Friday, April 29, 2016

We Learned...We Grew...We Evolved

Was trying to get to inbox zero - a never-ending task, no less - in doing so, I stumbled across an email from my friend who always has such lovely things to say and his words always leave me feeling at ease ... I want to share with you what he shared with me, and upon asking he said I could use and disperse as needed. 

For some context - earlier we had met for a bulk blueberry exchange and a walk - a pretty standard occurrence - our talk reminded me of a quote from the book I'd been reading which I later shared with him via email once home. 

//The present suggests, but doesn't predict because we can't see all the factors in play. 
A lot can change between measurement and outcome. 
Saying you don't know doesn't deny the data, but it does allow you to release your convictions, widen your frame, see more options, head in a better direction, or slow down.
Understanding that even if my facts are correct my interpretations are not certainties liberated me to hope in a very new and invigorating way. 
I don't know how things will turn out. I don't know if what I'm doing will make much of a difference.
But I know that life hopes, and if I chose to hope, to stand in hope, to BE hope, then I am headed where life naturally wants to go.// 

And here was his response, among our other musings via email, and it makes me smile inside, so I wanted to share it with you :)

I was thinking about this on my walk this morning.

12 hours ago, it was dark and 15'C.
Now, it's sunny and 25'C.
At this rate, in 10 days, it will will so bright and hot,
it will cook everything and everyone.
But alas, nature adjusts and changes,
and night falls again.

The day after the Hiroshima bomb, one could have said:
"At the current rate, we will eliminate the entire world
population in 50 years."

But we learned, we grew, we evolved.

I think the hope is that the desire to survive
is unstoppable in the human species.

My grandparents saved and re-used everything.
My parents threw it all in the landfill.
And I have gone back to re-using, fixing and simplifying.
My children will probably improve on it again.

Everything we do, as individuals, as nations,
has something to do with ensuring our survival ...
From eating a salad to international energy conferences.

And every day, we are tweaking, and adjusting our survival plan.

 It's a good reminder that we must not judge so harshly what we are doing for we simply can only do our best and we can't underestimate the ripple effects, and natures (including us) ability and drive to thrive. Let's see where we go. 

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Homemade Soap - Updates

One of the best workshops I attended was a soap making course put on by Homesteaders Emporium. It was an evening workshop and it gave me all the confidence (lye can be scary...and I respect it very much) and skills I needed to make my own soap! 

This was near the end of 2013 if I remember correctly. Below are photos from my most recent batch (batch #3). This time, I did the cold process, but didn't add anything - just left it as is to harden into mold (see below). It has a bit of a green tint to it and I'm not entirely sure why....perhaps the olive oil since it's yellow-ish but I have not yet looked it up.

Then, I grated it down, re-melted it on a double boiler and added essential oils, and spices for colour! All direct from nature :)

 Actually, I first tried to melt without the double boiler, and I added too much water (because I didn't want it to burn/stick) and it was a foamy mess! But, still turned out okay (see below) just a bit more water in it so it will take a while to "set" and be ready for use.

This is a minty bar (though it looks a bit fruity!), peppermint, spearmint, tea tree ground oatmeal/bran/clove.

I could use it now's soft and would disintegrate within a few I'd rather wait and prolong its life.

 I used old almond milk/hemp milk containers as molds and they worked great! #upcycling  and a container I had lying around (made with silicone) - not actually a huge fan of it for food so glad I can use it for soap making! 

A few more pictures of the process.

This has rose flowers (which were rescued on their way to landfill)
plus essential oils of jasmine, ylang ylang, and patchouli. 

Tumeric is what I used to get this colour!

I added poppy seeds to the yellow one for exfoliant awesomness (they were poppy seeds I rescued from their way to the landfill, so it seemed like a good fit!) The scents in it are tea tree, lemon grass and a bit of patchouli

I actually had help in making a video while doing the cold process - and at some point I will edit it and perhaps post it was made for my cousin, and is super low key....but maybe will be helpful. 

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Swap Shelf 101 - Sharing and keeping stuff out of the landfill - WIN WIN!

What do you do when you find a perfectly good shelf in the alley, whilst walking home from work? 
....And when you've been racking your brain for months on how to have a good system so that people waste less...and give/share more? 

Why you implement a SWAP SHELF - that's what! 

Found these in the Landfill bin...all still perfectly usable - heart breaking...but it was time to no longer sit by idly as I watch people toss perfectly good stuff! While diverting head was racing.

