Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Thwarted Conservationism

After years of hibernation, my Pacific Northwest upbringing has emerged full-force. I have uncontrollable urges to stop using disposable products, to shun plastic bags, and to recycle everything in sight.

But somehow it isn't so easy here. The city won't pick up our recycling because we live in an apartment building with more than 3 units (4, in fact). The trash company, paid by the landlord, doesn't have a recycling service. My last resort will be to call the city again to inquire after a drop-off center; the website has not been forthcoming. For now, I continue to grit my teeth and throw away the tin cans.

The other day I was out of cumin, a spice on which I rely heavily. So I thought, "I can take this lovely empty glass spice jar to the organic grocery (extra points for being within walking distance) and refill it from the bulk section, with no interfering plastic bag." I was asked not to do it again, because the register scale was not calibrated to adjust for container weight, even though I knew exactly what it weighed empty. Why have a bulk section and not encourage re-use of packaging? Oh for my First Alternative days, where they hid all the containers and bags and we had to put everything in our old Nancy's yogurt tubs!

I did manage to get a re-useable coffee filter...

3 comments:

Ben, Kyri & Rachelle said...

I'm so with you and I live in the NW. The recycling company that services our condos just decided to stop taking glass and tin, so now we only recycle plastic. I feel so wrong throwing away glass bottles and tossing tin cans in the trash without a second look. Not bad enough to do anything about it, but some deep-down Oregonian guilt, nonetheless. Welcome to blogging!-rlr

Travis said...

Ah ... for Tallahassee. We have a big recylcing can marked with two separate compartments (one for plastics/glass/metal and the other for paper-based) :-)

Katie will be happy to know you have recylcing urges, Dana. We do lots of recylcing in our home.

Michaela said...

Ann Arborites are rabid about recycling. Unfortunately, living in an apartment, we have to lug ours down to the basement, so it sits in the kitchen until we have 2 or 3 bags full. Not attractive. My roommate would also like to save all jars and bottles and use them as food containers, but our cupboards end up getting too full and I have to go on a raid.