Saturday, March 28, 2009

Earth Hour tonight

Earth Hour is just a few hours away. I'm not at all convinced it will achieve anything, but will be doing my part by turning off all our lights and using a solar flashlight. If there were any Earth Hour parties nearby, I'd probably go to one, but my city doesn't have much planned for tonight.

What bothers me about Earth Hour is that so many of the buildings that will be darkened for an hour could be left darkened all night, every night, and yet continue to waste lots of electricity by being fully lit 364 nights per year. I'd like to see us move beyond symbolic gestures and start making permanent, meaningful changes.

Despite my reservations, I'm eager to participate in Earth Hour, because it's the first opportunity I've had for ages to act in conjunction with other environmentalists. It's nice to think about other people turning off their lights at the same time I do.

Reusable collected Friday, March 27, 2009

1 plastic carrier bag

Recyclable collected Thursday, March 26, 2009

  • 1 aluminum can (Steel Reserve lager)

In general, I try to avoid harming wildlife, even tiny critters like ants and spiders. I was therefore unsure what to do when I picked up the Steel Reserve can listed above and discovered that it was filled with spider web, a sign that it was likely inhabited by a spider. As an environmentalist, I felt obliged to take the can home for recycling, and as a protector of spiders, I felt obliged to put the can back down where I found it.

I settled for taking the can home, but making sure that the water I used to rinse it was plain, not soapy. (I rinse recyclables in water that has already been used for washing either hands or dishes.) The spider, still very much alive and kicking, ended up near the opening in the can, and was coaxed into a sealable plastic container similar to those I use for bulk foods. Spidey was then taken outside and left in an area with bushes similar to those the can had been resting under. I still feel a bit guilty for taking Spidey's home away, but hope that the bushes, fallen logs, and other vegetation he now has access to will prove to be an adequate substitute.

Recyclables collected Wednesday, March 25, 2009

  • 2 plastic bottles (1 Tropicana orange juice, 1 Deer Park water)

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Items collected Tuesday, March 24, 2009

  • 3 plastic bottles (1 Coca-Cola, 1 roadkilled Dasani water, 1 bottle without a label)

  • 1 plastic carrier bag

Recyclables collected Monday, March 23, 2009

  • 1 glass bottle (Heineken)
  • 4 plastic bottles (1 Propel Fit Water Beverage, 1 Aquafina water, 1 roadkilled bottle without a label, 1 water bottle that has no label but which I'm almost certain is a Deer Park bottle with a child-proof cap)

The Heineken bottle was almost full, and was sealed shut with a cap that was thoroughly rusted. My first two attempts at removing the cap resulted in pieces of rust flying off while the cap itself remained in place. Eventually, the cap came off.

When I do monthly tallies of the recyclables I pick up, I separate out plain water from other beverages. In anticipation of having forgotten what Propel Water is by the time I tally this month's recyclables, I'm making a note here that Propel Water falls into the other beverage category. Propel has sucrose syrup as its second ingredient.

Recyclables collected Sunday, March 22, 2009

  • 1 glass bottle (Bacardi rum)
  • 1 plastic bottle (Minute Maid orange juice)

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Recyclable collected Saturday, March 21, 2009

  • 1 aluminum can (AriZona Kiwi Strawberry)

Items collected Friday, March 20, 2009

  • 1 plastic bottle (Deer Park Eco-Shape water)

  • 1 plastic carrier bag

The bag listed above is in pristine condition, and hasn't even been opened. I find quite a few bags in this condition and am always puzzled by how they end up on the street.

Recyclables collected Thursday, March 19, 2009

  • 3 aluminum cans (1 AriZona Green Tea with Ginseng and Honey, 1 AriZona Iced Tea with Lemon Flavor, 1 Busch Light)

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Recyclables collected Wednesday, March 18, 2009

  • 2 aluminum cans (1 Heineken, 1 King Cobra premium malt liquor)
  • 2 plastic bottles (1 Deer Park Eco-Shape water, 1 Vault Red Blitz)

I'm happy to say that yesterday's St. Patrick's Day revelers do not appear to have littered. I didn't see even a single item of litter that could be traced to any of the numerous St. Patrick's Day parties that took place here.

