book. I think this is a great time to be writing such a book.

    We have a new baby and the baby gets lots of presents which are packaged in nasty clear vinyl bags. The baby products industry could use a shakeup and a more ecological focus.

    I recently bought a sling for the little one and I was pleased that it came with no packaging; just a little brochure with the sling.

    Nick

  7. I have a list of restos in the Trashless Toronto page. Off the top of my head, both Fresh and Fressen actually give a discount if you bring your own container, and I should check into live on Dupont. It seems to me they would be down with that.
    My sister also makes slings for babies and doesn’t add any packaging so if you need one, that would be the way to go. Gifts are always tricky. We try to make sure people know how we live and what we stand for to avoid overpackaged and trashy gifts, but once one is given, I still try to smile and say “thankyou very much” because it is a gift and that’s what my mom taught me to do. That said, please don’t give us gifts of disposable diapers and styrofoam!

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