I tripped over a dead rat in kits yesterday.....
I am not especially squeamish, but seeing a foot long rat dead on side walk on my leisurely little stroll between the beach and 4th Avenue the other night definitely startled me in the little bubble I live in. Struck
with a thought that I should probably do something to resolve the situation I realized I had no idea what to do. Where to dead rats go? Does some good Samaritan with a strong stomach eventually come along and pick it up and throw it out? Or does a dog bring it home proudly as a gift to it's loving owner? I suppose the municipality has some sort of poor sole delegated to do this who is on strike right now?
With the garbage strike on, Vancouverites will have to face the garbage that they constantly create day after day. It's so easy not to think about it because it gets taken away by the trucks, out of sight and out of mind. It's a problem in our modern world that we are often disconnected from the effects of our actions.
However, by reducing the amount of garbage you create, there are a number of other spin-off benefits that go hand-in-hand with such efforts including saving money, becoming more healthy, and saving the environment.
One of the biggest challenges most people face is giving up conveniences. Convenient things may make our lives easier in some ways, but they also create more trash, sometimes aren't as healthy, and often cost more.
Here are some suggestions:
1. Cook fresh food, rather than packaged food. Not only is it cheaper, but it's healthier as you can control what ingredients you put in it. Canned and packaged foods often have a lot of preservatives and chemicals in them that you may not be aware of. If time is at a premium, there's always the tried-and-trued way of cooking a large amount and freezing it, or cooking something large (such as a chicken) and using in several different meals throughout the week.
2. Snacks often have a lot of packaging. Next time you open a snack, see how many layers of packaging it has. If you have the munchies, try forcing yourself to snack on an apple or a carrot. See how it goes. A lot of snacking is based on nervous energy, boredom, or emotional needs. Why not channel that energy into eating something healthier, cheaper, and less wasteful (or something you can compost)?
3. Take a reusable mug or bag when purchasing drinks or groceries.
4. Think about things before you toss them into the garbage. Is it really worth throwing away? Can it be used by someone else? Can it be used for something else? Can it be recycled?
5. Buy from bulk bins, or bulk quantities in larger containers rather than multiple smaller ones. Or buy a large container and fill smaller reusable plastic containers for things like juice instead of buying those little lunch-sized tetrapaks. You'll save money too.