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Wednesday, January 6, 2010


Last night I had dinner with my friend who lives in Hawaii,where she goes to school and where I have applied to. I brought over a dumpstered brussel sprout casserole that my mother cooked and brought over to our house. We were talking about how recycling, reusing and composting is much more a part of the lifestyle on the islands than it is on the mainland, and it became clear when I stopped at the grocery store on the way home. Not-that-much to my surprise, I found several boxes of leftover holiday merchandise: wine gift bags, holiday paper plates, paper napkins, paper cups and plastic table cloths, all intact and pristine. I cant find any logical reason for these items to be thrown in the dumpster to be buried in a landfill that makes the least bit of sense at all to me. Why wouldn't the company want to keep it for next year or return it to the distributor for credit or even sell it for a reduced price.... The other night I found a really nice iron at a retail store. It was $80 new, but had been factory serviced and reduced to $29.99 but still, no one wanted to purchase it because it's not their idea of perfect, not acceptable, not valuable; so, although it works perfectly fine, it ended up in the dumpster.  It is beyond me why this is the decision that ends up getting made, to throw perfectly good merchandise away when there are so many much better alternative solutions. It vexes me completely and I cant stop thinking about it.
Besides the holiday merch, I fould lots of great stuff. Heres the list:

8 pks paper plates
13 pks paper napkins
2 sleeves paper cups
3 plastic party table cloths
~25 holiday wine gift bags w/ tissue paper
2 6.3oz blocks extra sharp cheddar
2 8oz blocks sharp cheddar
16pk cheese slice singles
16oz bin mexican cheese dip
5lb bag french fries
32oz bottle coffee creamer
1qt Simply Lemonade
1/2gal vanilla Almond Breeze
4 bags bagles
4 pkgs Toll House caramel filled cookies
1 mystery can... some vegetable  or soup?
2 14oz pkg extra firm tofu
2 8oz pkgs cubed extra firm tofu
3lb bag clementines
1 box organic baby spring mix
3pk organic baby carrots w/ ranch dip
3 bunches organic spinach
3 organic lemons, 2 regular
7 limes
1 white onion
1 sweet onion
2 yellow squash
3 potatoes
8 tomatoes
1 artichoke
~30 bottles flavored vitamin drink

Since I had all this on my mind, I was thrilled today to hear from a friend about an organization in the UK called Re-Plenish. They are a non profit group of volunteers who collect food from supermarkets that is still good but can't be sold and redistribute it to other groups and charities that provide food and meals for people. I was super excited to read all about it because it is very similar to a project that I have been brainstorming about for months. I hope to contact them and learn a little more about how they work and what other things they are involved in. You can learn all about them at
With all the depressing heaps of stuff that I've been finding lately, it's a relief to hear that people out there who are working toward solutions and trying to solve issues like excessive waste and hunger in their communities. It often seems that with my level of awareness comes the obligation to carry the burden of solving these problems and bringing them out in to the open where people can see it so they can talk about them, learn about them and understand them; not ignore them.


  1. Wow, it is unbelievable how much stuff you are finding. Good for you for saving this stuff from becoming waste. Keep writing.

  2. Your finds are amazing. I love to read you blog and see all that you find. I was just curious if you have heard about organizations like Food Not Bombs and Second Harvest. These organizations try to distribute food that will be discarded to those that need a meal.

    I hope I helped. Please keep posting. I love your blog.



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