Trash Walking

disposables, keepers, treasures

Follow up, links, and a call to action.


First, a follow up to my last post.  Not exactly about litter, but something to think about.  After a week of saving wasted food, here’s what is in the bin in my fridge.  I changed the rules a bit, because I realized that it wasn’t fair to my son to single out his waste.  That the experiment would mean more to all of us if we kept all of our wasted food, to see how we fared as a family.  Not great, but not bad for a week.  He definitely doesn’t like this experiment, and  is doing a much better job of eating his lunches, which is how this experiment came about in the first place.  The two chicken nuggets weren’t Noel’s waste, my wife just cooked a few too many.  We saved them to eat the next day, but they ended up being knocked on the floor by accident, so went in to the bin.  In our house, we do usually follow the “ten second rule”, but these were covered in cat hair, so the rule went out the door.  The raisin bread was totally my doing.  I toasted them, then got doing something else, and they were stale in the toaster by the time I remembered them.  I’m going to continue to keep a wasted food bin in my fridge, and see if we can go an entire week, without any deposits to the bin.  Quite eye opening, really.  Probably another follow up coming.

On another note, back to trash walking.  I continue to pick up litter daily, some days as a dedicated trash walking exercise, and other days while I am out and about, I pick up at least three pieces.  There isn’t a day goes by that I don’t retrieve something.  I am becoming more aware of others doing the same thing, and am “liking” Facebook pages dedicated to the same idea as my humble attempt at cleaning up and educating.  The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation is currently running a series on illegal dumping across our country.  Mind blowing and disgusting.  Here’s a link to the original story.  Follow their links to see a follow up story, as well as pictures sent from across Canada in response to it.

Canada is breathtaking in it’s beauty, I think we can all agree on that.  Trashing it is not only illegal, but unconscionable.  Thankfully there are many, many individuals and organizations out there who are tackling the problem of litter.  I have mentioned some of them in previous posts, and will do another post soon listing more.  In the meantime, here’s a Canadian group dedicated to cleaning the areas along the escarpment in Hamilton, Ontario.  Just down the highway from me, it is full of beautiful natural areas that are constantly being trashed.

Find other groups on social media, google “anti litter organizations” and you’ll come up with all kinds of information.  More importantly though, get out there and tackle the problem head on.  Pick litter up in your neighbourhood, get your family and friends involved too.  Talk about the problem and learn about initiatives where you live.  I’d love it if you’d post your litter pictures to my trash walking Facebook page.  Join me. Let’s do something together.  All it takes is to get started.

I’ll leave you with a few photos of what I’ve picked up recently, all from around the perimeter of my son’s school.

Happy Trash Walking all!


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More on food waste…Rob Greenfield

After writing the last post about my little food waste experiment, it is a happy coincidence that I came across this article about food waste on Huffington Post today, by Rob Greenfield, Dude Making a Difference.

Rob is an activist who writes about his experiences riding from Wisconsin to New York City, while eating only from grocery store dumpsters.  The amount of food thrown out is absolutely staggering, and what he did with his finds is brilliant.  Rob’s call to action is simple.  Fight hunger by calling on grocery stores to stop throwing food out, to “Donate not Dump”

I urge everyone to take a look at Rob’s article.  It is an informative, eye opening piece that is sure to inspire conversation, and hopefully change.  Here’s the link:




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A Thanksgiving Lesson (teaching my nine year old about food waste)

Besides my trash walking, I really am trying to live a greener life, and to teach my nine year old son Noel to do the same. I’ve made some pretty good strides overall, I think. I am a more conscious consumer, and he is too. He knows what the term “planned obsolescence” means, and understands why I really loathe SKYLANDERS. That’s a whole post on it’s own. Maybe some day.  Those who know me personally also know that Noel is a master at building toys from recycled materials.  A bit of a healthy obsession at the moment, and I love it, and that is also a whole other post.

But Noel wastes food with nary a thought, and it drives me crazy.  I really hate to waste food, for the obvious reasons and I want him to understand this, and to grow to hate wasting food too.  His excuse for school lunch is pretty much always the same. No time. While I do know that there really isn’t a lot of time to eat lunch at school, I don’t really buy this excuse, since he always has time for the snacks that are in his lunch kit. I’ve threatened not to send snacks, but worry that if I go that route,  he won’t eat anything all day at school.  I realized that ragging him about it each day was not doing either of us any good, so, I’m trying a wee experiment this week. I explained it to him, and started it yesterday.

Everything that Noel doesn’t eat during the day is going in to a plastic container which I’m storing in the fridge, and we are going to see how much is in there at the end of the week. He was not too happy about me putting his toast crusts in there yesterday morning, and guess what? He ate the crusts! Small victory? Maybe, maybe not. Here’s what came home from yesterday’s lunch.


Macaroni (KD to be exact.  If you aren’t from Canada, you won’t get this reference.  Don’t worry, it’s a Canadian thing). Weird, because he used to always eat a KD lunch right up. Maybe I gave him too much?   Maybe his tastes are changing? Either reason is fine, but I want him to tell me this so I know what to pack for him.  So I know what he will eat.  Anyway, I’ll take pics and post daily, and we’ll see if this new strategy works.

It is coming up to Thanksgiving weekend here in Canada, and more than anything, I want to instill in my son a sense of gratitude for all that we have in Canada.  For the most part, he gets it.  But I guess I hope that this experiment will drive it home a little bit more.

I wish you all a joyous and bountiful Thanksgiving, rich in love.  I am grateful that I live in Canada, and believe with all my heart that it is possible to heal the world with a little compassion and thought.



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