I certainly try not to be preachy, but I never let an occasion pass to get in a little dig when I observe regrettable behavior. "Oh, now I understand why the rubbish tax keeps increasing." "You should stock up on warm clothing because you'll need it when you can't afford to turn on the heat anymore."
Around where I live, some people burn their trash, plus there is too much littering. I'm not the only one who objects to that, so some of it can be solved (slowly) by getting together with like-minded neighbors.
When I go back to the States, I'm just appalled by the general waste. Yes, there is recycling, but why is so much thrown away? And my mother! I cringe into a tiny ball every time she turns on -- & leaves on -- the kitchen tap, which is always at full blast with clouds of steam rising. I got snarled at for suggesting that this was unwise behavior, especially in water-challenged southern Oklahoma.
With your housemate, the only thing I can think of is to hide the environmental aspect in a plea for saving money. Protection of the pocketbook might work where concern for the earth has not.
oh, thankfully, we agree on the saving money bit. the one bit I have lots of issues is as follows:
I only asked her one thing when she moved in: not to use standard household cleaners. To that effect, I provided her with products that were kind of meeting our two differing views.
At first, she said she was happy to use them, but now she has stopped using the products provided, and she has bought some products I didn't want in the house. She didn't tell me about it and she hid the products at the back of the cupboard. When I mentioned to her I'd seen the products, I made sure not to make too much of a fuss about it. the products disappeared. Now they have reappeared and I am not sure how to address the situation.
Dans les grandes choses, les hommes se montrent comme il leur convient de se montrer; dans les petites, ils se montrent comme ils sont.
ah, bixa... I briefly thought of removing the offending products and replacing with mine... but thought better of it. She doesn't like the smell of vinegar (only when it is used for cleaning purposes, though!)
I will see when I can see clearly what to say and do.. I'll act.
Dans les grandes choses, les hommes se montrent comme il leur convient de se montrer; dans les petites, ils se montrent comme ils sont.
Auntieannie, I recycled my trash for over 30 years providing my own different bins outside the kitchen area of our house. During this time and to date, the onus is on YOU to cart bag fulls of bottles and tin cans to the refuse dump and if lucky a storage facility nearer home. Only paper has started to be collected in the last year or so from ones entrance on the roadway.
One day, I took a lorry load to the dumpsite and was horrified when they threw all my carefully separated stuff straight in with all kinds of other household trash. Since that day I don't separate anything except I keep back uncooked veg peelings for my compost heap. I don't feel one bit guilty as I am saving on 20km's worth of diesel and the scavengers at the refuse dump are picking out what they want (like bottles) and getting paid to hand them in.
As for cleaning products - the bio-degradable ones that one has to especially order are very expensive so the best thing I can do is switch over to a steam-cleaner. So far I have only used it to defrost the refrigerator but it cleans everything far better than any product. I will see what my housemaid makes of it !
I think you are going to have to let your house mate off the hook or get yourself tranquilizers.....stress will kill you quicker than the world's environment.
Bixa - I cringe with you when I am having my hair shampooed at the hairdresser and the assistant rinses my hair, applies the conditioner and rubs it in all the while letting the tap run full bore! I did get her to switch it off one time by telling her I wanted my treatment left on for 5min. so she might as well turn the water off. You would think the woman would get the hint....not a bit of it! Even my hairdresser gets hopping mad as water is not free - but cannot keep yelling "turn off that tap!!!" because she will just end up with a sore throat Grrrrrrrr!
Small story - I was in Egypt leading expeditions when for a three week break one woman who ended up being my wife came as a group member. She was very much into recycling rubbish. She noted after a day or two that on the trip we didn't separate anything other than foodstuffs. She decided to tell me we should. I told her she could be in charge of doing it then. She agreed.
After several days in the desert we had different bags of stuff and we approached a town. As we stopped to do food shopping she asked as best as she could one of the locals what we could do with the rubbish as it was separated, could they re-cycle it. He of course said no problem. She gave it to him and saw him take the bags, walk to a fence on which the other side was the desert - and threw them all together over on top of the fence to where there were numerous other bags and loose rubbish, to be just left there.
Post by cheerypeabrain on Mar 9, 2011 20:10:24 GMT
We have a recycling bin but the council are quite picky about what we put into it...they'll only take plastic if it's type 0.5, 1.0 or 2.0....no cardboard, no tins. Mostly just the aforementioned plastic bottles (no bottle tops), glass bottles and newspapers/magazines. There are a few large recycling bins scattered about the city for old clothes (I tend to take mine to charity shops)...but on the whole we can't recycle much.