......found in bin - once destined for landfill

I was a bit weary because I had been burned in the past....I tried to start something similar before, a year or so ago....and was met with a bit of opposition i.e. someone ripped my sign down, still unsure where it perhaps a bit more than a bit of opposition.

This was my first attempt - perhaps a bit too much writing....
and there was never any shelf set up...
I had placed the sign on wall, to the right of the landfill bin.

But I figured, it was worth another shot, and I finally reached the point where the pain of not doing it and watching what goes into landfill was now greater than the pain of being shut down when I had tried before. 

So I figured, I'd take what I learned, and make it different this time, and hopefully people will use it and benefit from it.

This time I decided to keep it short, and sweet....but with my verbose nature was hard to keep it simple. After a few iterations, I opted for this....a play on "have a penny leave a penny.." that reminds me of my childhood and sharing our cents to make peoples lives easier at the check-out. :)

The sign on the right placed on the door to the "recycle room" (formerly know as "waste room" and renamed (not officially but I refer to it as this) yours truly...language is important....many subtleties) - it lets people know if they have stuff - they have THREE options 1) Swap Shelf 2) Location of nearest thrift shop (5 min walk, if that) 3) Diabetes Association - Clothesline Program (offering free pick-ups!) 

Minutes after it's set up....the stuff on here is all stuff I found in the bin....but soon enough (same day and day after)...the items change! 

Yay!! Someone added their boots! 

Some items gone, some more items placed....a beautiful ebb and flow
 - keeping it out of the landfill low and our hearts full! 

If you have any questions or want to chat about starting something like this in your building....I'd be happy to help! 

Soon we will have electronics recycling, battery recycling, light bulbs, and soft plastics....can't wait! It's been a looooooooong time coming. But sometimes, things can only work best when the people are ready to have them.... it's a bit of an ebb and flow itself. 

I'm feeling super grateful for the positive feedback both verbally from folks in building, including our security staff, and in action (by placing and taking items), I've received.... yes to everyone! 

Giving your shoes a new life, and keeping them in circulation - drop them off at Quick Cobbler instead of the garbage!!

We all get to a point where our shoes  have so many rips/holes they simply can no-longer be worn.

But what happens if we're unable to repair it ourselves or with the local repair groups ( here in Vancouver we have....Vancouver Fix It Collective & Repair Matters)? Donating them is of course not an option since they are not really wearable at this point (at least for me). And more often than not, paying to have them repaired costs more than the shoes! What do we do?

I'm a huge fan of fixing....ourselves, but supposing we simply don't have the time or whatever else may be the case.

Are they destined for the landfill???

Nope! (phew!)

If you are close to Vancouver BC, you can take them to the Quick Cobbler - when you walk in you'll see a black round container that says "Shoes for Donation" (Or something like that) on it.

Quick Cobbler
Located at 430 W 2nd Ave
unceded coast salish territory

Place them in there, and they will mend them then donate them.

This is a win win because it allows their staff to get practice, and train, it gives shoes a new life - keeping them in circulation for those who want/need them, and it keeps stuff out of landfill.

I'm a big fan of Win-Wins! :)

Don't live nearby? Call around to your local shoe repairs and see if they might like to implement this awesome initiative!

Monday, July 27, 2015

Jars over corn.....single use disposable musings at #VanFolkFest2015

Naturally, I was super stoked to see this sign upon first arriving to the Vancouver Folk Music Festival  this year.... and further stoked to see the actual volunteers (not shown in current photo), at each "nutrient station" helping folks put their stuff in right bin (getting them out of that auto-pilot-must-put-in-garbage mode).  I'm super grateful for those lovely beings who helped out and dedicated their time to stand out in the heat of the day helping people manage their items deemed no longer usable. THANK-YOU! :)

I also want to add a disclaimer, in case it's not evident through my words, that what I'm about to say is merely to raise awareness, and discussion, and food for thought - it is not to point fingers, or make people feel crappy because we have enough of that in this world....and what we need now is to find ways to work together. This isn't about bad-mouthing the folk fest, I love Folk's about furthering a conversation, around waste in this instance ( there's actually a few other items I wanted to talk about too with Folk Fest too...) so that we can be together, pamoja, and improve our systems more and more, with the more information/experience/emotion we gain!

I will also say, coodos to having implemented the policy of not selling ANY bottled water this year at folk fest and encouraging folks to bring their own bottle and having ample fill-up stations with healthy, Vancouver water - tested way more frequently than bottled water anyhow.

