22 May 2013

Clean Bin project


During my weekend of convalescing I decided to break up the marathon of Nicholas Sparks movies and watch a documentary. Watching too many Nicholas sparks will have you contemplating life in a seaside town somewhere in North Carolina. Maybe that is just me.

Anyway, the documentary I watched was The Clean Bin Project. And if I was queen of this world for one day I would make every person watch this.

Two of my favorite quotes is ‘be the change you want to see in the world’. I love it so much a friend of mine had it engraved onto a necklace and now sits proudly around my neck. My second is ‘use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without’. The documentary creators, Jen and Grant, are the embodiment of both quotes.

"The goal is zero landfill waste. For one year we avoided buying material goods and attempted to live without producing garbage."

They saw an issue they wanted to change and they became that change, by making use of what they had around them.

The rules looked simple but as they begun their quest it became obvious they were hard to follow in our conveniently packaged world. Jen and Grant were not aloud to buy any material goods (new or used), no producing garbage (they could not purchase anything that comes in non-recyclable package, and be responsible for all their own waste (they would take home any waste to be recycled).

A blog was kept throughout the year detailing how they made their own toothpaste which can be found in their DIY section.

Could I do the same?

I was telling the Builder about the movie. We both agreed that steps could be done to take the same challenge but it would be hard. Buying habits would become full of rigorous conscious thoughts about how each item can be recycled/reused. The next day, I bought a regular cup of yogurt that I would normally throw into my bin at work. Instead I took it home, cleaned it and put it aside for future use. I now have a portable yogurt cup with folding spoon. Maybe I can make my own yogurt too.

There have been reusable shopping bags in my various handbags over the years. I generally buy all my vegetables without packaging. But small things like taking additional bags for mushrooms or beans would be even better. The list goes on. I have started looking at my consumer habits closer. I always opt for second hand clothes opposed to new ones, and hold onto my clothes for a long time. I might write more on that choice later. I have always prided myself on buying package free shampoo from Lush. But items like toothpaste and other products have me looking for other options. It all adds up.

So I am going to try hard to think about how purchases I make will affect others and where they will end up. It takes planning but I think this type of life can be managed more easily than we think. 

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