Pie Hole Lovers Competition

Even though the following is littered garbage, I enjoy finding the huge variety of plates in their unwanted environments.  Now I see them everywhere.  Passersby and subway riders are stopping to watch me compose the images and some are asking me what I am doing.

Penelope and Martin contributed to this week’s collection so I invite all of you Pie Hole Lovers to send in your photos. ourwastematters@gmail.com

      

      

      

      

      

      

      

      

      

    

Some rats have been feasting on some of the plates.

Until next time,

Garbage Girl

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NY’s Bottle Bill Joins The OWM Hall of Shame

A cheap drink made in Brooklyn that is polluting Brooklyn

How does New York’s Bottle Bill work?

New York State’s Returnable Container Act requires every deposit initiator to collect a $.05 deposit on beverage containers containing less than one gallon of carbonated soft drinks, beer, malt beverages, wine coolers or water, sold in New York.

A deposit initiator is the first bottler, distributor, dealer or agent to collect the deposit on a beverage container sold in New York State. You’re a deposit initiator if you:

  • Bottle beverages in beverage containers
  • Distribute beverages in beverage containers
  • Sell beverages in beverage containers
  • Act as an agent on behalf of a registered deposit initiator

Dealers (“retailers”) pay the distributor or deposit initiator at least a 5-cent deposit for each beverage container purchased.

Consumers pay the dealers the deposit for each beverage container purchased. (we pay $.05 to Pepsico and Arizona Teas to litter our environment with every purchase)

Consumers may then return their empty beverage containers to a dealer or redemption center to get their deposit back.

Retailers and redemption centers are reimbursed the deposit plus a 3.5-cent handling fee by the distributor or the deposit initiator for each empty beverage container returned.

http://www.dec.ny.gov/chemical/57687.html

What beverages are covered by NY’s Bottle Bill?

Carbonated Soft Drinks, Sparkling Water, Carbonated Energy Drinks, Carbonated Juice (anything less than 100% juice, containing added sugar or water)
Soda Water
Beer and Other Malt Beverages
Mineral Water – Both carbonated and non-carbonated mineral water
Wine Products
Water that is flavored or nutritionally enhanced

What beverages are not covered by NY’s Bottle Bill?

Milk Products
Wine and Liquors
Hard Ciders
Tea  hello@drinkarizona.com
Sports Drinks  there is no contact info for Gatorade
Juice
Drink Boxes
Waters Containing Sugar

Let’s look at what is littered on our streets from Gatorade and Arizona Teas.  Both companies do not have deposit agreements with NY. I encounter this litter everyday on my 15 minute walk to work from Clinton Hill to Downtown Brooklyn on Dekalb Ave.

     

Take a moment to learn which companies have deposits for your state. It makes a difference.

The consumer deposit tax is not the best system to protect our environment but that is a topic for another blog.

Natural Ways To Consume Electrolytes

Until next time,

Garbage Girl

The Easiest Reuse Ever

 

My friends, Niovi and Sam, have hosted many a Coop party by using cocktail glasses that reuse their cocktail’s main ingredient; preserves.

They are definitely onto something as mixologists all over NYC are using this ingredient to add sugar, flavor and citrus to their favorite spirit.

Cocktail science is a blast!!!

https://www.epicurious.com/expert-advice/how-jams-jellies-cocktails-article

Until next time,

Audrey

Where Does a Used Plastic Cup Go?

A plastic cup that was used once for probably less than a minute?  About 450-1000 years will pass before it decomposes in the ground.  That’s if it made it to a landfill.

Plastic is made from petroleum or natural gas.  Plastic production is estimated to use 8 percent of yearly global oil production—both as the raw material and for energy in the manufacturing process.  Because plastics embody energy from fossil fuels (and actually have a higher energy value than coal), leaving so much of it in landfills is not only an environmental hazard, it’s an unconscionable waste of a valuable resource.

