Saturday, 23 January 2016

Reduce, Re-use, Recycle or maybe don't consume in the first place

Just this week, when we were gathering up the garbage for our once-every-two-weeks chance to dispose of it, The Significant Other (TSO) noted that our 'pile' wasn't as impressive as that of our neighbours. Definitely a first world problem - when your pile of garbage pales in significance to those of your neighbours. I pointed out that: 1) we did not have diaper-aged children living with us; 2) we are a two-person household versus four or more; and 3) our recycle pile was holding its own compared with the neighbours. Since our city introduced a civic composting program, we've noticed a huge difference in the amount of non-recyclable garbage that we put out by the curb to be taken away. Like obedient Canadians everywhere, we dutifully sort paper from glass and take pride (well, one of us does) in the orderliness of our recycle bins. We set our empty (!) wine bottles aside to be re-used by the Sister-Who-Makes-Her-Own. And even if we are not adherents of Kon-Marie style decluttering, we do make regular deposits at Value Village.

That's why I was a bit shocked to realize that our efforts to live by the three Rs (Reduce, Re-Use, Recycle) could seem so pitiful when compared with those of Ottawa artist Mailyne Briggs. Briggs adheres to a 'zero waste' life style, which she says saves her a ton of money, even if adapting to it takes significant effort. The Ottawa Citizen ran an article featuring Briggs today, complete with video. Briggs gives new meaning to disposal as part of the consumption cycle! You can check out her blog at:

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