A Throw-away society

JTAbandonedCar

Yep, that’s us. So. California has a lot of totally uninhabitable desert, you can just leave whatever, wherever, and no one will care.

This was shot in Joshua Tree Nat’l park, an early settler 60 years ago certainly couldn’t call the AAA.

Still looking out for any comment/articles on why we throw out so much stuff. Haven’t found any so far. I’m pretty sure it has to do with how you were brought up, what your parents taught you. Mine were church-going self disciplined people, and we had to finish what was on our plate at dinner time. Waste not, want not.

Living in SF 15 yrs ago, in an old apt bldg. w/ a trash chute door on a kitchen wall, i visited a young neighbor, who thought it was just fine to dump raw garbage down the chute, to a trash can 4 floors below – a really stupid idea. Because the garbage coated the chute on the way down, and pretty soon rats were climbing up 4 floors to feed on it. It didn’t take long for the landlord to rip out the trash chutes entirely.

Anyway…

The last few weeks have been rather slim pickings, mostly because i am choosey.

Some one’s obviously been moving and dumped lots of stuff, but most of it is not useful to me. Plastic clothes hangers, various furniture items, clothes – not my size or taste.

BUT!…

Several half finished loafs of bread

Also, a 7 oz package of sliced smoked turkey breast – a perfect addition to the bread mentioned above.

A bag w/ Russett potatoes…

Potatoes

… how bad do these look to you?

Wrinkled? OK, BFD! The eyes are growing? Hey, that’s nature’s way of telling you to cut ’em out and plant them if you have a garden of any kind. I don’t…but if i did… I’d know what to do.

I’m never gonna eat 4 potatoes as quickly as they might spoil, so i cook some and freeze all. I gotta tell ya, i need a bigger freezer but the the ‘frig i have is all I’m gonna get in an apt. They give you one? & that’s it.

8/30 Veggies!

The universe works in peculiar ways. I mostly buy frozen veggies bags of ‘stir fry mix’ or ‘california winter mix’. I have read that frozen veggies are more nutritious than what’s called ‘fresh’ because they get frozen much faster after being picked than the ‘fresh’ take to get to the supermarket. So i was just about out of a bag, when what shows up in the dumpster?

Asparagus, baby spinach, and a cucumber. The cuke and asparagus are a bit old, but perfectly OK. The date on the spinach ( bag unopened!) was 8/25. Thanks neighbor!

Asp.Spin.Cuke

What kind of trash does America generate each year? Where does it go? What impact does our waste have on the environment? How can we reduce our trash output? Enhance your health, science, and environmental studies curriculum with this video which features a landfill in South Jersey and examines the state of food waste in America today. Then, use the accompanying lesson plan to prepare students to visually track and document different kinds of trash in their community.”

http://www.pbs.org/america-revealed/teachers/lesson-plan/8/

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9/9

Found all in one bag:

1 lb bag of carrots – i am gooooogling ‘freezing carrots’!

More sliced turkey, deli style – the best by/sell by date is 4/1/2014. It’s still perfectly good. Passes the smell test, and passes the ‘it goes thru a post-burst-appendix-GI-tract OK’ … just fine.

Plenty of preservatives in this wouldn’t you say?

A 1/3 jar of cheez whiz – i think the reason this gets tossed is that it’s too hard to get to the last third of it, with this jar design.

Packaging is the culprit for a lot of waste.

Probably most people will want to use this with corn/tortilla chips (remember I am in California, strong hispanic influence here) scooping out the dip.

The jar is about 3.5″ deep most chips aren’t much more than 2″ deep. You do the math.

Sure, you could scoop it out with a spoon – what then?

I buy hummus in plastic containers that make it easy to get to the last bit of the product, they are flatter, you can get to ALL the product easily. I save and reuse them.

(BTW – Know how much cheese is in Cheez Whiz? Almost none, it’s the next to last ingredient in the ingredients list.)

Half a jar of ‘Southwest’ Salsa – which is the basic tomato salsa, with corn, that’s the ‘SW’ part.

And half a jar of Alfredo sauce (dated 3/28/15) It’s not the thin whimpy kind, it’s thick and rich.

Lately I’ve started to try and deal w/ some e-waste of mine, that’s been stuck in corner for a few years now.

It all started when my dual cassette deck died. I have probably 50 or 60 cassettes that are still playable and they go back many years. Some are recordings off the “Hearts of Space” radio show that I’ll never find anywhere. Many would be next to impossible to find, they have long since gone ‘out of print’.

Now that the cassette deck is dead, the receiver amplifier hooked up to it is pretty useless too. I tried loading some of my CDs into iTunes, but playing them while i have a fat Photoshop file open makes the fan on my Mac mini spin ferociously, which I don’t like.

So I found a Sony-made small boom-box thing for $50 that’s a radio/cassette/ CD player. It’s sweet, plays everything i stick into it 🙂

Then i looked in the corner beyond my stereo table and saw the Mac G4 box and LaCie 17″ diagonal monitor that I’d decommissioned a few years ago. I don’t have a car, I’m on the fourth floor of my apt bldg., and my sciatic 62 yo back can’t even get this stuff to the door. And it’s all still useable.

It’s easy to find a place that will take all this if you can drop it off. Obviously I can’t.

There’s a business called ‘renewcomputers’ here in Marin Co. that will come pick the stuff up – for 75$!

Ouch!.. but I guess it’s the right thing to do.

And last by not least, i got rid of a couple of old hats….

OldHats5221

…when I found this perfectly good, and much more stylish one in the trash outside my local Walgreens front door.

AGoodNewOne5217

Next time you see me? I will be loooookin’ good! Yes sirree!

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Time to repeat a couple of links from the previous post:

http://triplehelixblog.com/2014/07/e-waste-our-choice-between-polluting-and-creating-american-recycling-jobs/

http://www.causesinternational.com/ewaste/e-waste-facts

http://sitemaker.umich.edu/section002group3/e-waste

What is one man’s trash is another man’s treasure! Dig this:

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/10/magazine/the-brazilian-bus-magnate-whos-buying-up-all-the-worlds-vinyl-records.html?_r=0

Is vinyl dead? How ’bout remembering ‘the king is dead, long live the king’ Same for vinyl.

A couple of more interesting pages:

http://www.sfgate.com/default/article/Drink-that-burger-Pay-no-heed-5704729.php

http://www.hcn.org/issues/46.14/how-much-water-goes-into-your-food

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