If it ends up in the water, it will keep breaking down into smaller and smaller pieces that our marine life will ingest.  And eventually end up back in you.  If the plankton are eating plastic then you are eating plastic.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=97XpXhCgtEQ

Start saying, “NO!” to that plastic cup.  You will feel tons better!

Until next time,

Garbage Girl

A No Waste Renovation

Last summer, I spent my weekends renovating a 3 bedroom, 2 bath house on what I call ” my island in the sky” in Southern Connecticut.  The house was in very good shape for the most part, but it had small enclosed rooms, as was typical for a home built in 1900. It now has the personality of a carriage house and a cottage.

I opened up the first floor by taking down a wall between the dining room and the kitchen bringing light and space and cohesion into the home with a half wall.

On the second floor, I made a larger bathroom that could be accessed from all three bedrooms without having to go through the master bedroom.  Instead of throwing out the dense, hard, old milled pine, real 2X4s from the downstairs demo, I used them to frame my new bathroom walls upstairs.  

I had more than enough nails of all sorts.  They came in very handy for every little job that needed one.  I have a lifetime supply of kindling for my fireplace because I saved all of that amazing lathe from the plaster wall.  Light fixtures were reused or came from second-hand stores.  The old vanity was saved and redesigned.   Tongue and groove wainscoting was refinished and reused. The original floors were rediscovered and saved.  Lead glass windows throughout the house were carefully unstuck and cleaned.

My entire job filled only 40 contractor bags.  I looked at every material with its reuse in mind.  Old appliances, cabinets and porcelain went to Restore to support Habitats for Humanity.  All paper, glass, metal and plastic came back to Brooklyn to be recycled. Best of all, my new old house retained the great warmth of age that I love and respect.

Until next time,

Garbage Girl

 

Clear Recycling Bags for Free

Every week we put our recyclables out on the curb in clear plastic bags that we have to buy from Glad.  The City requires clear or blue for recycling paper, metal, plastic, glass and compost.   It can get expensive.  Since we need a certain size, there are times when they are not available.

BUT!  If you know someone who goes to the dry cleaner…you have clear bags for free!  Just tie the ends and recycle instead of throwing them away.

Until next time,

Garbage Girl

Compostable Waste That Will Surprise You

Organic waste being converted into compost at McEnroe Farms in Millerton, NY about 100 miles from NYC. Photo credit: BioCycle

The New York Department of Sanitation has a goal of Zero Waste to landfills by 2030.  Part of this initiative is getting New Yorkers to compost all of the organic waste they generate.  It will apply to approximately 350 of the biggest food generators in the city, including hotels with 150 or more rooms, arenas and stadiums with at least 15,000 seats, as well as large-volume food manufacturers and food wholesalers.

Compo Keeper made a list of 25 items you use everyday that can go into the compost bin!  http://compokeeper.com/25-non-food-household-items-youll-be-surprised-are-compostable/

Be especially aware that plastic fibers, films, and microbeads  will break down, contaminate the compost and possibly enter the environment unchecked.  Plastic fibers from polyester and other synthetic fabrics in our laundry are the number one worst environmental contaminants followed by microbeads.