I was a bit surprised, though, that "landfill" was an option, considering zero waste really waste...and the images depicted within that red area on the bottom right, all have homes....

  1. Bringing your own re-useable cup/mug/jar/multipurpose anything
  2. Bringing your own re-usable bag (why are plastic bags not banned GLOBALLY yet, by golly!)
  3. Misc wrappers....ok, well this one I'm a bit conflicted about because I think that this stuff that comes wrapped in foil lined plastic should simply be banned, and we should have to go back to the drawing board to design packaging like nature #naturehasnowaste, packaging like....a Banana Peel, or an Egg Shell - both good at protecting what's inside from keeping it fresh, (egg shell even longer!), and will decompose at a natural rate...and give back to the earth when it does.... are so smart. 

The festival also had a receptacle for cups! so the cups on the landfill portion of the Zero-Hero sign was confusing....

At my work we talk a lot about having clear, consistent messaging with regards to recycling, and I can see why.... either the Zero-Hero folks didn't talk to the Festival Guide folks, or it was a matter of re-using signage....which is of course, great to re-use! because re-using for the win....but communication between areas would have saved a lot of confusion.... even as simple as, covering up the coffee cup with this image.... and/or also encourage bringing ones own mug... and/or maybe just covering up the landfill part all together ;) pack it in, pack it out?

I digress, because my post was actually about what happened when I stepped foot into the beer garden.......and my heart broke a little....

Rewind a few hours....

At home preparing to head off to Jericho Beach....running through my relatively automatic series of ponderings on what to bring based on what I may encounter that day.....ensuring I have my cutlery, a container, coffee mug, water bottle etc - most of this already in my bag so no biggie...but then I remembered the potential for beer in the beer garden.....beers on a nice summer day whilst watching music is always a fantastical treat.

"Beer Gardens"...., I proclaimed......"We will need our own cups!" ....

Though shortly thereafter an emotion of dread and pain in my heart came over me....they won't let us use our own cups... :(

Flooded with many a memory of beer gardens past ....having been denied a brew in my own cup, rejected, as the line behind me of impatient-beer-seekers increased....pushing me along, scoffing at my silly ways. . . it hurts a little inside each time, but I have to keep trying..that keeps me sane.

Well, this year may be different! I thought, somewhat hesitantly and not really believing my words....It's folk fest, after all! .....they are more chill, aware, vocal about waste.... and whatever we grabbed two cups, added it to the rest of our items and went on our way....though a fear inside me lingered....worried for what I would encounter later, when I would try to use my own cup.

I'm sure you can guess what happened, because I likely wouldn't be writting this big thing had it gone the way I had hoped.

We got out tickets and handed them to the woman behind the counter, explaining that...we brought our own cups, can we use them? :D


She went through the series of reasons that are actually not reasons at all (namely Health Canada....but we know that's not true, Jenn and Grant taught us that)...and justifications on why it's "ok" or not that bad at all to use single-use disposables (it's corn, and they decompose!!).

"Yes.. but... we're right by the ocean! And look at all the cups!! "....does no-one see the connection?!?! Piles and piles of cups ...all for a beer that lasts a matter of minutes in the hot sun?

Rows and rows of genetically modified corn crops grown for this brief  experience? Chemicals sprayed on the fields, harming not only our lands and soils, but the people whose job it is to spray those harsh toxins, the communities who live by these fields, the animals who drink from the waters, and the lives that have been displaced to make room for more and more could-be-food crops for an ever increasing amount of single-use disposables to be made from something that generates a-little-less-guilt when we use it up...... be used to hold, only to be tossed in a matter of minutes.

What struck a bit harder too was the fact that this festival was actually trying.... and yet, such a significant aspect was not being recognized, or deemed appropriate because "We can compost them!!".Which is extremetly short-sighted and not considering the larger picture.

I don't blame's easy to buy into the compostable craze... I get it, and yes, it's arguably better than plastic...but what is our end goal here? What are we ultimately comparing it to?

Especially when we use it even more care-free cause we think, it's okay because hey, it isn't plastic? (a little Jevons paradox-y, no?) It gets composted... But we don't know or we don't think about the larger context, and what had to happen in our world to bring that cup into our hand....for one.brief.moment. All the energy and resources that went into making that one cup!

Growing, petrochemicals, transportation, soil depletion, harvesting, more petrochemicals, fossil fuels, more transport, blah blah.... it's insane actually...

