Saturday, January 06, 2007

Garbage

I suspect most people have already seen Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth. My husband and I watched it last night. What a fabulous, thought-provoking and frightening documentary on global warming. The fact that the weather here in Toronto is unseasonably warm (no snow!!??) brought the message home with an even greater punch.

I was glad to see a web site shown at the end of the movie. (See above link.) I immediately went to the site to see how we were doing in the “Take Action” section. (I need practical guidance for this sort of thing.)

We’re doing okay. Just okay. We can certainly do better. I plan to print the list and put it on the fridge. Went to bed somewhat encouraged.

And then, I read this morning’s Globe and Mail. There’s an article by Dale Duncan entitled “Zero Garbage? Can Do. In 2007, one local couple is striving for an empty trash bin.”

Wow.

“In 2005, the couple produced one garbage bag of trash. In 2006, they took one grocery bag to the curb every two weeks.”

Double wow.

Now I’m feeling discouraged all over again. We can try — god knows we should — but a family of five producing zero garbage? I can’t even envision attaining their 2006 goal.

Their experience is being documented at this site. I read two posts and had to leave. Bummed out. I will go back. I will.

I was feeling a tiny bit proud of our efforts last night. Now, not so much.

But every little bit helps. Right?

13 comments:

The Guy Who Writes This said...

Beth, waking up to the problem is a great first step. I did an article about this back in June NIMBY I don't use a pick-up service where I live, and I would take a pick-up truck load to the dump every three months. I have a container that I fill that holds the same amount as my truck and when it's full I take it to the dump. I haven't gone since Sept 5, and the container isn't even half full yet. So I feel like my strategy is working.
t

Beth said...

guy - Just read your NIMBY post. Kudos to you. I (we) are going to try harder. And if everybody did...wouldn't that be great?

oreneta said...

Thank you so much, this is something that I have been trying to do for years, and I have to admit, it has completely escaped me of late. I'm going to have to start to be more mindfull of this....thanks for the heads up.

Great links!

Beth said...

oreneta - My pleasure...and good luck! (Do see the movie if you haven't already.)

oreneta said...

I'll have to see if they have the flick at the library, with an English edition. I did the test on Gore's site, I was suprised how little flying impacted on the carbon load, I thought that air travel was really awful from an environmental perspective, and I have been feeling guilt about all the traveling around I have been doing. Should take the train more...

Trish said...

Okay...you've inspired me. I keep seeing that movie at Blockbuster and keep passing it by because it really is inconvenient. It all seems like too much work to acknowledge what's going on and then I know I'll feel guilty when the credits roll.

We do recycling and composting and try and keep our trash to a minimum but there is always more that we could do, and should do.

I think it's time I rented that movie.

Beth said...

oreneta - at least you don't have to feel guilty about driving...


trish - I kept putting off seeing the movie too - was also afraid of the guilts. Glad I finally saw it - and now know there are more things I'm capable of doing. (Zero garbage is not one of them.)

Baron Ectar said...

Here in Kansas City they have a program where everyone has to recycle - its good to see less trash being out and buried into the ground - but then again us hillbillys have a habit of saving our trash - never know when the well may go dry!

Beth said...

baron - we've recycled here for years and now have a "green bin" program for food waste (as well as "regular" garbage.) Still, everyone produces a heck of a lot of garbage - every week.

m said...

and then there is St. Thomas!!! - disgusting program. Maybe I should become Mayor!

Beth said...

"m" - You would have that city spic and span in no time! Go for it. In your spare time (which would be when?) run for Mayor!

patricia said...

The hubby got 'Inconvenient Truth' and 'Who Killed the Electric Car' as Christmas gifts. We watched both DVDs on Christmas Day – very enlightening!

And yes, every little bit does help, however...this is a real bee in my bonnet regarding this topic of social responsibility. It infuriates me to know end that our government puts the onus on the average public citizen to 'do their bit' to help save the environment, and in fact spends money in advertising to make us feel guilty, less than adequate if we don't do more. (Like that stupid 'One tonne challenge'). Why doesn't the government spend time and money pressuring the REAL source of our garbage problems, the huge corporations who create all this crap??? What is the point in us busting our asses trying to reuse, recycle, etc., when products are continually being made with so much useless packaging? It's next to impossible to try and avoid purchasing anything that does not have unnessesary packaging (though we did notice that the packaging for the DVD 'Inconvenient Truth' was very noticably sparse! So it CAN be done).

There should be laws set down for all large corporations about the amount of garbage they produce every year here in Canada, and the U.S. We should take a close look at Europe – they are miles ahead of us in this area.

Ok, end of rant.

Beth said...

patricia - I AGREE WITH EVERYTHING YOU SAY! See this morning's lead article in The Globe.
"Green Plan Limited, PM Warns."
Argh.
Still, gotta do what I (we) can.