2013 Sept. Pender Post
Penderites and their visitors did it again. We made the effort to limit and reduce garbage at our Fall Fair. Not only did we do the environment a favour, but we also set a terrific example to other fairs and exhibitions as to what can be accomplished with foresight, co-operation, and environmental awareness.
Over the last two Fall Fairs we also have proven that we can spend a summer day in the sun without the aid of a disposable plastic water bottle. Penderites refill and reuse. By the way, in the US it is estimated that two-thirds of the single-use plastic water bottles end up in landfills. That is 8.8 billion . . . that’s right, billion . . . plastic bottles per year head to the landfill, where they require about 700 years to decompose (source www.bizenergy.ca).
While I am on the subject, can anyone suggest a justification for the use of single-use plastic bags that are provided to shoppers? California alone uses 147 million tons of these bags per year. They take approximately forever to decompose in a landfill, and the worst part is that many bags never make it to a landfill. They just blow away, clogging drainage systems or becoming oceangoing trash, and endangering sea life. On Pender, many responsible people have switched to reusable cloth or even heavy plastic grocery bags. Many Canadian and US cities have either banned single-use plastic bags outright, or at least passed legislation to require retailers to charge for these bags. I am not sure why we don’t/can’t follow suit. Check out the following websites to learn how some jurisdictions have handled the subjects of single-use plastic bottles and plastic bags: http://www.ferrocement.com/plastic-web/plasticWaterBottle.html or http://www.ferrocement.com/plastic-web/reusableBag.html or http://www.concordontap.org.
Glass is one of the slowest materials to decompose, but has many re-uses. At the depot, we crush glass (fine or coarse). These two grades of glass can be used wherever sand or gravel is used. The fine crushed glass makes an excellent substitute for sand in such uses as drainage beds, under sidewalks or to ensure good drainage under raised garden beds. Coarse crushed glass should be used in drainage ditches or other places where pets and humans will not be walking on it. Sand costs $40 per yard. Crushed glass at the depot is $0.0 per yard. Seems like a good deal to me. The depot has barrels of glass on hand but, as with any super bargain, it goes on a first-come basis.
Need any corks? We have collected quite a few used corks but currently have no takers. If you have a need for corks or a clever use for them, let us know. Best cork use suggestion wins you 30 minutes of shopping at the free store!
A Fall Fair cannot come and go without many thanks . . . to all the recycling staff for your good on-site work, to the judges, exhibitors, patrons, traffic and parking personnel, ticket takers, entertainers, set-up crew, dismantling crew and, above all, to those tireless organizers whose planning for the fair probably started the day the last year’s fair concluded. You are the men, women and children who ensure that they’re all good days on Pender.