The Problem with Garbage

Last night I watched the new film, Garbage, the Revolution Starts at Home.  It was an interesting look at a “typical” family, who at the request of their close friend, the filmmaker, agree to save all of their garbage for three months. Filmmaker, Andrew Nisker, explores other topics related to garbage such as pollution, energy sources and usage, chemicals in household cleaners and our water sources.  His goal is to tie it all together for the viewers.

We have been very concerned with our level of garbage creation for quite some time. We compost our food scraps. We recycle everything we can including saving up strange and un-numbered plastics in a bin in our basement for the once-yearly plastic amnesty day at RI Resource Recovery in Johnston.  Additionally, we scrutinize the packaging of things we purchase.  It’s not easy to forego an item just because of its lousy packaging and sometimes I have no choice like when purchasing organic garlic at Whole Foods. I can buy conventional, AKA non-organic, garlic loose, by the bulb with no extra wrappings or I can choose organic that comes in lots of 4 bulbs in a mesh plastic bag.  It’s a horrible choice to have to make and just about always I choose the over-packaged organic.

Sadly we live in a country where lobbyists for big business rule. Until our government decides to take a strong stance and say no to the disposable plastic industry these problems will continue to plague me and our environment.  So what can I do about this in the meantime? I’m going to begin calling and sending emails to companies whose products I use (and don’t have a viable non-packaged alternative) and ask them to stop with the useless, wasteful extra packaging. Do bananas really need to come in a bag? Does my garlic need to be protected in mesh casing? I don’t think so and I truly hope the companies will agree.

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