It even says "we welcome your own cups" in the festival clearly there is some mixed messaging - I wish I had seen that prior to trying to order a beer, as I would have had it on hand to show them and re-request my cup be used.... 

Anyway the point of all this isn't to make them feel crappy or point fingers, because that helps no-one. I merely want to raise attention that.... 

We can figure out a method to allow folks to bring their own cups! I know we can!! 

If we allow guests to bring their own water bottles and refill them at their leisure, why can't we have the same system for beers? Sure it would be a bit of a re-jig of a process but ....why not? Isn't it worth it?

They have the return-it plate regime too and so clearly there are ways to use re-usable items in a safe, and fun way.

I will be contacting someone at the festival who deals with waste, to chat about options for next year as I was a bit too late for this year (also these kinds of conversations need to happen with millions of festivals, and it can get overwhelming, so please, join in! It takes all of us!). If anyone reading this knows who to speak to or is someone dealing with waste at the festival directly - please do let me know!

P.S - I don't think we have to re-invent the wheel......other festivals have done this, and places in Europe that are known for their beer festivals serve beer in re-usable let's get with the program North America!

And now... for some inspiration....!

Obtained Online - from "Just Add Cheese" Wordpress blog. :)

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Creating Space to Just Be

*Originally posted for Groundswell Blog
-Don't try to fix the world. If you and me are fixed, the world will be fine.

I heard this quote from a video not too long ago, and it spoke to something deep in me that I’ve been coming back to for quite some time now. This understanding that we, indeed, have all the technology we need, we have all the tools and resources we need, in short, we have ‘everything’, everything ‘outside’…. what we (and I’m speaking as a whole now, not specific to the Groundswell cohort) need is that individual, internal awakening, that individual healing…And I do truly believe that until we can cultivate that inside each and everyone one of us, to take the time, and space, whatever necessary to get there… until we do so, we will keep perpetuating what we see today, we will keep coming up against walls, and our ego’s will dominate. And when we, ourselves make time for that, we make it easier for others to do the same, which is something our rational minds cannot necessarily fathom.

We explore the depths of where technology can take us, but do we explore the depths of our own beings? If not, at what cost?

I think a lot about how that comes about, this ‘awakening’ in each and every one of us. And, I don’t mean to glamorize it or commodify it, because that is happening too... so perhaps I should explain what I mean by the word awakening also recognizing that all of it, even the word itself is beyond words…. And everyone will have a different meaning, and word and that’s okay too, but I shall try to explain where I am at with it, such that we can be on the same page.

To me, it is the deep recognition, beyond verbage, beyond the mind, and into the body - that we are all one, that while  I appear to be in my own body, “separate” from you, that this is simply not true. That what I do ultimately and deeply affects you, and what you do affects me too; as Charles Eisenstein elegantly rephrased the Golden Rule As you do unto others, so you are doing unto yourself. That until we truly embody this understanding - that we are so deeply interconnected, and dependent on each other for our survival and that we need to cooperate, not compete (indeed this is what mother nature does)….we will continue to inflict pain on others as we try to “do the right thing”, or maybe we’re still in an endless pursuit of success, money, and fame… in these moments we are letting the ego take hold. Wherever we are in our journey, all of this needs to fall away before we can truly co-exist as a species in harmony with everything else.

It’s love, and it’s letting love embody oneself. It’s stepping outside and feeling immense gratitude for the sun shining down, feeling the energetic presence of the trees, the grass, the birds, the insects, and our neighbor passing by on the sidewalk and sharing in conversation with them. It’s realizing that everything is perfect and we had all we needed all along, inside each and every one of us. That all we need to be is love.

I have moments where this feeling is indescribably intense and it’s these experiential moments that help me to articulate it further what I’m trying to say, and that help hold me in this story of interbeing, as its easy to get pulled back into the chaotic ego-infused state out there.

Everyone is so incredibly different (and yet so similar); we are all affected by things differently, and we all have our own individual moments of awakening; some are quick, some are slow, some are neither and go beyond the binary expressions in this world of ours. I ponder a lot about how it emerges in others. 

