Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Recycling Blues and Shopping Highs

This week has had a bit of a blip as far as recycling goes around here. Our city has changed contractors for pick up and it has created quite a mess as the new company gets going. There have been people who, as a result of the change over, have not had pickup since Dec 18th. As you can imagine they put out the bins and then no one comes. It's a mess and a recent windstorm has not left things looking pretty. Hopefully this will resolve itself. One well meaning person put a sign on our bins saying not to use them as there is no pick up and directed people to use the garbage instead. The situation has been rectified, but at the time I was absolutely horrified and quickly sent out messages to find out what was going on.

So until the pickup occurs, I am accumulating paper and containers in my home. I live in a complex and we share bins, so until things are settled down, I'd prefer to wait to ensure my stuff actually gets picked up.

I've been saving things that cannot be picked up and that are interesting in shape or useful for a local elementary schools kindergarten. They liked getting formula containers and baby food jars, little cardboard boxes and such, so I've continued saving things for them. I have a collection of fruit cups for them - I can't recycle them but I think they would make a great base for a craft.

I think I've mentioned this but here we can recycle plastic numbers 1,2 4 and 5 as well as cans, mixed paper and newspaper. I also save all the store brand containers to take back to the shop to earn extra membercard points.

Today when I ran into the store to buy milk, I picked up a few other things I was low on and declined the bag. I had some in the car, so carried my items out and used my own bag. And to note - I bought a 4 litre jug of milk for my son instead of the 2 litre carton. We can't yet recycle the cartons and I figure he'll drink it all before it expires so I went for the recyclable packaging.

The other day I bought a new winter coat. Now it may not seen eco friendly to shop - but I keep buying the cheaper items, which don't last long as they aren't well made. My last coat is no longer serviceable so I spent the extra money and bought a very good coat - one that will last me for years. It's very nice and dressy, good for work and going out. And I waited until now as it was reduced in price (less than 1/2) and then had further clearance discounts on it. So even though it cost more than I'd usually spend, it's good quality and I won't need to replace it for a long time. I read that you should buy investment pieces when you can - things that last, rather than one season wonders. That many of the bargain items are not going to last as long and may also have been made with questionable labour. Something to think about, too.

This weekend will hopefully see me taking more items to the consignment store and to the thrift shop. I'm determined to declutter by making sure that serviceable items do not get thrown away.

1 comment:

Maisie said...

You have done very well by keeping your bits out of the garbage whilst the transition period takes place.

We can't recycle the tetra pack cartons either, but luckily the majority of milk in the supermarkets is in plastic jugs from 1 pint(½ litre) up to 6 pint ( 3 litre)(organic and non organic. Annoyingly all cream comes in type 5 plactic tubs, but I know for catering purposes it is put into type 2 jugs.

And a big yey!! on the new coat. I totally agree that money and carbon is better spent on one piece which last ages than dozens which are redundant after one season.