Sustainability Issue Dug Into Our Trash

Garbage. Trash. Waste.

Whatever you call it, we produce a lot of it. We’ve become, to steal from Tyler Durden, a single-serving society. Disposable cameras, diapers, contact lenses. If it can give us even the slightest sense of convenience, we’re all over it.

Over the years even those things that previous generations thought of as lifetime purchases – coffee tables, dining tables, dressers – have become subject to the whims of style trends, easily disposed of in a couple years. We fly through products like cell phones, MP3 players, televisions and computers that are made with dangerous materials, and we buy cheap, flimsy dishware each time Target or Wal-Mart puts out a new set or color.

In our fifth annual Sustainability Issue we took a look at waste on our peninsula – where it goes and how to be smarter about it.

In “Wasting Food,” I took a look at the larger impact we have when we waste food, the flimsy justification for many food expiration dates, and how we can cut down on our food waste. Meanwhile our editor, Allison Vroman, challenged herself with a “No Waste Week,” finding that waste has become so ingrained in our everyday lives that it was difficult to cut out even things we don’t need.