Reducing trash – even though it will all be recycled…

I’ve been feeling a bit guilty lately about the amount of trash I create, after I read recently about the girl, Lauren Singer, who is one of the guests on this radio show about how to live a greener life – one of her blog posts, about not producing any trash for two years. (the photo below is of her fridge…)

Having a daughter who likes yogurts, and the both of us being diabetic, we’re always going to generate plenty of plastic – unless I get a keg installed at home, I’m going to keep buying cans of beer. I can’t calculate how much plastic and metal we put in our recycle chute here.
But I have been buying packaged veggies in the supermarket just because it’s quicker than waiting in the lines for the veggie stalls in the old fashioned market downstairs, which is terrible, since I’m sure the veggies are better for me from the market, and I love the fact that here in Spain these old markets still exist and want to support them.mercado1
I have just come back from a trip to said market and went to the stall which sells veggies mostly grown right here in town on a small farm… and they gave my daughter a free strawberry (yeah… they still sell strawberries in December, but they’re from southern Spain, not Chile…) AND they gave me an extra courgette that wasn’t in great shape just to not waste it. I feel great about myself again and will hereafter make the effort – during the week the queue wasn’t even long.


market stall

Then again, listening to the show, I can see my carbon footprint is huge because I don’t’ live at home any more. I can only hope all my cycling will one day make up for flying home twice a year!

About davidjmobrien

Writer, ecologist and teacher

Posted on January 9, 2015, in Ecology, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. I really miss a good street market. They’re very popular in southern counties…Cork, Kerry, Waterford…but not so much elsewhere. Very strange. Organic has been weaned down to a handful of basics in the supermarkets. And almost everything is prepackaged. No more choosing out own, which means, invariable, 1 in the 3 pack is always rotting by the time it gets home. They’ve taken away our freedom of choice by over-packaging produce…which isn’t very fresh in the first place by the time it reaches this little island in the North Atlantic.

    We have a small container for recyclables in the kitchen. It’s emptied almost daily where the actual trash bin can sit for days before anything goes into it. So much waste.

    • exactly – I empty the recycling everyday and the rubbish – organic waste etc. – every 3 or 4 days.

    • Since we moved we no longer have a compost bin so we have our own. The rubbish bin is really small but that’s all we need. It’s collected every two weeks (both are), but the recycle one is always overfilled…even stomping down things like the milk cartons and boxes.

      It’s just astounding to me that the huge Tesco markets have smaller produce sections than the small corner shops back home. Crazy. And the food isn’t fresh. When we were home summer before last, we went to a street market. We smelled the produce from two blocks away where we’d parked. Then we came back to Ireland, hit the grocery store for food, and couldn’t believe how everything had no smell, or it was so light, you just nearly missed it unless your nose was scraping the skins. No comparison to flavor. And health professionals wonder why people are obese. Processed food smells and tastes better, and it’s cheaper.

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