This morning I (Lou) found myself washing my coffee mug from last night.
Don’t worry, the story isn’t going to be about how to wash a mug although I’m sure there are proper ways. While washing it, I glanced at the bottom and began looking for that little triangle for recycling (I have a plastic mug).
What I found in disappointment, was the number 7, or “other” as it is categorized.
You might be asking yourself “What does 7 or other mean?” That’s a good question, and a good idea for another post!
This one, however, is going to be about my coffee mug and how silly I was when I (a.k.a. my mom) bought it.
Lou & Liz is all about knowing what you buy, where it comes from and where it goes when you’re done with it. Unfortunately, at the time of purchase I wasn’t as observant or concerned about knowing these things and didn’t think to look for a stainless steel mug instead of plastic (or even a recyclable plastic). Stainless steel is very easily recycled and won’t break down as fast as plastic mug of any sort, you can also only recycle a very limited amount of plastics in Vancouver (1, 2, 4, 5). Allied Salvage is a local company that serves Metro Vancouver in recycling metals.
Another note I should make is that recycling is not the answer to our waste problems, in fact, recycling is still waste. When I attended a Youth Sustainability Symposium, I sat down at a table for youth interested in “Waste”; I was surprised to find out that most of them were more geared towards finding more ways to recycle more things rather than simply reducing our overall consumption. Remember Reduce Reuse Recycle? ONE, TWO and THREE are ordered BEST! to okay… because reducing is the best way to stop our GROSS habit of throwing things away all the time.
Baby steps though, right? Recycling is just okay, but we can do SOOOOO much better. Vancouver is practically in adolescence in terms of “greenness”; we recycle tons, our compost can go into our yard waste bins, bike lanes, rapid transit, there’s still so much more to do and recycling isn’t going to cut it anymore.
Where ever you are as a individual in your journey to being green in our soon to be greenest city, KEEP GOING! Big steps, small steps, fast paced, or slow, you’re moving and that’s what counts. Look back on your decisions, whether they were good or not (note to self: don’t buy plastic coffee mugs) and learn from them because To Err is Human, and to Arr is Pirate.
Have a great week and thanks for reading!
Lou & Liz