I resent the amount of packaging our food comes in, but would I be any happier if said food was 'loose' and damaged? I don't know. I get round a lot of it by not buying much processed food...altho I am addicted pepsi max.... at least I recycle those cans by taking them to a recycling point. I do compost all veg (raw) peelings. I garden organically for the most part...until I see a vine weevil then I'm running to the shops for the Provado...
I use cleaning products in moderation, and use ecovere a lot...but I don't like the products for washing clothes so I do use detergents...bad Cheerypeabrain...
I don't know how you can address the situation with your housemate auntieannie, it's a difficult one.
We recycle almost everything where we live and we do have bin pick ups every two weeks. We separate paper, cardboard, plastic, tin, glass bottles into our blue bins and they are cheerfully picked up. The only thing we do not do is compost, I am afraid it will attract the bears! Cheers, Mich
Since our building is so small (only 7 flats), we have a contract with the concierge of a building down the street to take our rubbish bins in and out 3 days a week. General trash is collected every day in Paris, plastic-paper-metal is collected twice a week and glass is picked up once a week, but since there are so few of us, we don't fill up the bins that often.
What really pisses me off is that 90% of the time, the concierge just empties the plastic-paper-metal bin into the general trash so that he doesn't have to take two bins out. He claims that certain people in my building do not sort their trash properly (true) and that too much organic matter ends up in the plastic-paper-metal bin, creating a risk of rejection. (Believe it or not, the garbage trucks "sniff" out organic matter, and if the alarm goes off, the employees put the bin back on the street without emptying it, and tape it shut with white 'rejected' tape.) Anything in the general bin, though, gets picked up no matter what.
I guess it isn't all that important, because all of the rubbish ends up on conveyer belts at the trash center with people sorting out the 'good' stuff manually, throwing tins to the left and plastic bottles to the right, or whatever. I just wish that humans didn't have to do that.
Annie, this isn't a complete solution, but would maybe help ease tension and moving things along .......
Could each of you ask the other one to give up one thing? For instance, if she is using clorox, a real environmental horror, you could request that all chlorine-based products be banned from the house.
If you're lucky, she'll ask you to give up vinegar for cleaning. You could probably get away with plain water on the floors most of the time, anyway, and since vinegar is a kitchen item, you could sneak some for cleaning when she's not around.
Post by cheerypeabrain on Jan 26, 2019 19:50:39 GMT
Recently I got hold of some wraps that are soaked with beeswax...they're to use instead of cling film, covering leftover bowls, wrapping bread etc. They don't affect the flavour of the food and are easy to clean. Stretching over a bowl of leftovers the warmth of your hands allow you to form the wrap into shape. I'm still finding new uses for them and have reduced the amount of cling film I use dramatically.
I've also got a very large clear plastic bag for proving bread that I reuse...Jeff keeps wanting to throw it away but it's really useful.
The same time I purchased the beeswax wraps I picked up a load of very thin cloth bags for buying loose fruit and veg instead of using the supermarket's plastic bags. We still end up with shedloads of packaging after our weekly shop tho.
I have small, thin cloth bags and always go to shop with at least two large reusable bags; one is a green Patagonia bag a friend gave me; she found it uncomfortable to carry (they are expensive; this friend is obsessed with bags). I love it. I'll buy some of those beeswax things. But it is discouraging how much packaging even bio stuff is wrapped in.
I loved Greta's address but one reason it is so effective is that she looks much younger than her age, though I'm sure she is far taller than I am. I looked like a young adult in my 20s when I was 15-16 and stayed about the same until I was in my mid-30s.
I'm also discouraged about how difficult it is to recycle somewhat worn-out clothing. There is only one place I can take it, and it is not easy in the winter.
Plastic bags in grocery stores no longer exist in France. They have biodegrable ones in the produce section. On the rare occasions I buy produce at the supermarket, I keep the bags and take them to the market where I buy most of my fruit and vegetables.
Supermarkets sell big shopping bags for a nominal price(used to be 99cents) and replace them for free when they get worn out, but since they are quite solid, they last for ages.
At the market, I see lots of people with cloth bags or else reusing plastic bags and paper ones.
