Friday, July 24, 2009

Cereal Boxes Make No Sense

"I believed in accumulating.
And when you believe in accumulating, you see what you don't have,
not what you do. You lose touch with what you value more than money."
Geneen Roth

Lately I've been noticing how much paper waste I seem to generate. It's everywhere! Paper clutter seems to multiply on it's own when I'm not looking.

I shred everything that doesn't have my name on it, I buy many things from the co-op in bulk, I re-use my plastic bags like crazy so they don't pile up, and I don't even bring those mailer/fliers in the mailbox into my apartment: they go straight to the dumpster... yet I still seem to have a lot of paper garbage.

Where I live, we just have a giant dumpster. They had tried having recycle bins but they kept getting stolen, shifted to the neighbor's lot or they would somehow migrate to the end of the block at the opening of the alley. It wasn't uncommon to see 2 or 3 recycle bins at the entrance to the alley on any given day.

One imagines Homeless Elves taking them for joyrides and then abandoning them when bored.

Just this week, though, I noticed there are two spanking new recycle cans in back of my apartment. That gave me hope! I would take this opportunity to begin to separate my paper, plastic and glass from the rest of my garbage.

And that's when reality started to sink in. Empty cottage cheese containers. Paper towels and Puffs. Butter wrappers. Those 'business reply envelopes' that never get used...and Food Packaging!

Ah, food packaging. Now that I am consciously handling and sorting every item that passes through my hands instead of just throwing it in the garbage, lots of it makes no sense to me. For instance: cereal boxes. What is their purpose?

At Miss Biddy's house there are always at least 5 kinds of cereal boxes in her pantry. Most of them have half a cup of cereal left inside. She goes for a box of cereal, shakes it, realizes there's not enough in there for a full bowl, but too much to throw away, and puts it back in the cupboard and chooses another. When the very last box is down to it's last handful, she finally realizes she is out of cereal and we go to the store and buy 5 boxes more, thus starting the cycle all over again. You can't tell by looking at the box whether it's empty or full, x5!

At my house it's not that bad: I just have Joe's O's to contend with. But still...I have to open the box and look inside to see how much is in there. And inside is the 'stay fresh' inner bag that is the 'real' packaging of the cereal.

So I always throw away the box and just use the inner cereal bag, because the cereal box acts as a barrier to the free flow of cereal, to my way of thinking!

Why don't they adopt the 'potato chip bag' approach? Do away with that outer packaging that makes NO SENSE and is USELESS. It's not like there are 1000 craft ideas for reusing the ubiquitous cereal box. If they used clear or semi-clear bags, they could still write stuff all over them and you could still SEE INSIDE to how much you had left.

Okay, what's my point? My point is...I'm just here to introduce you to my new, fabulous recycled paper container! I bought it years ago to use at Civil War reenactments, and then kept it around for the odd large laundry object like rugs or the bedspread. But it always seemed like it was meant for greater things... so now it's my recycled paper garbage bag! Viola!

1 comment:

Carrol said...

I'm sure I've never told you how clever and amazing you are!