Category Archives: technology

Everything I love goes away in the end

OK, not everything, but I like that song and it makes a clever title, if I do say so myself.

It seems that as soon as I find a great product with no packaging, it stops being made or suddenly comes with a big package! This time, it’s batteries. A few years ago I discovered that Grass Roots stocked nickel based rechargeables in bulk! A few months later, they only had double As left, and I needed another kind, so they sent me to a store on Queen street. As it turned out, that store had just shut down.

Last week I discovered Grassroots doesn’t sell any in bulk anymore!So I wrote Rob Grand and asked why. At first he said, they did still carry them and then he talked to his purchasing manager and said they are working on getting them again but it’s hard to get them in small quantities. There’s hope anyway! Speaking of Rob Grand, he is giving a talk at GET . Here’s the low down:
Rob Grand, founder of Grassroots Stores, will speak about the elephant in the living room: How can retailers make a buck in a world with too much stuff, where retail and manufacturing profit from hyper-consumption and planned obsolescence? Find out how a successful pioneer meets this challenge.

The monthly “GET Smart!” speaker series continues
Tuesday February 12, 7-9 pm
Green Enterprise Toronto
Centre for Social Innovation,
215 Spadina Ave., suite 120

$15 general admission, $10 for GET members – includes refreshments

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Filed under technology, Uncategorized

Styrofoam, and the Kindness of Strangers

Yesterday was very eventful for me. I rode my bike to my ultrasound appointment, and almost made it before I got an extremely intense pain in my kidney and collapsed on the lawn of a church ( directly across from the ultrasound lab, and fortunately, the hospital). A kind stranger stopped to see if I was Ok, and then ran across to the hospital to get help. By the time he returned, with a wheel chair, the pain had subsided, so I walked with him to the hospital, convinced the people at the desk that I didn’t need to stay, and went on to my appointment. The pain came back while the ultrasound was bring done. The radiologist was very scared because I started sobbing. She ran out and got a more experienced radiologist, and also a Styrofoam cup full of water and a big hand full of Kleenex! So much for no garbage. I didn’t say any thing because I was in too much pain and I knew she was just trying to help. Oh why does styrofoam still exist? It is the bain of my existence. Back to the adventure, the older woman did a bit more imaging and then let me go to the bathroom. The pain didn’t return again. My kidneys just don’t like it when I have to pee that badly, I guess. I never even got the stranger’s name. I wonder what he was doing, that he dropped to help me. About 5 people passed before he stopped to help, and I was so grateful that he did. So, Thank you stranger, and thanks to all of you who take time out of their busy schedule to help their fellow creatures.

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Filed under pregnancy, technology

Communication Technology

This morning we were on CTV, Canada AM. It was quite a pleasant experience, at least for us. I feel sorry for the host who accidentally touched my hanky when reaching to shake my hand. Ewwww. I have the end of a pretty bad cold and my hanky is pretty nasty and wet. I had been a bit worried about the long car ride to CTV first thing is the morning, but I went to bed and woke up singing James Brown, “I feel Good” and thinking about how grateful I was that I am so healthy and I’m pregnant. I think it worked! Anyhow, back on topic, the host asked me what I thought I would do to keep my trash levels down once I had a baby and I mentioned the diaper free movement. I don’t think I’ve posted about this, but one of the days I was very sick and at home moaning, the doorbell . I gingerly hobbled downstairs and opened the door to find a courier from Harper Collins. He gave me an obviously reused and reusable plastic folder with a package wrapped in newsprint and our address written in pencil (so we could erase it and use the paper again). Inside the carefully wrapped garbage free package were two books, Baby Names and the Diaper Free Baby, and a card from Kate,(a woman I have been in touch with about the possibility of writing a saynototrash book) saying congrats on my pregnancy. It was such a wonderful present! The Diaper Free book was helpful and erased any doubts I had about the movement. I am really excited to try it! After our brief appearance on Canada AM, one of the technicians asked me for more information on being diaper-free as he and his wife are expecting. So exciting!

 When we got home, there was a Rogers Serviceman here to combine our phone and internet service. It’s lucky that I am finished the project because I would surely be back at day one. He left such a cash of trash! Everything came in plastic wrap and weird plastic boxes inside more boxes inside more plastic wrap. I decided to email Roger’s and complain. If I don’t hear anything back from then within a week, I will also call. Here’s a copy of my e-mail:

Dear Rogers

We just had a Roger’s technician come to our home to combine our phone and internet and to upgrade our modem. We were very pleased with his service and also with the option to combine our bills.
I only have one complaint and here it is. We were left with an insane amount of garbage! Everything came in a little baggie with a twists tie and plastic and cardboard. Even our user guide is wrapped in plastic! I was very surprised and disappointed to see all of this, especially in a time where global warming and caring for the planet is in the forefront of everyone’s thoughts.
Why can’t the packaging be reduced? What is Roger’s doing for the environment?
I would appreciate a response as soon as possible.
  Sincerely, Sarah McGaughey

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Filed under press, technology