June 02, 2010

Up and Downs of the Week

...Or the rambling diary of a zero waste advocate ;)
This week I spent a bit of time revamping my blog: Notice the new categories, the tips, and the new logo... these drawings were Scott, Max and Leo's suggestions by the way.
But I also had some time to tackle a few junk mail bugs, among other things. So, here I am again tackling the same old ghosts.

DOWN: Last Wednesday, I received yet another adult education catalog. And since writing "refused" on the catalog, was no longer making it disappear from my mailbox (I even exchanged a few notes with my mailman), I went to the post office manager. And I was told to "give it up, because this is the way it is, you can't change it." (Ugh) or can I?
UP: I got hold of the person responsible for sending out the bulk mailing.
DOWN: All she could say was: "I do my share... I have been a vegetarian for 20 years, the cows are the ones destroying the trees" Ugh.
UP: What the??? Although her super lame response was a big downer at first, I can't stop laughing at it now... Seriously, who goes around, saying that their vegetarianism can redeem them from sending out 34 page catalogs to 6000 households every six-months.

DOWN: I also received the local community college catalog that day. Ugh.
UP: I don't know if the woman that I contacted there is a vegetarian, but she was incredibly sweet, head on her shoulders and from my planet... She gave me the great news that they will be sending out a post card to opt out of the catalog soon. YIPPEE! She even agreed to be a source of inspiration to the vegetarian.

DOWN: I saw yet another salon open in my town (it feels like we have about 25 per square mile)...
UP: Beerworks which will soon allow refilling bottles with their brewed beer, root beer and apple cider just opened a couple blocks away on Thursday. YIPPEE! This is the best thing that's happened to the town in a while!

DOWN: On Friday, during my weekly grocery shopping trip, I was told by the deli counter that they would not allow me to fill my jars anymore due to the "Health and Safety" rules... My jaw dropped, and I cried on the way home. Ugh!
UP: I got in touch with the manager later, who said it was not true. A scare for nothing... It makes you realize how much you rely on things when they are taken away from you.

DOWN: Guess what I found waiting for me upon my return from the grocery store? An AT&T phone directory (1 big, 1 small, double bagged). And I had even cancelled this one a ways back. Ugh!
UP: I called customer service (the number can now easily be found inside the directory for opting out) and they nicely apologized at least a 100 times. The distribution center also later called to apologize another 100 times, and they let me know that they would be picking it back up. WOW. Impressed with these guys.

UP: On Saturday, I found out about Aveda Cradle to Cradle certification.
DOWN: I went to Aveda to investigate and found out that Cradle to Cradle certification is not exactly what the book described. A packaging that is recyclable can earn the certification.
UP: the book still describes a great ideal of what our manufacturing world should be, and inspires change.

UP: We had some of our close friends come over for an improvised dinner Sunday night.
DOWN: They brought "biodegradable" water balloons and started the fight before I could stop it. Ugh.
UP: The kids had a blast and the plants got watered.
DOWN: The next morning I had colored plastic all over the yard - it had not yet biodegraded ;) how long does it take anyways?
UP: We got the kids to pick all 250 of them... we'll give them back to our friends to test their true biodegradability themselves ;)

DOWN: On Monday, I found yet another "compostable" spoon (which was found to not really compost) from my local ice cream shop on the ground.
UP: After sending a notice to the owners, I found out that they are willing to work on making their "green business" even greener and will look into waste reducing alternatives. THANK YOU for considering change!

DOWN: Yesterday, I was invited to tour the new Whole Foods, soon to open in town. I had waited for this day to come for a week (to see the size of the bulk section) and had invited 6 friends to join in…only to be told, after biking there in the cold, that the tour had been canceled... Bummer, it would have been nice to get notified by email about the cancellation ahead of time. Ugh.
UP: I got to pick a pineapple and a glass bottle of olive oil from the goodies bag that they were giving out to the disappointed visitors (yes, I succumbed to a free packaged/bottled product for once).
DOWN: We all know pineapples are not grown locally.
UP: The kids noticed the exotic fruit instantly upon their return from school, and are excited about it (oh, the small pleasures of life).

Today, I am considering Twitter for my daily zero waste rambling :)