McDonald’s use of brilliant marketing strategies ropes kids in and keeps them coming back….often against the parents’ wishes. It works for us: my daughter currently has her mind set on getting the “purple doggy”, the recent Happy Meal toy.
As a result, we drove to 2 different McDonald’s last night without luck. This morning we had already been to another 2. We are still on the search and may have to call in the reinforcements: her daddy.
With this collection of happy meals, I’ve come to be mindful of the garbage produced from all it’s components:
– the cardboard box
– the chicken nuggets packaging
– the paper cup with ketchup
– the chocolate milk bottle and straw
– the yogurt bottle and tin foil sealer
– the plastic bag containing the apple slices
– the napkins and paper tray liner
– and depending on my mood, the unfinished ice cream cone and wrapper
Due to a recent trip to the city’s recycling depot, I had a heightened sensitivity towards garbage after dropping off a car load of recyclable materials. On the way home, Ella and I stopped by McDonald’s for lunch. Since recycling was in the forefront of my mind, I felt sickened at the thought of throwing Ella’s happy meal in the garbage like so many others before me have done.
Can you imagine the waste that accumulates from this repeated behavior? What makes it so much worse is that EVERY part of a happy meal can be salvageable for recycling. Depending on your city’s recycling program, all the packaging can be diverted from the garbage. Unfortunately, none of the material makes it that far because the facilities do not exist in restaurants or commercial businesses.
So I took it upon myself to take action!! I took it all home to recycle! In Metro Vancouver, we have a fantastic recycling program. We have a mixed paper recycling yellow bag for all paper products except newspaper. A blue bag for newspaper recycling. A blue box for metal cans/tin foil, plastics #1, 2, 4 and 5, and other food packaging. And a fabulous yard trimmings bin for all food waste such as meat, grains, dairy, fruit, vegetables and paper soiled products.
When I go the extra mile and take my recyclables to the city depot, I can return Styrofoam, mixed plastics, mixed metals, stretchy plastics (salad bags, suran wrap, plastic bags), paint, cooking oil, batteries, and glass. Taking advantage of all those choices, this is how an ENTIRE happy meal can be recycled:
– the cardboard box (uncontaminated)——————-mixed paper recycling
– the chicken nuggets packaging (uncontaminated)—-mixed paper recycling
– the paper cup with ketchup ——————————yard trimmings bin
– the chocolate milk bottle and straw ——————–blue box
– the yogurt bottle and tin foil sealer———————blue box
– the plastic bag containing the apple slices————-city recycling depot
– the napkins and paper tray liner————————-mixed paper recycling
– the unfinished ice cream cone and wrapper———–yard trimmings bin
Who would have thought that the only item that needs to be returned to the garbage can receptacle is the plastic serving tray?
Now this isn’t for everybody. Not everyone is thrilled to take their garbage home, clean it out and sort it into its allocated home. However, if you are conscientious, like me, I challenge you to take responsibility for your garbage. Cause if you don’t, it ends up here….
for my daughter and her generation to deal with.