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Letter to the Editor: Think!

Here’s my take on the waste stream:

After reading the recent Letters on our dysfunctional waste stream, what our society needs to do is wake up people’s minds and cause them to actually THINK.  Here is a link to the great Aretha Franklin singing the before mentioned word in the Blues Brothers:

Recycling sounds great, until you read a wonderful book called Garbageland.  In it, Elizabeth Royte chronicles what really happens when say a bottle is recycled.  In Quincy, it is picked up curbside & taken to the transfer site in East Quincy.  Then, it is taken to Reno.  From there, it will make at least 2 more trips to a site where it is crushed & melted down & remade into other products.  All of that requires energy which is more than likely not derived from renewable, non-polluting sources.  She suggests that it might use less energy overall to actually throw the item away.  I think there are other solutions.  I will list a couple:
     1.  Go back to collecting, washing, & reusing bottles.  When I was young, before we went to the gym, we would go to places on Sunset Boulevard in San Francisco where people consistently threw their bottles.  4 bottles = 20 cents = a coke + 2 small cubes of ice cream.  Perfect treat after 2 – 3 hours of basketball + my mother didn’t have to give me any $.
     2.  Buy in bulk.  My wife & I go to the Chico Farmer’s Market every 2 – 3 weeks (yes, we are driving a car there) where we fill 2 coolers up with veggies, buy fruit, and almond butter.  The veggies & fruit go into plastic bags that we wash & use over & over again.  Steffen ‘Family Farms gives me a dollar for each bottle of almond butter & washes & uses them again.
     3.  Start cooking your meals from scratch.  This requires you to buy food that is purchaseable in bulk where you can reuse the plastic bags & actually store the grains/beans/nuts/seeds in glass & not plastic which can transfer metabolically detrimental products to your food & then into your body.
These are just a few ideas.  I’m sure people out there could substantially add to this list.  What is absolutely required, though, is for people to THINK!
Jim Cross
Quincy

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