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!