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...