Little things matter ~ BrianInNYC


Next time you put your trash out for collection do me a favor and look through it and take note of how much of what we throw  out is packaging and not an actual product you purchased.  I have a major beef with the way we package consumer products in this country and at the top of my list is toothpaste!  Now when I was a kid toothpaste tubes were made from aluminum, they worked great, as you used more toothpaste you could flatten the the tube up from the bottom and when you rolled or folded the tube to keep the  toothpaste at top the tube stayed folded.  Plastic toothpaste tubes drive me crazy, they don’t stay flat and you’re constantly having to push the toothpaste up from the bottom.  Now my scorn for plastic tubes is not due entirely to how well they function but how difficult they are recycle.   Another thing,  does the tube of toothpaste really need to go into a box? 

And how about liquid laundry detergent, why can’t it be packaged in juice style paper carton?   For that matter why do we need liquid laundry detergent at all?  Powders actually work better and the boxes they come in are made from 100% recycled paper.   I’m sure if you look through your homes you’ll find many examples of what I’m taking about.  Next time you go shopping I hope you’ll take a moment to consider the environmental impact of the packaging of the product you are purchasing and if their is a more environmentally friendly packaged product you’ll purchase that product. 

Oh, before I forget beans are a great example of what I’m talking about, think about what goes into producing and shipping a can of beans versus that bag of the dried ones.



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28 responses to “Little things matter ~ BrianInNYC

  1. TempeBev

    Very good article, Brian. Over the counter medications are another big waste of packaging material.

    Of course, McCain will lead the GOOPers. He has nothing else to do and it’s his turn to be a pain in the ass for something that will actually help people.

  2. dnd

    I’m amazed at the opposition to the cash for clunkers program. It is clearly the most successful and visible of the stimulus package. The only criticism I’ve heard is the confusing qualifications and the massive dealer paperwork.

    Here’s the opposition in action:

  3. MSNBC just showed that vid dnd.

  4. dnd

    I’d really like to see an independent cost/benefit analysis on the cars-for-clunkers programs. The benefits to the manufacture’s, their suppliers, the junk yards who process the clunkers, the cost savings from increased fuel efficiency, the jobs, etc.

  5. nannymm

    Great piece, Brian! I couldn’t agree more with your premise. I buy as much as I can from a local food co-op (well, it’s 40 miles away, but that’s called local up here LOL.) Everything there is packaged minimally. Many things, like oils and honey can be measured and poured into your own container, thus saving the cost of packaging as well as reducing the environmental impact. The same goes for spices, flours, beans, etc. It’s a great way to shop. Plus, whatever I buy at the co-op is fresher and generally higher quality than similar products that have been packaged and sitting in grocery store warehouses for months.
    Another pet peeve of mine is grocery store bags. Whether they are plastic or paper, they are a waste. Years ago I purchased re-usable bags and they are all that I use. If stores would either charge for bags or stop providing them altogether, it would eliminate a tremendous amount of waste.

  6. I suspect their will be a full audit sometime after the program is finished.

  7. nannymm

    I like this!

    Media Matters’ Lou Dobbs Ad Set To Appear On CNN (VIDEO)

  8. eProf2

    You forgot my pet peeve re: packaging: CD’s; DVD’s; and, of course, computer applications with their big boxes and one little CD in them.

    Go Rockies!

  9. I didn’t forget your pet peeves, I never knew what they are.

  10. Germany’s new packaging laws: the ‘green dot’ arrives – symbol indicating that a product is to be recycled

    Take note of the date on this article!

  11. McCain is going to vote “no” on Sotomayor. Frankly I’m a bit surprised by that.

  12. nannymm

    Hi, eprof2. How’s the heat down there? We’re FINALLY getting some warm weather here.

  13. nannymm

    Just read that KO is doing a “Special Comment” tonight. The subject will be health care.

  14. nannymm

    I’m so glad Chuck Schumer is my Senator:

    Schumer hints at ‘reconciliation’ for health bill

    Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) sounds like he’s getting ready to play hardball this fall on health care, even if it means forgoing a Finance Committee deal and bypassing a filibuster by using “reconciliation” to push the bill through.

