July 21st, 2011 Joanne
To me first and foremost it means to be economical. I believe that quite frequently by being frugal you are also minimizing your environmental impact. By spending less you tend to be consuming less. You are purchasing less single-purpose items and instead are challenging yourself to utilize multi-purpose items.
I am not an authority on sustainability. Growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area I vividly remember learning about recycling, No Dumping Drains to Bay campaign and seeing photos of seagulls with six pack soda rings around their necks. Of course who could forget the “If it’s yellow, let it mellow. If it’s brown, flush it down” campaign during the drought years! My philosophy is that I don’t want to lecture or guilt anyone into acting more environmentally responsible because it is ineffective if not internalize.
I do hope to present basic information that makes financial and logical sense. I recently had the opportunity to live outside of California and learned that there are many uniformed and uninterested populations. I am extremely grateful that the Bay Area is extremely progressive however the cause requires more than a small segment of practitioners to make a difference.
This is an avenue for me to reach an audience who shares the same commitment and hopefully those who are just exploring the topic for simple answers. My goal is to merely share with you topics I found thought provoking and tips that I found useful. The Internet and sustainability are two very daunting, especially when combined. This will also serve as my reference to keep the information I research straight and updated.
Most people are familiar with what is recyclable but often these NON-recyclable items end up in the bin. Each city’s recycling program varies in what they will accept. Almost all plastics are recyclable which is why you see that recycle triangle imprint. However, it is only valuable to the recycling center if there is a demand for that type of recycled plastic. With no buyer then there is no incentive to accept it for recycling. The system only works if the recycling plant is able to produce a quality product that manufacturers can utilize to produce quality products. Consumers won’t pay for inferior products so let’s support the use of recycled material by being responsible recyclers!
South San Francisco – 94080
Items NOT Recyclable (even if there is a recyclable symbol) – toss in trash!
- Glass jar metal lids
- Beer caps
- Water, soda, milk, juice bottle caps
- Aerosol can plastic caps
- Clam-shell plastic boxes such as strawberries and takeout containers
- Plastic shrink wrap around value/family packs of bottle water and soda
- Pizza boxes or any soiled paper
- Plastic coated drink boxes (aseptic tetra pak) such as juice boxes and broth/stock boxes
- Freezer food boxes which contain a plastic coating (refrigerated food boxes are recyclable)
Why is it important?
- Plastic bottle caps and clam-shell boxes are made of different types of plastic then plastic bottles which reduce the quality of plastic produced from recycled plastic bottles.
- Paper and cardboard soiled with food or grease contaminates the recycled paper. The process involves water (oil and water don’t mix).
- Extra Work – extra labor at recycling center to remove contaminates
- Put a labeled container next to the recycling bin to collect these NON-Recyclable items.
- Reduce consumption of single serve beverages! You are paying more for the packaging than the consumable product.
- Replace broth/stock with chicken/beef base. Why pay a premium for water? Save money and packaging!!!
One 16 oz Organic Better Than Bouillon jar $6.89 Costco
76 – 8 ounce cans ≈ $29.18 Costco
19 – 1 quart aseptic tetra paks ≈ $34.17 Costco
I welcome your comments on the topic!