Photo Cred: Paola Qualizza & Groundswell Grassroots Economic Alternatives
Last week we had an opportunity to come together and let our creative brains work for a bit, give our logical, analytical sides a break – we did vision boards. At the end we went around to share what we had done and what I found lit a spark in my soul was the realization that….we, as a cohort, while fairly similar in our convictions as what drew us to Groundswell appears to all have similar threads at the roots, we all produced such beautifully unique pieces. . . it made me think of snowflakes, so seemingly similar and yet so wonderfully unique, each in their own beautiful way, inside and out. I thought about how both of those things can be used synnergysstically. How we, as humanity, can continue to be our unique selves, and yet come together under a common narrative, a narrative that goes beyond cultures, beyond genders, beyond borders, beyond whatever traditional means we’ve used to separate ourselves….we’re all here, together, on this one and only planetary home.  

Somedays…actually, most days…I don’t really know what is going on, or what’s to happen to us, collectively, on this planet. Things are messy, and life is pretty insane right now, truly. Sometimes I just want to stand at the top of a building and yell as loud as I can hoping people will hear and snap out of ‘it’. If I get in my head I get worried, stressed, feel helpless and scared. But when I tap into the place inside me that goes deeper than all of that, which is hard to describe using words, I feel a sense of peace, harmony, and a deep knowing that despite everything, it’s all going to be okay, we’re all okay.

I’m trying to make more space for that, to sit with that space so it can re-energize me and allow me to continue, so that the ego isn’t always the dominating force; such that I can get out of my head and into my body.

Our bodies are insanely intuitive, and have many gifts to offer us when we work as one (both within our bodies, and together as a humanity), not as a separated mind-only unit. I just want to clarify too (and I have to do so because of the current dominating narrative we live in) this doesn’t mean that I sit around and “enjoy” because I feel everything’s going to be all right…. of course right in front of me I see many injustices…but it’s taking time to cultivate space for that energy to take shape, to heal the pain of being in the mind a lot, and to allow for different outlooks, perspectives, and guidance. Making this space allows me to continue to transform, and without that underlying piece, that deep knowledge, awareness, sensation of truth….I’m not sure I’d be able to continue.

I see a lot of doing in GS in this second semester, which I understand. Which is important, as long as the doing is in alignment with our utmost inner core/truth/being (however you wish to word it), and is not simply a “going-through-the-motions”. However, I also want to allow for space to just be, if that is where we are. I know I’ve brought this up in class a lot…but here I go again. J Our hyper-speed to-do world can make us feel like nothing if we’re not doing…but non-doing is incredibly empowering, and brings with it its own truth. (And just to be clear, I don’t mean non-doing as in…sitting around hanging, in ignorance…I mean accepting that maybe right now, we simply don’t know, and allowing space for being with that and let that guide us). We’ve been through a lot, beyond even our present life-time….. while most of us are relatively young, we are part of a history of many many years, and it’s all deeply interconnected, that energy continues on, builds upon itself. When we take the time upfront to make that space, what emerges is something greater than we’d have ever thought possible.

Let us remember, we, individually, inside, need to heal before the whole world can heal; as what is outside is but a reflection of what resides inside each and every one of us. To sit, to be....It's okay to not have all the answers.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

The Coffee Cup Saga - To Compost, To Recycle, or To Landfill? What is REALLY happening?

I don't buy Starbucks coffee. Yet, I some how get intertwined in figuring out what the heck is going on. 

I do not enjoy their coffee, but more importantly, I do not agree with their practices (how they source their coffee), and their misleading methods and greenwashing - i.e. having bins in their stores to "take-back" their coffee cups, but having them merely end up in the landfill. 

So, while these unaware citizens happily place their disposable, plastic ridden, petroleum lined cup in the bin, feeling good because they recycled....the truth is much harder to swallow.

To be fair, it's not just Starbucks, it's all coffee places where they do not have compostable cups but we think somehow they are being dealt with responsibly. 

Of course bringing ones own cup is the best option. But....what I think is scary is thinking we're doing good when we're not doing anything but the same, but only appears different. 
How do we change when we don't even know? When are a blinded and seduced into thinking we are "doing the right thing"? 

How do we get the word out? 

I just played the ol' rigamarole on the phone, being transferred from one person to another, as Starbucks failed to answer my, what I assumed were simple, questions:

1) Where do the cups go that are put in the "take-back" bins that I've seen in stores? 

2) They are meant to be recycled, but are they? 

Below is another exchange I had with them in 2013 but I had one again today, as I look for options for a client that comes into contact with a lot of Starbucks cups. It's frustrating how hard it is to find answers to such seemingly simple questions. Talking to multiple people at head office who are confused and dumbfounded as I ask, again, what I thought were pretty basic questions. 