    • Bamboo Skewers
    • Toothpicks
    • Soiled Pizza Boxes (paper recycling has to reject these)
    • Paper soiled by food and oils
    • Q-tips (not the plastic kinds)
    • Matches
    • Burlap sacks (shredded)
    • Latex Balloons
    • Latex and Lambskin condoms (yes, even used)
    • Holiday wreaths (without any plastic shiny things)
    • Potpourri
    • Nail clippings
    • Natural fiber rope
    • Cellophane
    • Kleenex (yes, used ones!)
    • Loofas (the real ones)
    • Cotton balls (100% cotton)
    • Masking tape
    • White/plain glue
    • Hair from your hairbrush
    • Trimmings from an electric razor
    • 100% cotton tampons and sanitary pads (yes, even used)
    • Cardboard tampon applicators
    • Dryer lint (from 100% natural fabrics only!)
    • Old cotton clothing and jeans (ripped or cut into small pieces)
    • Cotton fabric scraps (shredded)
    • Wool clothing (ripped or cut into small pieces)
    • Cotton towels and sheets (shredded)
    • Pencil shavings
    • Sticky notes (shredded)
    • “Dust bunnies” from wood and tile floors
    • Contents of your dustpan (pick out any inorganic stuff, like pennies and Legos)
    • Burlap sacks (cut or torn into small pieces)
    • Old rope and twine (chopped, natural, unwaxed only)
    • Ashes from the fireplace, barbecue grill, or outdoor fire pits
    • Soiled Paper table cloths (shredded or torn into smaller pieces)
    • Crepe paper streamers (shredded)
    • Natural holiday wreaths
    • Fur from the dog or cat brush
    • Droppings and bedding from your rabbit, gerbil, hamster, etc.
    • Newspaper/droppings from the bottom of the bird or snake cage
    • Feathers
    • Alfalfa hay or pellets (usually fed to rabbits, gerbils, etc.)
    • Dry dog or cat food, fish pellets

Until next time, remember you can eat the entire apple!
Garbage Girl             

I Don’t Need 3 Pairs Of Black Cowboy Boots

 

I wear cowboy boots from September to June.  I grew up in New Mexico, so cowboy boots are stylish and come in so many great combinations.  Mostly, though, I wear them because I have size 11 feet, so stylish shoes for women are few and far between.  I can select my favorite cowboy boots from shelves and shelves full of size 9 1/2 men’s size boots!

Cowboy boots are great because they can be resoled forever at a fraction of the cost of a new pair.  Since a black boot goes with everything I wear, I often have more than one pair in different skins, heights or stitching.  If a great new pair comes into my life, I paint the oldest pair a delicious new color!  No one else has these baby blues!

I use a fine natural bristle brush and latex paint.  I buy the paint in “trial sizes” at my local Ace Hardware store.  If the leather isn’t all ready roughed up, I lightly sand the surface with fine grit sand paper.  Carefully paint outside the lines of the stitching and witness your comfy old boots get a dramatic transformation into a new favorite that is uniquely yours.

Until next time,

Garbage Girl

Our Best Guide to Waste and Garbage Gurus

My Garbage Girl alter ego and founder of Waste Warriors is Jodie Underhill.  She is on a mission to clean up India and educate people about litter.  Her organization started by cleaning up the base camps after the adventure tourism industry sold the thrill of conquering our earth’s highest peaks to climbers.

This is a glaring example of us having the desire to be “at-one” with our planet’s unique offerings and yet our footprint of accomplishment is our waste.  The definition of waste is an act or instance of using or expending something carelessly, extravagantly, or to no purpose.

What is this behavior?  How is it possible that we don’t feel responsible for what we use once and leave behind?  Why does the next person have to experience our waste?  Who pays the cost for our lack of community and the guardianship of our home?                Kenneth Worthy of Psychology Today blogs about answers to these questions.  http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-green-mind.  

Let’s pause for a moment and consider that plastic bag we saw blowing down the street or the plastic water bottle lying in the gutter.   If it rains before that item is disposed of properly, it is washed into the storm sewers.  There it clogs up the filters in our waste water treatment plants (if there is a treatment plant).  If the storm is heavy enough, and the filters are full, that item bypasses the system and finds its way into our rivers and oceans.  It takes a ride on the currents and gets consumed by birds and marine life.  If it isn’t consumed, it starts to break down further and further to become part of the ocean ecology forever.  Think about that… forever… as in it will NEVER go away.  And then the cycle infinitely repeats itself all over again.  https://www.helpstoplitterbugs.com/educational-resources   Help Stop Litterbugs explores the global costs of littering and offers anti-littering ads and activities for kids as well as Educational Resources for teachers, parents and volunteers.

