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Thursday, June 26, 2008

mini green ideas

Due to society's elevated green awareness as of late, I've been noticing more and more small changes that could really help in everyone's ability to reduce waste.

For instance, piggybacking off of my shoebox post earlier, another thing I often find myself throwing away is receipts. Think about how many small or insignificant purchases are made every day at retailers and how many receipts get quickly tossed into the trashcan near the front door. That's a lot of wasted paper. What if the little credit card scanner next to the cashier gave you the option, like at gas stations, "Need a receipt? YES or NO." I would be inclined from my own shopping experiences to just say no.

Last weekend, I attended the Rock the Garden event at the Walker Art Center which was fantastic. But in addition to the great bands and music, I was really impressed with how they handled the trash situation. The concert called itself a "zero waste event" which obviously wasn't true, but it was the first time that I had seen multiple recycling bins set up for different types of waste. Not only that, but the event had volunteers stationed at every trash outpost to make sure people didn't get lazy and just throw everything into one bin: trash gatekeepers if you will.

Anyway, I like it. And I think some programmer should just write the 10 lines of code it takes to ask "yes or no" for the receipt.