Dispatches from the Swamp – the ‘Good-bye Jack’ Edition

  • Today was Jack Layton’s State Funeral. I couldn’t watch it. I would have cried to hard. At some point, I may be able to watch it but no time soon. I am still shocked and saddened by his death. I wish Olivia and his family well. It is going to be a long hard road for them.
  • Piper goes into Can-West for her soft palate resection on Monday. To say that we are petrified is an understatement. She has had a difficult time with just the anesthetic earlier this week. She has been a sad sack, walking around with her tail down. She has also taken to lying outside in the heat, which of course is the last thing she should be doing. We take her in at 10:15 am, they will do the surgery that day, she will stay over night and come home the next day. I am concerned about her recovery. Hopefully it will go well.
  • After almost 5 years of living in Maple Ridge we have finally arranged for garbage pickup. Deb has been taking everything to the dump. We have a great recycling centre set up and we are recycling absolutely everything we can. We are also going to change some purchasing decisions based on whether the packing is recyclable. We won’t be buying eggs in Styrofoam anymore. It really surprises us that really good, free-range eggs are sold in non-recyclable container. We are hoping to keep the garbage down to 2 cans a week.
The side view.
Cans and Bottles
Plastics Bin
  • My mother appears to have quit smoking with Champix. She has had the odd drag here and there from my sister but she has not had any more. I am very proud of her! I think the last couple of months when she was smoking have really opened her eyes. I am very proud of her!
  • Oh, and to the Smart Tax Alliance – just because the voters didn’t agree with you does not mean they did not understand the issue.

Puck Flastic

I got the most amazing gift from a friend. It is a ceramic cup, with a silicone lid and it says ‘puck flastic.’ I loved it! It will go and sit proudly on my desk as of next week. Those of you who have been reading my blog for some time know that I have been working towards improving my personal relationship to the planet. Some of the ideas I think have been fabulous others though, I have thought to be a sham.[1] Regardless, I have started to engage with how horrific I am in terms of recycling and other environmental issues.

We are now recycling more at home. As time goes on, I keep trying to divert some from the garbage to the recycling. It is working. Our recycling is way up and the garbage is decreasing. Our ‘zero food waste’ program is working really well. We are not throwing food out and/or wasting it.

Then there is plastic. Saying that plastic is ubiquitous is like saying rain is wet. When you start to take stock of the amount of plastic we consume on a daily basis it is staggering.[2] Instead of looking at national or international numbers, just look at your kitchen. If examining the whole kitchen is too overwhelming, then just look at your refrigerator. Most of the condiments are now in plastic bottles. Meat is wrapped in plastic, deli meats come in little plastic Ziploc bags.  What was wrong with wax-lined butcher paper?

How long do we use things? Not very long is the answer. They are meant to be disposable and like good little consumers we dispose of them, one way or another. Even if we recycle the plastic, how much energy is used in this process? The thing about plastic is that it is forever. It does not break down in landfills and there is really nothing that can be done with it once it is made.

What have I done about this? Well, not much yet. I am trying to re-use things like Ziploc bags. I am trying to make sure all plastic goes into the recycling bin. I am looking for alternatives to products in plastic. I carry water in my car with me so that I will never, ever have to buy a bottle of water.

I am curious what some of you are doing about recycling and plastic. What are your thoughts? What changes have you made?

[1] Check back on the ‘Our Green Year’ series of blog posts. There are several posts in the category. Here is the link.

[2] I am not going to bother to pull stats to try to illustrate the problem. If you want them they are everywhere on the internet.