Apr 7 2011

fast waste [day 315]

I love pretty much any condiment, mustard, ketchup, sour cream, grape jelly, salsa… you name it.  I’ve been referred to as the condiment queen.  This is a problem to me in the world of fast food.  There’s so much plastic and paper waste associated with it.  I looked up condiment packaging and found a few eco-friendly alternatives.  For me, this brings up a bigger question.  The word “ECO” is used a lot these days.  I’m glad people are coming up with eco-friendly options that are much better for the environment, but here’s my question.

Should we just be content with using products that are a little bit better for the environment or should we be trying to scale back our use of disposable products?

I’m trying to do both.  I’m not always successful as you can see in the photo, but those were given with my meal, not upon request, but just assumed I would eat them all.  I’ve cut way back on the fast food consumption over the past year.  Meals are supposed to be a time of fellowship and relaxation.  If my lifestyle needs fast food, I need to make some changes.

My ideas were validated a few days ago by the cost of fast food.  My 2 boys and I went to Sonic.  I’m usually all over the price shopping part of eating, but this day, I decided to let them order whatever they wanted.  They both ordered modestly, as did I.  Almost $18.00 spent and the kids were still hungry.  A few days later, we went to a sit-down restaurant.  This time it was me and the kids, but we brought a friend along as well.  Including ‘good’ food for all of us, one beer and one dessert, the total was around $35, including the tip.  There’s a price for all that packaging, not to mention the nutritional value of fast food.

Also, I’m not sure why, but the magic number of napkins seems to be 6.  Why do I need 6 napkins with a sandwich?  Do I look that messy?  If they give out 5 extra napkins per person, with an average customer count of 450 a day, that’s 2,250 napkins that go in a landfill.  And that’s just napkins.

I’m not saying I will never eat fast food again (although I’m leaning in that direction), but I will be doing it even less now.  I’m not saying you shouldn’t eat fast food either.  We should all be aware of the effects of it though.  There are times where the fast food meal is not a bad idea, but doing it regularly will cost you a lot of money, aid in destroying our earth and eventually will break your heart.

Dec 19 2010

cool art made from junk mail [day 207]

I got an awesome little gift a few days ago, unexpected and very much related to trash society.  The gift?  An origami box with a photo album inside, all made with junk mail and paper stuff from the recycling bin.  Check it out…

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Dec 2 2010

white elephant gift exchange [trashogram]

White elephant gift exchanges are fun and seem to be a good way to part with some crazy things you own.  Have you ever participated in one of these?  I found this little white elephant couple in the trash.

The good thing about the white elephant gift exchange is that you can bring pretty much anything and you never know what you’ll leave with.  Your trash or weirdness might be someone else’s treasure, or fun thing to bring to the next exchange.

In the trash society world, these are a fun way to get rid of some things you’re been holding on to for too long.  Trade.  I like it.

Jun 18 2010

the challenge: day 21 & 22 [apple store & istuff]

Today I had to go to the Apple store to make a return, for work.  I don’t mind so much visiting the Apple store, it’s having to walk through the mall that hurts me.  I had my kids with me and they immediately gravitated toward the iPads.  I went to the back and took care of my business, deciding not to look around since I can’t buy anything anyway.  I went to get the kids and leave, but they were so engrossed in the iPads that they not only didn’t want to leave, they forgot they were hungry, as we hadn’t eaten lunch.  Oh well, if you can’t beat them, join them, right?

So what the heck, I decided to play with an iPad for a little while.  I really have no desire to buy one of one, as it’s too big for a phone and too small for a computer.  I do have to say, it’s a pretty cool little gadget.  I finally dragged my kids out of the store and we left the mall.

As we were heading out, I found some interesting (humorous & disturbing) signs on the doors.  The mall has defibrillators.  Whew!  That’s good.  I bet they use those a lot. That shirt cost how much??!!!  $148 for a shirt!!!!!???  Really??!!  That would make my heart stop.

And here’s one that’s even better.  Spend $200 and get $20 free!  Great, more encouragement for people to buy expensive stuff they don’t need, many of them using plastic to make those purchases.  It says on the bottom, “What brings you today?”  What does bring people to the mall?  Is there anything in the mall that we need?

Still, I really have no desire to shop.  Thrift store treasure hunting?  Maybe a little bit.  Retail stores?  Nope.