Tune in Daily at 5PM for the month of April and watch Alison share tips, tricks and reveal information on reducing waste and impact.

30 Days, Zer0 Waste, Zer0 Impact

Hey Metro Vancouver!

I'm Alison Richards and for 30 days, starting on April 1st, 2011 I'll be monitoring and documenting my actions and activities while striving to live with the least amount of impact and creating zero waste. This interactive web site is meant to serve as a portal for your participation. Chat with me during my daily 5PM web cast or post your tips and suggestions on the Facebook page. I hope to create a ripple of change through awareness and focusing on making one small change each day.

Watch live streaming video from 30zerozero at livestream.com

Day Twenty Seven - April 27th, 2011

Yesterday I consumed a lot of energy. I had some high-tech tests done at St. Paul's Hospital. Not only did they inject me with radioactive isotopes (which I am certain there is a long list of environmental waste involved in the manufacture of) but I had a couple of hours of scans from a machine that runs on two 500watt motors. Besides the obvious use of electricity, there was the packaging for the IV, needles, swabs, and nuclear material used for the imaging... All necessary of course, but... it did create a lot of waste. The only thing that I found to be genuine preventable waste was the masking tape that the technician used to tape my feet and arms together (To stop me from fidgeting, wiggling or moving during the imaging process) I suggested that they replace the tape with a reusable product like velcro straps or cloth ties. The tape now resides in my jar with my other specimens from the month.

I never did my Live @ 5 yesterday. Ironically that is the second Tuesday in a row that I missed. It's a fluke coincidence but, when my kids were younger we had a routine in the household called Tubeless Tuesdays. On Tuesdays there was no TV allowed. We turned off the set and I forced my kids (at first they weren't willing participants) to join the family for a board game, cards, or other activity that promoted interaction and time together. It's a great way to catch up with your kids, get to know them a bit better and share some genuine laughs. Today it would require adding the rules of no internet, no texting and no gaming devices along with no TV. Think not only of the energy savings but the benefits of spending quality time together as a family.

Tubeless Tuesdays... or whatever day works for you! Be sure to scroll down to read Brent's column Tokyo Trash Talk. (also see the archives from each days articles, links or stories)

Live @ 5 Watch each day at 5PM or archive on demand

Read an interesting article with 105 comments on Why People Don't Recycle

Visit our Facebook page and share ideas on how to improve our planet. Don't forget to challenge your friends by sending them a link to become Zero Waste Heroes.

City woman explores
zero-waste lifestyle

By Jennifer Moreau,
Burnaby Now link


Dear Radiant One,

I've been pulling out summer clothes, and now winter and summer are mixed in a huge mess the size of a small mountain, and I feel like squirting it with lighter fluid and setting the whole mess alight just to be rid of it. I was sitting staring at in a funk, when I said in my best Bette Davis voice (even though I sound like Lauren Bacall), "What a dump!" (Beyond the Forest, 1949. Elizabeth Taylor also used it in Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolfe. Could I possibly be ANY gayer??!!!) Anyway, then I realized it was actually true because most of our furniture is either from junk shops, antique shops or from the garbage!

When I came here in the late eighties, just at the end of the bubble, it was amazing what you could find out on the curb! People threw away EVERYTHING and ANYTHING even if it was still practically brand new. Those days are over, but for the happy garbage picker, treasures are still to be found for the taking!

I'm sitting in the morning room, and am surrounded by goodies salvaged from the garbage. There are two large upholstered armchairs, an upholstered stool from a pub that went belly up, an antique piano stool, an antique wooden hibachi, two mirrors, an Arts and Crafts stool, a ceramic urn, a wooden barstool that I lacquered red and recovered the seat in leather, a counter stool from a sushi shop covered with a sample of my embroidery, and a carved and lacquered panel from a Chinese restaurant. (This latter piece might actually NOT have been garbage, but it was sitting there, so... ) The stereo speaker stands are made from the frames of large light shades used by professional photographers.

In the kitchen are various serving platters, dishes, cups, and traditional bowls and such as used in sushi shops. A lot of people will put a box of stuff outside their house with a sign saying, "Help yourself!" LOVE IT!!!

No garbage in the bedroom, even though it looks (and smells) like a rubbish tip!

In the living room is a high backed chair and stool which I covered in a totally grannyish chintz, another large mirror, a beautiful glass and iron-work bowl, a wicker plant stand, another sushi- counter stool covered in my handiwork, and a coffee table which I decoupaged with colour copies of some of my favourite Ukiyoe prints. (Yoshitoshi's wood block prints from his moon series) When I was finished with the table ( I put on about 30 coats of lacquer!!!), I said to Shun, "Look! It's art!!!" He said, "No, it's busy." Cave person!

On the entry landing is a very large urn that used to hold Chinese pickles, and there are two more chairs that I don't have space for inside. We also have HEAPS of picture frames in all shapes and sizes.

Then we have all the purchases from antique shops and junk shops.
I'm a firm believer in mixing and matching things, just as long as you're happy with them and they make your home a haven. We have two
VERY expensive rugs alongside two rugs I found in the trash.
Pictures, art and objets, are an eclectic mix of stuff from my travels, a favourite being a large tea urn I bought in a junk shop in Istanbul. I absolutely LOATHE it when you go to someone's house and it looks like they purchased the entire contents from a furniture showroom. Tacky... Leaving dozens of pet toys everywhere also helps add to the image of a warm and happy household...

It's loads of fun going to used furniture stores and flea markets. I love poking around in dark corners because you never know what you'll come up with. Why buy new when old is so much more interesting?! You can even try doing a furniture swap with your friends! VOILA!

Brent ~

Photo Legend
1=sushi stool 2 & 3=collage table 4=Even furniture should have a sense of humor! 5=old chair The original fabric was a mess, so I threw a rug from Peru over it and sewed it to the back so it wouldn't keep sliding off. I did the cushion. 6=CHINTZ! If you look carefully in the mirror (early Meiji period) on the floor, you can see little old me!

Click on the collage for full size image
Tokyo Trash Talk
Brent Fialka


April 2011

Day 1 Archive
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copyright © 30 Zer0 Zer0 - Alison Richards April 2011