Friday, September 16, 2011

One Bag Event - Part 1

Saffy the cat decides to not move
Super cool motion sensor trash can
This post is part of a Foodbuzz Tastemaker program with GLAD. I hope they do not kick me off the project for what I am about to say. I promised to do a total of four posts. 

GLAD picked me as 1 of 10 bloggers to take part in their One Bag Challenge in attempt to hype up the efforts to reduce landfill waste. The Challenge is to host a party in which I use one bag of trash. I also got counseled by a Waste Management Expert and got sent some cool trash schwag to help throw the party. I already strategized to throw a "Poutine and Pinot" party next week inviting some of my sustainable/waste management specialized MBA classmates from Portland State University. I already calculated the two scraps of plastic that would amount to all the waste for the party. I could throw 50 more of these parties until it fills up one of GLAD's bags. 

The challenge for me (and my roommate) is not throwing a waste-reduced party, but instead it's how to minimize our waste for the next month (since our trash is only picked up monthly...yeah, welcome to Portlandia) in order to recycle the gargantuan packaging that was sent to me for this challenge.

This is what was sent:

A kitchen friendly compost bin, some bags and tupperware which came in a fairly small box. Box burned in summer backyard bonfire. Moving right along...

That cool motion sensor trash can seen above, above? Well, this what it came in. 

To put things in perspective. Here is my recycling trash can.

Now my challenge is finding out what to do with Styrofoam. 

Styrofoam is not allowed in the recycle bin in Portland. 

I would have to put the styrofoam in the regular trash bin. Which is even smaller.

It's all very ironic. Although another company manufactured/packaged this trash can and not GLAD - I feel it is still an oversight on GLAD's part in not having performed due diligence on what it was subcontracting out if landfill waste reduction is truly a priority and not just another promotion. Most likely I will have to haul the styrofoam to specialized recycling outfits, pay a fee and have it taken care of. 

I asked one my Eco-friends/classmate @CamilleBeGreen who gave me some clever ideas:

1) Styrofoam stamps
2) Styrofoam ghosts for Halloween (which I could later convert to Styro Snowman)

On a lighter note, one of my friends, @themonkeysknow suggested to just add a little gasoline and you could have some napalm. #justsayin #onalistsomewherenow

So this is my challenge: figuring out what to do with all this Styrofoam! Any ideas?


@themonkeysknow said...

On a lighter FLUID note...the road to hell is paved with good intentions...

ネコチョコ said...

I can not understand the use of these Styrofoam.can you tell me?
welcome to my website:
motion sensor lights

Helen said...

Wow! Garbage pick-up only once a month?! That's why Oregon is my fave state! So forward thinking :)
When I was a design student back in the day, we used pink foam insulation to carve into mock-ups of whatever we were designing. Sometimes I'd see students use the white styrofoam too. One suggestion is to donate the foam to an art/design/architect school. Also, I remember a design instructor tell the class that styrofoam can easily be dissolved by adding a few drops of acetone. Place styrofoam in a black garbage bag add the acetone. Now I've never tried this and don't know what kind of off-gassing and fumes it would create so I would not recommend this unless you have good ventillation, a face mask, and life insurance. Just kidding! LOL!

Nate said...

Hey Anna:

Styrofoam block can be recycled for free at Recology locations: 6400 SE 101st Ave. Portland; 4044 N. Suttle, Portland..

Good luck, and see you Weds!

Peter G @ Souvlaki For The Soul said...

I'm a bit behind in catching up Anna...but crap! (You are now my favourite blogger!)

Anna A. said...

Vanessa - Haha I will be counting on for further tweets.

Helen - I will look into that acetone trick... wow! Maybe I can get a face chemical peel all at the same time. Good call about the design school - I have a Greek-Texan designer friend who I can ask. Glad that the OR is your fav state, it's mine too..except we need more Greeks :-) Come visit and I will give you some S-Foam!

Nate - Thanks for the hot tip! I hope for more on Wed.

Peter - Wow, I am truly flattered. You are my fav too ;-)

Crafterella said...

Wow, that is a lot of Styrofoam! You could carve the foam into really interesting sculptures that look like stone (somewhere I've seen a giant Buddha head done that way) or you could use it as a light weight base for a paper mache projects or I have used it crumbled up in the bottoms of large potted plants, it's great for drainage and lighter than soil.
BTW, thank you for linking to my Styrofoam stamp tutorial :)

Crafterella said...

Found it, giant Buddha head on craftster!!!

Ruth Abatzoglou said...

Hi Anna,

Your blog has created a lot of interest and discussion on Styrofoam that’s great! You are a science teacher's daughter after all!

In the long term I think Styrofoam will become obsolete so you might want to save the package material. It could be used in the mean time as insulation for a cat house. Agis and I insulated our doghouse in Iowa with a layer of Styrofoam, or you could offer it to a science teacher as an instructional material.

Interesting to note, in my new unit of alternative energy, a collection of Styrofoam cups was included as part of a hands on activity on insulation. I’ll be sure to recycle these cups with my students and inform them on the problems with Styrofoam as well as its insulation properties too.

Oregon is a very progressive state and ahead of many other states in the U.S. I think your post and the bloggers here will help everyone pay attention to everyday products actions that effect the environment.

I look forward to reading how your dinner comes out soon.

Anna A. said...

Crafterella - Thank you for all the great and super creative ideas!

Mom - Thanks for your advice - I like the idea of using it as insulation.