Our household garbage is picked up once a week now (used to be 3 times) and the bins have a chip on them so you pay each time they empty them. So most people tend to take them out once they are completely full. They used to pick up the recycling bins weekly but now it's every other week. So much for encouraging recycling. And they don't pick up glass any more at all -- you have to take it to glass bins. I also have a compost bin in my garden.
When my kids lived in Edinburgh in an apartment building, there was a bin for compost beside the parking lot. Every tennant was given little biodegradable bags to use.
There are collection bins for old clothing here. They look like some official thing, with signs saying that stuff should be clean and in good condition. But in fact, it's a private company and the material is all mashed up and resold as "unidentified material" to industry.
Post by cheerypeabrain on Jan 27, 2019 9:38:53 GMT
Huckle, we use biodegradable bags for picking up after Django. There are lots of bins around for both litter and dog waste. Council workers empty these bins 2 - 3 times per week.
Altho there are workers out clearing rubbish every week I've found that local residents have no regard for the environment...theres litter everywhere, especially along the roadside as people chuck cans, plastic cups and food wrapping out of their vehicle windows. What's MUCH more worrying is the awful tendency for delivery drivers and lorry drivers to park up and use the bushes along the road as a toilet. Nowadays there are far too few public conveniences away from city centres. It seems ridiculous to me that an area with shops, take-aways and industrial units doesn't have at least one public convenience.
I would like to be able to say that all of the free public automatic toilets in Paris ("sanisettes") have solved the problem, but they have only alleviated it a bit. Luckily there are cafés everywhere (and also the fast food chains), but often you have to consume something to avail yourself of their facilities.
They are certainly a help. Not much use in having to order coffee or a pint to use the loo!
Certain public institutions such as libraries are also useful. And certain museums have public facilities outside the place where one must pay to enter exhibitions. There used to be a Marks & Spencer on rue de Rivoli in the 4e where the toilets were always spotless and nobody ever bothered me. Of course I know several places here with reliable "conveniences".
There are a few now in the Métro system here and in the historic district, for tourists I guess, but handy for anyone wandering around there, as there are chill winds off the river that can provoke urges...
The Bibliothèque nationale du Québec ("La Grande bibliothèque") makes a point of making their facilities open to all, including the many itinerants in the area, though there have been problems as so many SDFs have severe mental conditions...
Cheery, public toilets are also very important in terms of accessibility, and not only to people with an obvious disability. Many people, both men and women, have to pee more often as we age (not to mention people with conditions such as Chron's or colitis). It is important to ensure loo availability to keep people walking and otherwise active.
I have benefited from somebody else's irresponsible dumping of unwanted stuff. Jeff was out walking the dog when he saw that a load of plastic plant pots had been chucked into the bushes on the nature reserve. He didnt tell me and left them or a few days...but he knew that I'd love them so he want back yesterday and brought them home.
After a good scrub with the jet washer they're good as new...one is MASSIVE...I could grow a tree in it! There are a few other very large ones and a ceramic one. So we have recycled lots of plastic and our garden will have more lovely plants in it...fabulous. just hope we have enough compost in the 2 compost bins....might have to buy quite a lot...
Score!!! I love scavenging and coming upon plant pots is pure gold.
I also love plastic pots because I garden on a patio and need to move plants around. I use spray paint to make the pots the color I want and highly recommend copper color, as it actually contains copper. (I know this because on all the places my pets have lifted their little legs, the paint turns green -- or verdigris, if you prefer.) You can also use the gray or reddish primers, which are nice because they're non-glossy.
I had loads of terracotta flower pots standing around in my garden. I gave some away to friends, took a few for myself and left the rest for the new owners of the house. I also found plastic pots good for plants I had to move, as well as for citrus trees (I keep trying to grow kumquats but it seems to be a hopeless task) which allegedly need a lot of water.
It is becoming a bit more common for things to be left on curbs in France too, but we lived between two dead ends on a pedestrian passageway, so there was little traffic right in front of the house other than a few pedestrians and kids on bikes.
Good idea to spray paint them, Bixa. I did paint a couple of pots once but with the paint I had used for the shutters. I suppose it would keep the water from evaporating so fast too when it's hot.
I couldn't possibly move my ficus tree if it were in a terracotta pot. The problem with plastic ones is that they can have inadequate drainage, rotting the roots, but Fabrizio (the ficus tree) is in a pot with a reservoir beneath the earth. They need a thorough watering, but must be left without rewatering for quite a while - obviously depending on weather and climate.