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The Garbage Patch starts here

November 3, 2009

While at sea UNC grad student Bonnie Monteleone started collecting trash from the bow of the ship. In ten minutes she’d gather a handful of plastic–and those were just the pieces she could reach.

I decided to copy this method, albeit on land, during my bike ride to the post office. I live exactly 2.4 miles from the Palo Alto post office so I figured I’d see a few things but not many. Palo Alto has a Truman Show kind of feel with manicured lawns and freshly painted houses.

But it seems no city, no matter how polished is free of trash. Here’s what I saw during my ride:

Eventually I had to stop taking photos because I was afraid the post office would be closed by the time I got there! I noticed that a lot of the garbage was from to-go coffee containers.

Does anyone bring their own these days? I started to wonder whether coffee companies promote the byom (bring your own mug) policy where they’ll give you 10 cents back for supplying a cup. It seems that it’s in everyone’s interest–you save money and the company doesn’t have to buy as many cups. This, I decided was worth investigating…

One Comment leave one →
  1. Jennifer O'Keefe permalink
    November 19, 2009 1:52 am

    Hey Lindsey,

    I love this post. Once you start looking for it, you can find litter absolutely everywhere.

    I bring my own mug, bag and water bottle everywhere. I have done this for at least the past 17 years. It’s a habit and I never feel put out. I save an estimated $25 on groceries, $3 on coffee, and $150 on bottled water each year through discounts for bringing my own, and savings from not buying bottled water or drinks.

    Use Less Stuff Week starts on November 19, and to this I say “amen”.

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