Change the World Wednesday – 7 Sep

Evil disposable cups

Last weeks challenge was to participate in Zero waste week 2011!  on My Zero Waste. An interesting challenge because it was all about not using/refuse to use disposable cups, etc when away from home.

This initiative was all part of the National Zero Waste Week, which we are smack dab in the middle of.

This week’s Change the World Wednesday is to update how you met the challenge:

This week we want to know how it’s going. Please visit the National Zero Waste Week site HERE and leave a comment about how your committed efforts have worked out. If you write an article about it, be sure to leave the link. Once you’re done, come back here and tell us as well. The idea, here, is to talk about what worked, what didn’t, etc. so that everyone can learn the most effective ways to reduce waste away from home.

NB: See what a clever little boy I am… I disovered how to make colours in WordPress (last week I was having a bitch about it). It wasn’t very difficult, I just need more experience.

Mess & Disorder

Well, I pretty much outlined the problem and wrote about the specific problems that we have in Brazil where legislation is against us in our efforts to have access to anything non-disposable. The real motto in Brazil’s flag reads “Order & Progress.’ This flag, when we are discussing Brazil’s attitude to waste and pollution is far more appropriate. Mind you, the government does have some facilities in place, but the general education and the will of the people to change, just isn’t there.

However,  I have made a discovery. You can get non-plastic biodegradable cups and drinking straws. I didn’t know that. They are made from corn. So my part of this week’s challenge/update is to spread the word.

You can find out more on Let’s Go Green. biz

But they have cups too, in many sizes. This is what they say:

“These compostable/biodegradable cold cups from Eco Products™ are made from corn! With the same look and feel as clear plastic cups, these cups are an environmentally friendly alternative to plastic. These cups are designed to compost in 45-60 days. Regular drink size, beer size and super big slushy size are emblazoned with a printed green stripe that says “100% COMPOSTABLE” and “MADE FROM CORN” so you can let the world know you’re going green!”

So it looks like there are some solutions around, it just needs one to poke around the nooks and crannies of the blogosphere to find them.


7th September - Independence Day in Brazil

Apart from what I have written in the past two weeks on CTWW, today I went to a restaurant that I have frequented for the last three years with my stepson for lunch. It is under new management, who have decided that dessert will be served on plastic disposable plates with plastic spoons.

Because of my association with the restaurant, I had previously had conversations with the new manager. Today, we had another conversation in which I refused to eat dessert unless we had a ‘real’ plate and metal spoon. He tried to explain the necessity for the measure in relation to rising prices; to which I suggested that customer satisfaction and environmental concerns were not on his agenda. He was flabbergasted at my complaint (because Brazilians do not complain like this, they just accept) and embarrassed because the surrounding tables had been listening to the exchange.

The result was that we got ceramic plates and real spoons for our dessert; and, satisfyingly,  my complaint was the subject of two of the surrounding tables, because I did get quite stroppy (Aust & NZ slang for obstreperous) and that surprised them as much as anything. A Brazilian is not used to someone standing up for their rights.

Torta de Limão (Lemon Meringue Pie)

On leaving I met the manager again at the door, I suggested to him that if he is going to offer plastic plates, he should also provide the option of ceramic plates for those who prefer them. A compromise that he agreed to and we parted amicably.

BTW, I had a great meal of tongue and gravy and a decadent torta de limão, it was delicious.

6 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by smallftprints on September 7, 2011 at 9:48 pm

    Wow … WOW!!! Fantastic! I’m so impressed with your actions today! Not only did you bring it up but you held your ground and insisted that he accommodate you. And you got other people talking about it as well. The best part is that you offered him a solution that he agreed to. Brilliant! Congratulations on a total success!!



    • @SF, I knew you’d be enthusiastic about my success, but a ‘double Wow’? I must confess I was rather pleased about the result myself; and Emerson, my stepson was as surprised as the manager. We talked later about Brazilian attitudes and Brazilians not standing up for their rights. It wasn’t the only confrontation that day. I’ll be writing a post on my Life is a Labyrinth blog later about that.




  2. I echo SF’s comment – well done you. I was so happy to read this and have a big beam across my face. but God, who does that? What establishment serves food with plastic spoons; it’s just so, so *cheap* 😀 Gah…



    • @MrsGreen, thank you. You are right that it is soooo tacky to have plastic in a restaurant of that standard. It’s not the highest class place in town, but it is certainly one of the better. Brazil would be a better place if only Brazilians would stand up and be counted. Thanks for the comment and visit.




  3. […] my ‘green’ crusaders cape and went for broke. You can read about that in the UPDATE on Eco-Crap. My 4gb […]



  4. If you’re remotely interested… My other haggle-of-the-day is on




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