Let’s take that plastic bag and fill it with the litter we pass along our way and dispose of it properly by sorting what is recyclable.  We can follow Jodie Underhill and become Waste Warriors in our own lives.

 

TED Talks is a great resource for ideas about waste.  Here are just a few links to some of the most inspiring waste and garbage gurus:

Until Next Week,

Garbage Girl

The Phoenix of Waste

 

The Natural Resources Defense Council  teamed with The Ad Council on this video to educate people about Food Waste.  Set to Michael Giacchino’s Academy Award Winning soundtrack from the critically acclaimed movie “Up,” the life of a strawberry was created pro bono by SapientNitro as part of a new “Save The Food” campaign.

It is part of a national public service campaign to combat food waste from its largest source — consumers.  We collectively waste more food than grocery stores, restaurants or farms.

ReFED, Rethink Food Waste Through Economics and Data, is a collaboration of over 30 business, government, investor, foundation, and nonprofit leaders committed  to reducing food waste in the US.  “The magnitude of the food waste problem is difficult to comprehend,” states the report. “The U.S. spends $218 billion a year — 1.3 percent of GDP — growing, processing, transporting and disposing of food that is never eaten.”

The “Roadmap To Reduce U.S. Food Waste By 20 Percent”, released by ReFED on March 9, is the first national economic study on food waste to develop a plan of action by this multistakeholder group.

The Roadmap estimates that it will cost $18 billion over a decade, or roughly $2 billion annually, to reduce food waste by 20 percent.  The economic value of all the food we waste is equivalent to $218 billion annually, so investing that one percent to drive a 20 percent food waste reduction can unlock $100 billion in savings over a decade.

The Roadmap focuses on the three most scalable solutions for each category:  Prevention: Standardized date labeling; Consumer education campaigns; and Waste tracking and analytics.  Recovery: Donation tax incentives; Standardized donation regulation; and Donation matching software.  Recycling: Centralized composting; Centralized anaerobic digestion; and Water resource recovery facilities with anaerobic digestion.

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One of the nation’s greatest success stories is Phoenix, Arizona.  By creating efficient ways to prevent wasted food, donate food and divert food waste, they are a leader in food waste management.

For example, during Super Bowl 49, hundreds of thousands of rabid football fans converged on downtown Phoenix for a week of partying before the big game.  Phoenix’s “Kick the Waste Initiative” was the perfect test for their pilot food waste collection and composting program.  By placing containers for food scraps and food-soiled paper in the 12-block perimeter of the party zone for the Super Bowl, they achieved a 73 percent diversion rate.  This is consistent with ReFED’s analysis, which finds that 73 percent of recycling opportunity is expected to come from centralized composting and anaerobic digestion facilities.  Through the same program, the city took the food scraps and soiled paper to their new pilot composting facility and three months later, they used it on city landscape and gardening projects.

In January 2016, Phoenix hosted the College Football Playoffs  increasing their diversion rate to 82 percent of the event’s waste.

The nation has a 50 percent food waste reduction goal by 2030.  Under a federal government initiative to lead partnerships between charitable organizations, faith-based organizations, the private sector and local, state and tribal governments, it intends to reduce food waste in the United States as an important step in improving  food security and conserving our nation’s natural resources.    http://www.usda.gov/wps/portal/usda/usdahome?contentid=2015/09/0257.xml

Then there is Jake Mace!  He has the best “at home” compost instructions on the web. You can follow him at JakeMace.com but better yet click on his link and learn how you can make the most amazing compost. http://i1os.com/How_to_Make_Amazing_COMPOST_at_Home!_by_VeganAthlete/5VIFtNCgv28.video

How You Can Help:

Awareness!

  • What are you eating?
  • How is it packaged?
  • How far did it travel to get to you?
  • How was it grown or processed?
  • Will you eat it or throw it away?
  • Can it be composted?
  • Make jam!  It’s a lot easier than you think.

Until next week, images

Garbage Girl