Concluding Garbage-Free February

Hello, March. It’s good to see you. Garbage-Free February is officially over, but I plan to continue many of the waste reduction habits I started during February. I’ve enjoyed preparing my own food, cutting back on needless purchases, and simply not having to deal with trash. I’m going to continue using my hand-sown fabric bags instead of the plastic produce bags at the grocery, and bring my own grocery bags. I am committed to the habit of only buying goods that have a recycle symbol on the packaging. I will keep carrying my Sierra cup and titanium spork with me so I can take advantage of free food when it comes my way.

Here is my landfill bound trash from the month:

IMG_4784

While being dogmatically anti-waste is an excellent challenge, sometimes compromises need to be made. For example, I have not been purchasing produce from my local farmer’s market, because the produce is wrapped in plastic to avoid spoiling. For my personal environmental conscience I feel better buying local organic food and generating a little bit of plastic waste, than I do buying plastic free produce from who knows where at the grocer. Sometimes we have to make these choices, and I will do my part my continuing to suggest my farmers use numbered plastic for their produce wrapping.

Many of the challenges of going garbage-free, once you’ve overcome personal bad habits, is figuring out the resources (of lack there of) in your area. Do you have a baker or butcher who will let you provide your own reusable packaging? Does your municipality take all plastics? Do you have access to electronic recycling? Constraints like these may limit how waste free you can be without burning more fossil fuels in your car to get to specific far away vendors or recycling collectors. The main complaint I heard here in Red Deer is the dilemma over soft plastics. The city will not take even numbered soft plastics. So much food is wrapped in soft plastics this can be a significant hurdle to going garbage free. I did a little research to make going garbage-free a little easier for the next group of Red Deer residents taking the challenge on. Here are the places:

Clean Conscience Recycling in Sylvan Lake

Sobeys Grocery Store

Walmart

(Both Sobeys Walmart says they take any kind of plastic bag!)

 

A great resource for recycling in Alberta is the Recycling Council of Alberta’s Recycling Hotline. You can search for collectors of specific of materials in your area online, or give them a call. It’s a great free resource!

Here are some random garbage-free questions I would like to put out into the world:

Are there compostable band-aids available anywhere? As I cook more I also cut myself more, and need garbage-free alternatives!

Is there compostable dental floss on the market?

I would love to hear your insights about going garbage-free and am happy to answer any questions! Comment below.

 

 

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