Do One More Thing

10 May

Hello No Waste Wednesday-ers!  Many exciting things are happening this month…
If you’re in the Saskatoon area please join us for our Reconsider Reusing event at Caffe Sola between 7am-6pm on Wednesday May 11th.
And for everyone – enter to win the TRAVEL MUG CONTEST by sending us a picture of you with your favourite travel mug.  You could win a bag of coffee from Ten Thousand Villages mailed right to your door.

Email with your photo by May 31 2011.

For today – we wanted to explore some more information in regards to packaging, specifically food packaging.  It seems rare to be able to go grocery shopping today without accumulating plastic wrap, foam containers, tetra packs, plastic bags, etc.  And in Canada and the U.S., having a fast food restaurant and coffee shop within a 5 minute drive in every urban center, adds to the convenience of buying pre-packaged, prepared foods.  Since food and drink is so readily accessible at all times, us urbanites sometimes forget that we can make our lunches and lattes at home.

Hot drinks are an especially big problem because of their popularity and availability.  Most convenience stores, grocery stores, restaurants, coffee shops, bus stations, etc… will sell you a coffee to go.  And the large majority of customers do not remember to lug their travel mugs with them thus creating mile high piles of disposable cups in trash bins and landfills.

It is alarming how many disposable cups are thrown away every day!

Considering how big the coffee industry has become, it’s difficult to determine just how many disposable coffee cups get used annually.  According to the paper industry, Americans consumed an estimated 23 billion paper coffee cups in 2010. 
The average American office worker uses about 500 disposable cups every year -Each person!
Read more at sustainabilityissexy and Clean Air Council.

However – this is not intended to be a gloomy message – many, many positive changes are happening.
Check out this initiative from a group of people in British Columbia who pledged to buy nothing and waste nothing for 1 year.  They’ve gone way beyond using travel mugs, to change their entire consumption pattern.  It’s called the Clean Bin Project and functions off of this bottom line: by bringing less stuff into our house, we’ll have less stuff going out of our house and into the landfill.

“The number one thing is to do one more thing.  Let’s choose one more thing that isn’t sustainable and change it to sustainable, and then just don’t stop.”

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