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Tuesday, 04 October 2016 20:00

It’s Easy being Green--Down with Thanksgiving waste

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By Julia Taylor

            Here comes Thanksgiving. What a great excuse to get together and have a delicious family dinner and extra desserts.

            We have a big family—and that means a big cleanup. A couple of years ago I was getting ready to take the garbage out. It was looking pretty explody, and I knew there was all sorts of ooeey-gooey, runny stuff inside of it, but I ignored the warning signs.

            Somehow I tied it together and went to heave it

out into the garage. Well I think you know what happened—it burst all over the floor.

            While I was bitterly cleaning up the mess, I wondered why we have so much extra garbage at family dinners? I starting take note of what was in the garbage bag (or on the floor, rather).

            Paper plates, paper napkins, plastic cutlery, wrapping etc.—and a bunch of recyclables, because the recycling bin had already overflowed so people had just started chucking it in the garbage.

            I thought to myself: “Don’t we all have a set of reusable napkins?” You know . . . the fancy ones that you bought just for occasions like this? And “can’t we use our own cutlery and plates and just wash them?”

            The answer is: Yes, we do. And yes, we can. So why don’t we? And why are we spending money on things just to throw away?”

            “But it’s easy,” we say. And it is paper, so it will biodegrade. And we can recycle the plastic.

            But did you know it takes a lot of resources and energy to produce and ship and recycle these throw-away items?

            I’d never thought about it that way until this very messy day.

            So bust out those fancy napkins, pull out that box of extra plates (or grab some at the thrift store for $5), and save some money and the environment.

            I also invested in an extra recycling bin to hold all the extra recycling that having company produces ($5 at your local service centre).

            And if you are feeling extra green, try your hand at back-yard composting and reduce your waste by half.

            Now that is something our environment would be thankful for.

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