Philosophy

“When in doubt, Throw it out!”

March 5, 2014
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“When in doubt, Throw it out!”

I know you’ve heard that little maxim. And I’m sorry to tell you that yes, “throw it out” means into the Garbage — i.e., not the recycling. And I know that’s painful for you. You WANT everything to be recyclable — but it’s not. I used to suffer from the same illness — which by…

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I’m baaaaaack! And I’m going to answer all your garbage questions.

March 3, 2014
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I’m baaaaaack! And I’m going to answer all your garbage questions.

Yes. I’ve been gone a while. I took a sabbatical — what of it? I’m not getting paid for this. I’m back, and I’m going to quit being such a crabby scrooge about how bad everything is and be more informative about what we can do to help. Especially given that I’m the first one to…

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Recycling School goes to Composting Plant

September 24, 2013
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Recycling School goes to Composting Plant

I have about thirty classmates. The course is eight three hour classes plus two or three day-long field trips, during which we hit several sites each. Here we are marching through Nature’s Needs, learning exactly what happens to all the yard debris and compost collected from Portland curbsides. The green guy in the pictures is…

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The daily deluge of coffee cups into the landfills

August 25, 2013
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The daily deluge of coffee cups into the landfills

Three items to throw away after a few minutes of use. I just got back from a trip. In the airport on the way out of town we got drinks at a Coffee People. Then I had to throw away the cup. Ow! I could hardly do it. But they’re not eligible for reincarnation. The rule…

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Bad News for Rigid Plastics: China sings the Elvis song.

August 1, 2013
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Bad News for Rigid Plastics: China sings the Elvis song.

She wrote upon it: Return to sender. Address unknown. No such number. No such zone. China’s mad. Yes, China — the one who buys most of the world’s discarded plastics so that we can buy fright-loads of manufactured plastic doodads back from them — has had it. Reason? They’ve been getting boat-loads of plastic with…

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The Reformed Packrat: Life is one big “No” after another

July 15, 2013
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The Reformed Packrat: Life is one big “No” after another

In our neighborhood (and perhaps in the country at large), a custom has developed whereby when you no longer want an item, you simply put it out on your parking strip and it’s gone within a few hours. You don’t even need to put up a “free” sign, it’s understood that it’s up for grabs.…

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A new look at rechargeable batteries?

July 11, 2013
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A new look at rechargeable batteries?

Like everyone, I had my little love affair with rechargeable batteries. I had two sets for my camera, and a recharger that I plugged in overnight so I’d always have one set at the ready. It was great at first. The next morning those batteries would be all a-glow, ready to take on the world.…

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What to do with spent batteries

July 8, 2013
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What to do with spent batteries

Do you know someone who tosses used batteries back into the drawer with the NEW batteries? What’s up with this sick habit? I can explain. But first, let me complain. The next person, naturally assuming the batteries pulled from the new-battery-drawer to be new, finds that the appliance still doesn’t work and starts down a…

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Where to get rid of Styrofoam blocks in Portland

June 13, 2013
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Where to get rid of Styrofoam blocks in Portland

I have to admit I’ve been feeling somewhat holy about going to the trouble of schlepping our huge Styrofoam blocks out to one of the only two places in Portland that will take them. I feel less holy after what I’ve just found out. …. which I’ll tell you about in a minute. But first…

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Why we don’t want to be inhaling or swallowing Styrofoam

June 10, 2013
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Why we don’t want to be inhaling or swallowing Styrofoam

It’s not rocket surgery. All you have to do is watch the surface of any hot liquid in one of those Styrofoam cups to see it forming a slick on your drink. When every cell in my body goes “Ew!” I pay attention. I may not be a scientist, but my body knows a few…

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