Thursday, August 9, 2007

The Wonky Tourista: A Post Card from Prince Edward Island

When I travel, I am always interested to see the eco-scene as well as the scenery. Prince Edward Island has been encouraging - lots of articles in the local newspaper about maritime issues (crucial to an island) as well as agricultural. Visiting Canada's beautiful national park on the island, I was amazed to see standard triple recycling bins: garbage, recyclables like paper/plastics, and compostables. Elsewhere like Charlottetown, the provincial capital, there were triple bins but with slight variations. Until these things are standardized people get very confused.
I happily tossed my plastic in the right bin, but noticed that most of what had been tossed appeared to be garbage. So even if the Canadian government is way ahead of ours, the people don't seem to all quite have it down yet. And not having standardized directions makes it even less likely that people will comply, a lesson we learned in Philadelphia where the recycling rules keep changing.
On the ferry from Prince Edward Island to Nova Scotia, the fast food is served on compostable plates made of materials like egg cartons, tossed along with leftovers into the compost (a garbage can with a new sign). So composting and recycling the remnants of our lunch, we actually had nothing for the garbage at all. That felt great!

1 comment:

mumblingmonkey said...

heh... you are so right. (I hope you don't mind me commenting on an old post!) I live in Nova Scotia, where we have lots of recycling options - composting is required, and many municipalities will even haul it away for you; garbages have from 3 to many options (recycling, compost, plain garbage). But, as you point out, waste baskets aren't standardized, so you have to take the time to read each one.

I've found it's a small habit to get into, and it takes only minimal effort once you're accustomed to it, and I miss having recycling options when I leave the province. However, standardization would be wonderful.