Why weren't these questions answered from the get-go? As design was taking place? Why was this not on the minds of those who were birthing this? Shouldn't this be the most important thing we consider before we pump a product out into the environment, especially one that's getting consumed so rapidly and being tossed "away"? ....Surprise, there's no "away".

I'd love to tell my client, replace the Starbucks bistro with a local, organic, fair trade alternative....and, you know, I will suggest that...because then, we can be supporting local business, using compostable cups, or heck even refusing to serve in disposable cups - as one brave coffee company did in the US. Much respect their way. 

Maybe they won't take my recommendation, but I sure as heck won't be recommending they put in a bin that "take's back" Starbucks cups, only to then have them dumped into the same bin that garbage is...hauled away by the garbage truck. That's just misleading. 

Why are organizations not held accountable to this? Not liable to this? This is misleading the public.
Another interesting thing? MMBC now accepts Starbucks (and other) coffee cups in your blue bins as a Metro Vancouver resident (and other areas I believe too). But are they actually being recycled? 

It seems odd to me that they are accepted residentially, but not commercially. Why are they not accepted commercially? Because no recycling facilities exist. But recycling facilities, whether for commercial or residential are all the same - all stuff comes to the same what is going on? What is  actually happening? I have my ideas, but plan to find out for certain. 

What I do know is, we really need to stop blindly enforcing rules, and actually start asking questions, and following through on those.....what's the point otherwise? 

It is my goal to research this further, look deep into it, and ask more questions - ask the companies, ask the haulers, ask our city councillors and other people involved in these regulations and they realize how they play out in the "real world"? 

You can help too! Start asking questions, if you've already been asking them, great! Ask more! Or ask your friends to ask, too....! I don't think it's possible to ever ask enough questions (and that goes for all things in life, by the way). 

Pop into a Starbucks and see if they know what happens to the cups? Then share what you find out. 

Tweet @Starbucks and @RecyclingInBC @MultimaterialBC - ask them what's going on.

Gotta get the word out...... To be continued. 

Email response from CSR at Starbucks - Click to enlarge

If you can't read it in the image, here it is transcribed: 

Greetings Jocelynn!

Thank you for contacting Starbucks.

Thank you for your interest in our recycling processes.  Our disposable hot cups are made out of 10% post consumer recycled fiber for hot cupsused in the U.S and Canada.  I'm not sure if the wax lining is petroleum based or vegetable based, but the hot cups do contain an inner polyethylene lining which offers the side and bottom seam seal when heated.

As for your inquiry about the disposable cups being compostable or not, our cups are not rated as compostable by the Biodegradable Products Institute or Cedar Grove Composting.  However, in some areas local composters will accept our hot cups even though they have a plastic coating.  Your best bet would be to ask your local composting hauler to confirm if they will accept them or not.  Clean cold cups may be accepted for commercial and/or residential recycling, but again, please check with your local hauler for confirmation.

Regarding the actual recycling process, and what the cups eventually become as the end result of the recycling process, we generally have no control over that aspect.  Most of our stores are located in shared spaces like malls, where it is often the landlord who controls waste collection and recycling, not Starbucks.  For more information on this please visit
Thanks again for writing us.  If you ever have any questions or concerns in the future, please don't hesitate to get in touch.

We would love to hear your feedback. Click here to take a short survey.


Shana G
customer service

Received: 7/25/13 8:55:00 PM MDT
To: <>
Subject: Corporate social responsibility

Hi,I'm both personally interested, and on the green team at work and have a few people ask me every now and again at work....and in general, I've been having this conversation/debate with people for a while now... I'm hoping someone can provide me with the answers! It is with regards to your disposable cups! 1) what are they made of? i.e. a % of post-consumer recycled paper, and new paper, and is the wax lining petroleum based or vegetable based? 2) this leads me to my next question which is - can they be composted? My rule was "if you can rip it, you can compost it" ...I can rip starbucks cups... so I've been composting them, BUT not in my own place, I compost by taking my stuff to a drop spot (I have a worm compost too but, the cups don't make it in there) I have not yet had a chance to see if there is any plasitcy residual upon composting... can you provide any insight? 3) lastly - what do you do with the cups you recycle in your stores - i.e. those blue bins you've put out, where it notes the cups get recycled - could I please have information on what that process is? how they are recycled, where they are recycled, and what the end recycled product is? Thank-you!