    More from POLITICO’s Carrie Budoff Brown:
    Schumer said the Senate will move ahead with health care reform this year regardless of whether Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) is able to strike a bipartisan deal. Baucus has until Sept. 15 to reach an agreement with Republicans — and that is still the goal. “But if we don’t, it is not going to stop us from moving forward with health care,” Schumer told reporters Monday. “If the Republicans are not able to produce an agreement (by then), we will have contingencies in place. Health reform is just too important to let this window pass by.” Among the options is invoking a procedural maneuver known as reconciliation, which would allow Senate Democrats to pass a bill with a simple majority rather than a 60-vote filibuster-proof threshold.
    Schumer would not say what other contingency plans he had in mind. “I’m going to leave it at that because we want to get a bipartisan deal,” Schumer said.

  15. dnd

    McCain clearly isn’t running for office again. This is his opportunity let his inner grump out and yell: “Hey you kids! Get off my lawn!”

  16. nannymm

    He was a grump even when he was running, dnd.

  17. dnd

    I’m with you on the DVD/CD/software packaging. In our burgeoning digital world, I think a lot of packaging will disappear with downloadable products.

    ps. Dbacks may do a better job against the Mets than the Rockies did. My hopes are that the Rockies and Giants move ahead of the Dodgers in the NLW.

  18. nannymm

    Do ya have to mention the Mets? 😦

  19. dog's eye view

    Good column today, Brian.

    LA Times today: A Canadian Doctor Diagnoses U.S. Healthcare

    Op ed by Dr. Michael Rachlis. The reader comments appended are informative too.,0,538126.story

    “Universal health insurance is on the American policy agenda for the fifth time since World War II. In the 1960s, the U.S. chose public coverage for only the elderly and the very poor, while Canada opted for a universal program for hospitals and physicians’ services. As a policy analyst, I know there are lessons to be learned from studying the effect of different approaches in similar jurisdictions. But, as a Canadian with lots of American friends and relatives, I am saddened that Americans seem incapable of learning them.

    …. Lesson No. 1: A single-payer system would eliminate most U.S. coverage problems.

    On costs, Canada spends 10% of its economy on healthcare; the U.S. spends 16%. The extra 6% of GDP amounts to more than $800 billion per year. The spending gap between the two nations is almost entirely because of higher overhead. Canadians don’t need thousands of actuaries to set premiums or thousands of lawyers to deny care. Even the U.S. Medicare program has 80% to 90% lower administrative costs than private Medicare Advantage policies. And providers and suppliers can’t charge as much when they have to deal with a single payer. …”

  20. eProf2

    dnd, D-Backs play the Mets for game four in about two hours. I hope they do well, too. Rockies have a good chance at the wild card but not sure about winning the NLWest.

    Nanny, we’re still in big time heat: 109 as we speak. School started today for the grandkids in Eloy, AZ, and the rest of the state starts next Monday while the heat is at its apex. Wrong, wrong, wrong!

    Thanks, DEV, for the Canadian perspective.

    McCain has already set up his 2010 re-election efforts and is, indeed, running again for the Senate. Obviously, he’s written off the Hispanic vote as have the rest of the Republicans as they mostly fall into the Sheriff Joe and Lou Dobbs camp of “send ’em back.” Hey, I just coined a new name for the Repugs: The “Send ’em Back Party.” LOL!!!

  21. dog's eye view

    More sanity in the LA Times today, by business columnist Michael Hiltzik.

    What’s so great about private health insurance?,0,6650122.column

    “Throughout the heroic struggle in Congress to provide a “public option” in health insurance, one question never seems to get answered: Why are we so intent on protecting the private option?

    … [we must] remind ourselves what that American way entails. For if the insurers have proved anything over the last 15 years as the health crisis has gathered speed like an avalanche roaring downhill, it’s that they’re part of the problem, not the solution.

    The firms take billions of dollars out of the U.S. healthcare wallet as profits, while imposing enormous administrative costs on doctors, hospitals, employers and patients. They’ve introduced complexity into the system at every level. Your doctor has to fight them to get approval for the treatment he or she thinks is best for you. Your hospital has to fight them for approval for every day you’re laid up. Then they have to fight them to get their bills paid, and you do too. …”


    This is not a socialist speaking. It’s their Pulitzer Prize winner BUSINESS columnist, folks.

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