When I first started this project, I quickly learned that recycling was really not the be all and end all. It takes up a lot of energy, causes pollution and only uses a small percentage of the material, landing the rest in land fill. Our society uses it as an easy way out- the more you recycle the better, but it’s not so. It’s best to just not get (or even better, create) the packaging in the first place. Recycling is good as a last resort, after reducing and reusing, but we use it as a salvation. This is old news. I’ve talked about it before and people as a whole are becoming more aware of the recycling myth.
The reason I’m talking about it again, is because there is a new “salvation” on the market. Another quick fix for the planet without changing our excessive lifestyle. It’s corn plastic take-out containers. Many environmentally friendly places are offering this option instead of reusable dishes because it is biodegradable and made from a renewable resource. We don’t have enough space to grow enough corn for the way we consume and again, it takes energy to make and ship the one time use containers. It also takes time and space to break down. It’s a great back-up but it’s not being used that way. Here are some examples. Urban Herbivore pre-makes all their lemonade and puts it in corn plastic cups- you can’t get it in a cup to stay. You can get fresh juices and smoothies to stay, so just don’t order the lemonade. Also the Big Carrot juice Bar has the option to get drinks and food to stay, but both times I’ve been there, they forgot. When I complained, they said “it’s ok because it’s biodegradable corn plastic.” I love the Big Carrot but I won’t be going to the juice bar again.
3 responses to “Less is more”
hey, i’ve been following your blog for a while, but i’ve never commented… anyways, i was reading your comment on the corn plastic. i know that at the big carrot, if you bring your own bottle (like say a stainess steel portable flask) they’ll put it in there, and even give you a discount. although i’ll agree, the people that work there aren’t the brightest… i had a shitty experience there yesterday, and i’m questioning whether i’ll ever go back.
Yeah it’s totally too bad because it’s a great place, but it seems like they may be having some problems. My experience wasn’t very great last time either. I will go back but not to the juice bar. I was wondering if bringing my own would help them remember – I think I even had one in my bag- I usually do. I guess maybe it would because it would be sitting in front of them. Thanks for commenting!:)
I agree – “greener” throw away containers is not the way to go. I’ve been using Indian tiffin boxes for take out (stainless steel so no leaching nasty chemicals like phthalates or Bisphenol-A) and every place I take them loves them. I’ve got a photo of them online here: http://www.greenmeupscotty.ca/weblog/update.html
They’re also great for lunch boxes for me and my two sons on our day trips.
Oh, and I don’t know if you read the Tyee, but they had an article titled “We Can Be Garbage Free” that you might be interested in: