Some might say that there are so many problems when it comes to reducing waste. We prefer to say there are so many opportunities! We’ve been asking people about the waste in their lives… Here are some opportunities we’ve heard from New Yorkers. Do you have one? Send it to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll post it!
"I can’t start my day without a trip to Starbucks. I’m always in a rush and I always mean to bring my travel mug but I’m always leaving it at work or forgetting to wash it (gross). I’d really like to use a reusable mug but more often than not I’m just too busy to deal with it."
"A while back I needed to get rid of my fish tank. I called three thrift shops and no one would take it. I tried giving it away on Craig’s list but two people flaked out and didn’t show up when promised. The tank ended up on the curb with the trash"
"I recently moved and had a huge amount of boxes in great condition and I’m sure someone could have used them. I tried giving them away on freecycle but I really needed to get them out of my apartment quickly and so by the time someone responded the boxes were already on the curb waiting to be picked up for recycling. What a waste!"
"I work late hours and don’t cook much so most of my dinners are takeout or delivery. I don’t even know what’s recyclable and what’s not once it’s all covered in food. The funny thing is that I only order from like two or three different restaurants. I wish they would send me reusable containers that I could send back!"
"I realize that cardboard is recyclable but I cannot believe the amount of boxes my building stacks up on the curb every week! Is there a better way to get these products from A to B?"
"I’m always eating on the run I feel bad about the amount of paper bags, plates and condiments I’m always throwing out but I don’t really know what I can do about it. The worst part is that the first thing I do sometimes when I walk out of the store is discard the bag the food was packed in when I start eating."
"Last month my blender stopped working. The motor seemed fine but the blade wouldn’t spin when I put any food in the blender. I was relieved when i found repair instructions on iFixit. But unfortunately they didn’t help with my particular model / problem. I’m sure that there is an easy fix but after spending about an hour trying to figure it out I decided to just get a new blender. I remember when I was a kid there was a little repair shop across the street where I could have brought this and they would have probably fixed it for me. Actually, I heard about a pop-up repair shop that sometimes runs in New York but it’s not like I’m going to wait for that to happen again."
"It always amazes me that every time I go to the grocery store, even if I’m just buying a pack of gum, the checkout person automatically throws it in a plastic bag. It’s like they’ve never heard of hands."
"I just moved a few months back and needed to pick up some new furniture. I didn’t have a lot of money to spend so it was off to Ikea. I know that a lot of it won’t last and that some of it’s going to end up on the curb but there’s no where I can find affordable, decent quality furniture that looks even halfway good."
"I can’t believe the amount of toys and games we have that are missing pieces. Sometimes I just throw out a bunch of stuff cause I’m sure nobody wants incomplete games or toys missing parts."
"Every time my kid goes to a party she comes home with a bag of (party favors) crappy plastic toys that we end up throwing out the following week. I guess parents feel pressure to provide these things but they go pretty much straight from the party to the garbage."
"I feel bad about the number of Starbucks cups I go through in a year but I can’t deal with carrying a travel mug around all day. I don’t even know where I’d put it."
"Whenever I go grocery shopping I try to bring my own bags but a lot of the time I forget or I end up running the grocery store quickly on my way home from work. It’s hard to remember to bring bags with you all the time."
"My grocery store delivers and I usually go once a week, buying way more than I can carry. I always bring my own bags if I’m going to carry my own groceries but most of the time their being delivered to me in plastic bags. I wish I could do something about this."
"My husband and I don't have a lot of friends with kids younger than our son. I hang on to his clothes when he’s outgrown them - always meaning to bring them to the thrift store but sometimes when I’m cleaning up I get so frustrated by the piles of stuff that I just throw them out. I definitely feel guilty but I’m also just relieved not to have to deal with it."