Trash Talks - open community forums on waste reduction. Held at Livingston venues on the 1st Tuesday of each month. Next meetings:
March 5th, 2024 - at Katabatic Brewery (Topic: General household consumption) April 2nd - at Neptune's Brewery (Topic: Yard & Garden waste & composting)
February 6th, 2024 - at the UnWined Bar (Topic: Travel Tips) Around 18 people participated. The conversation was fruitful as ideas, experiences, and difficulties were shared. Some of the main difficulties that came up in regards to reducing waste while traveling were: - It is isn’t a main priority for most folks while on the road - The U.S. is far behind other developed countries in terms of their waste management plans / strategies - Vacation activities (i.e., going out to eat, flying, etc.) create a large footprint that is hard to avoid - There is a lack of education around this topic.
The group also had many good solutions. Those included: - Educate youth about how they can reduce waste in their lives. It is much more difficult to change adult habits and easier to instill sustainable ideas & solutions in younger people - While travelling, if possible, keep your recyclables to recycle later if that is not an option where you are - Plan ahead! o Bring your own water or water bottle on trips o Bring reusable bags, containers, utensils, straws, etc.
- When staying at hotels: o Make an effort cut down on towels you use so less have to be washed o Put up the “do not disturb” sign when you leave so your sheets aren’t washed everyday
Concluding Thoughts: It takes time to form a habit and change behaviors. It’s okay if that is a slow process. Second, cutting down on waste when travelling requires planning. Small steps are good steps. It takes effort to cut down on waste, especially while travelling; but hopefully some of these ideas will help you next time you hit the road.
Difficulties mentioned included: dealing with amts of plastic on store bought food, cooking for only 1-2 people & not having wasted food, sponges, plastic wrap, composting on a small scale, dealing with glass, what to do with wine corks & bottle caps & HOW TO EVOKE CHANGE IN AMTS OF PLASTIC USED IN LOCAL GROCERIES.
An attendee mentioned 1 thing he was going to change in his habits. If each of us do this, then change will come.
Solutions that were suggested (not a complete list!): -Shop at groceries that allow you to use your own containers (Foodworks, the Co-op) -Use alternatives to cling wrap & non-compostable parchment paper (The Kitchen Shop) -Start a traditional composting bin for food waste or use a composting service (Happy Trash) -Composting inside during winter via Bokashi methods or vermiculture -Reuse glass jars by freezing extra food in them, drinking glasses -Befriend a farmer of domestic animals to give food waste to them -Talk to grocers (the managers) that use a lot of plastic on fresh foods about using less -Take your own containers & cloth bags to bag fresh food -Always remember your reusable shopping bags, your own vegetable bags & containers for bulk food items
What is the LESS IS MORE Committee?
We focus on ways to REDUCE food waste, reduce usage of single use plastics, and clarify recycling methods in our area.
We explored a campaign to encourage our community coffee shops to use compostable cups. We encourage people bring their own cups to coffee kiosks and shops, and hope to work with other groups in the area to support this effort. Join us!