Today was the first time I saw a bottle of Vault Red Blitz. It's a brand of soda made by the Coca-Cola Company.

Recyclables collected Tuesday, March 17, 2009

  • 3 aluminum cans (1 Heineken, 1 Budweiser, 1 Diet Sprite)
  • 1 plastic bottle (Gatorade Tiger Focus)

Items collected Monday, March 16, 2009

  • 1 glass bottle (Miller lager)

  • 1 plastic carrier bag

Items collected Sunday, March 15, 2009

  • 2 aluminum cans (1 Tecate beer, 1 extremely roadkilled Pabst Blue Ribbon beer)
  • 7 plastic bottles (1 Dr Pepper, 2 "spring!" brand spring water, 1 DrinkMore water, 1 Kirkland Signature spring water, 1 Glaceau Kiwi-Strawberry Vitamin water, 1 Smirnoff vodka)

  • 1 dead Sharpie marker
  • 1 opened, leaking pouch of energy goo

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Recyclables collected Friday, March 13, 2009

  • 1 plastic bottle (Deer Park water)
  • 1 aluminum can (Natural Ice lager)

Items collected Thursday, March 12, 2009

  • 1 glass bottle (Miller High Life "The Champagne of Beers")
  • 3 plastic bottles (1 Dasani water, 1 Safeway Refreshe water, 1 Gatorade)
  • 1 torn plastic bag
  • 1 Jack Chick comic book

  • 1 black pen

Recyclables collected Wednesday, March 11, 2009

  • 2 plastic bottles (1 Classic Selection spring water, 1 Diet Pepsi)

Items collected Tuesday, March 10, 2009

  • 2 glass bottles (1 Heineken, 1 Smirnoff Ice Green Apple Bite malt beverage)
  • 2 aluminum cans (1 roadkilled Bud Light, 1 roadkilled Steel Reserve)
  • 4 plastic bottles (1 Mtn Dew, 1 Deer Park water, 1 Safeway Refreshe water, 1 roadkilled Sierra Mist)

  • 1 plastic carrier bag (dirty but can be reused as a trash bag)

"Mtn Dew" appears to be the new name of what was formerly called "Mountain Dew". I guess people today are supposed to be too stupid to spell "Mountain". Sigh.

Items collected Monday, March 9, 2009

  • 2 plastic bottles (1 Nestle PureLife water, 1 Fresca soda)
  • 3 aluminum cans (1 Natural Light beer, 1 roadkilled Diet Coke, 1 round Diet Coke)
  • 1 roadkilled aluminum tray

  • 1 plastic carrier bag

  • 1 torn, dirty plastic carrier bag

I used to put more effort into scrubbing torn plastic bags so they could be recycled, but I've been short on time lately and have decided to throw in the trash any that it would take a great deal of effort to clean. Naturally, I feel guilty about this, but I just can't keep up with everything at the moment.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Items collected Saturday, March 7, 2009

  • several sheets of newspaper

  • 1 polystyrene clamshell container

The newspaper sheets all came from the Wall Street Journal, and the person who had been reading it did substantial underlining and notetaking in the "Biggest 1,000 Stocks" section. My fantasy is to be the kind of computer hacker who could find out who owns the underlined stocks so I could track the person down and give him or her a lecture on littering.

Until recently, I mostly ignored newspapers I saw on the street, reasoning that they were biodegradable. However, I realized that it made little sense to expend lots of effort on recycling paper I had used myself, sometimes carrying it for miles to drop it in a bin, while ignoring other people's abandoned papers.

Recyclables collected Friday, March 6, 2009

  • 3 plastic bottles (1 Deer Park water, 1 Gatorade A.M., 1 Raspberry-Apple Vitamin Water)

Recyclables collected Thursday, March 5, 2009

  • 1 plastic bottle (Velicoff vodka)
  • 1 aluminum can ("Natural Light" beer)

Recyclables collected Wednesday, March 4, 2009

  • 1 plastic bottle (Fox Lodge spring water)
  • 1 newspaper (minus a few very wet sheets that I threw in the trash)

Recyclables collected Saturday, February 28, 2009

  • many sheets of newspaper, equivalent to approximately one intact newspaper