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Posts Tagged ‘recycling’

Dear Yellow Pages:

So, wow. You followed me all the way to Atlanta. Not to be mean, but I thought we were done. I mean, I’ve been chucking you (and some other phone book that looked a lot like you, but was even less valuable) straight into the recycling bin for YEARS.

We haven’t had a real relationship since high-speed Internet became a reasonably basic service.

Come on. I didn’t even hook up my landline this time around, yet I came home one day to discover that you had arrived in the mail. It seems a tad desperate, don’t you think?

Oh, you say. But what if the Internet goes down? For DAYS. Then I’m going to sorry, right? When I need a big printout of indexed phone numbers and can’t get online to find them?

We’ve discussed this, and I remain unconcerned by your argument. If the Internet at my home and office goes down for days, there’s every chance that the power is also off, and I’ll have more pressing problems than finding the number for my hair salon.

Also? I rent now, so flipping through your many pages to find a roofer? Not a thing for me.

I feel I should also mention the fact that every contractor I’ve used in the past couple of years — including a tile guy, a painter and lawn care service — has exclusively used a cell phone for contact, meaning they’re not even LISTED in you.

If the Internet ever falls and the landline comes back to life, we’ll talk. In the meantime, please stop following me.

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In the end, it was nobody’s fault but my own that I brought home a monstrously large plastic box filled with salad greens. I already had my requisite $5 worth of Earth Fare hipster food (quinoa and steel-cut oats) in the cart, and the free salad coupon was burning a hole in my pocket. I sighed when I saw the packaging, but I put it in the cart anyway.

I didn’t truly realize how large the box was until I got it home and had to rearrange my entire refrigerator to make it fit.

I try not to buy produce in big plastic boxes like this, but other people obviously do. On the New York Times Freakonomics blog, James McWilliams maintains that this kind of packaging extends the life of produce, meaning that people are more likely to get a chance to eat it before it goes bad. Granted, this box of lettuce stayed reasonably fresh for the better part of two weeks. Had I been able to choose the amount of salad greens I was going to purchase, however, I never would have bought that much at one time. (And note that Earth Fare does offer a fresh mix of greens that you can purchase by the pound. Or ounce, in my case.)

Clamshell packaging just seems like so much overkill.

McWilliams points out that consumers could alleviate the need for food-extending packaging by learning how to shop strategically (don’t buy too much food at once), a skill that, admittedly, may be easier for a two-person household with a reasonably predictable routine.

Luckily, the box was No. 1 plastic, meaning I could put it in my recycling bin. I note, however, that a lot of houses in my neighborhood don’t put out a big blue recycling bin every week, so I fear that a lot of this packaging is not being recycled. Even if it is recycled — and even if the company uses 100 percent recycled plastic in the packaging — more plastic clamshells must be manufactured.

I guess what I’m saying is no more huge clamshell produce containers in the Haggerty household, free coupon or not. And I’m thinking that some sort of washable produce bags, like these, are in my future.

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The “Do One Thing” series chronicles my yearlong effort to tackle one project every day to organize my life and home.

Day 35: Pinpointed the cause of the problem with one of the closet doors in my office (other than the fact that cheap, hollow-core bi-fold closet doors are the worst invention ever marketed to uncaring builders and unaware homeowners). Whoever lived here before yanked on the door so hard that the bottom pivot screw was actually ripped from the door, leaving a gigantic hole that I’ll have to fill with epoxy. Assuming I don’t simply replace both the doors with an awesome beaded curtain first.

Day 36: Spent the better part of the morning helping the husband set up my mom’s new computer via telephone and remove connection. He configured her wireless connection, while I ran Mac orientation. And if your mom has ever had computer problems while you were eight hours away, you know that helping her launch a reliable new computer setup totally helps your peace of mind. Ergo, this counts as a point for life organization.

Day 37: Spent a couple of hours researching online backup systems. I tried Mozy, but it’s become extremely unreliable lately, and its non-detailed interface doesn’t give me the warm fuzzies about which files have REALLY moved into the cloud. I’m currently leaning toward Dropbox, but I’m still taking nominations if anybody has a strong opinion.

Day 38: I made the mistake of taking the humidifier apart before I filled it up with water before bed. Oh my. The scale buildup on and around the heating element was simply horrifying, and I spent the better part of 30 minutes trying to scrub it clean. Even more horrifying was the knowledge that my husband had, indeed, actually cleaned it before. More than once. Meaning that the mess I saw did not take three years to accumulate, but possibly only weeks.

Day 39: I sorted through two catch-all UAH file folders. Not the biggest task, but I did manage to merge the documents that belonged together and get rid of some duplicates. The paperless office remains elusive.

Day 40: I grabbed a small stack of old copies of the New Yorker, tore out the stories that I had marked to save, filed them and put the old magazines in the recycling bin.

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The “Do One Thing” series chronicles my yearlong effort to tackle one project every day to organize my life and home.

Day 6: I decimated a pile of travel magazines taking up space in my home office. The recycling bin is going to be heavy next week.

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