Plastic bottles: dumb stuff we do

Last Sunday I ran a 5K (Fred Hutch Shore Run) down along Lake Washington Blvd to Madison Park–gorgeous run, beautiful hot morning, a real summer event.  That area is one of the prettiest in Seattle, lots of character and lazy summer lakefront vistas.

Once over the finish line, I was directed to the predictable tables of food and sustenance.  Wasn’t much interested in the food (though the fresh fruit was good!), but I did want some water.  Talking Rain was there with lots of chilled bottles of water–bless them, I thought.  I downed one, and wanted another immediately–it was a pretty toasty morning for Seattle.

So I went back to the Talking Rain stand and before I picked up another, I said, “Where’s the recycling bin?”  The guys looks sort of sheepish and says, “I don’t think we have recycling.”

I’m dumbfounded as I look at the long table full of chilled bottles of water, and the boxes stacked behind him of more bottles, and I say, “Come again?  Seattle is one of the few cities that will recycle plastic bottles and you don’t have a recycling bin?”

“Uh, no.  I don’t think so.”

So I look all around the whole grounds for a recycling container and can’t find one.  That means everything produced and tossed away at that event would go straight into a Land Fill.  Thanks Fred Hutch, but even 3 garbage cans for recycling would have helped a lot.  And thanks Talking Rain–especially you, since these are your bottles going straight into a land fill.

Unacceptable.  Especially in a city that is fast becoming a leader in Green Thinking–from Mayor Nichols, who has banned bottled water from being sold in government buildings and who has initiated so many green projects, to its citizenry who pay a little more to include green energy in their electric service.

So, in the end, I toted my two bottles home and recycled them in our bins.  Better yet, next time I’ll stick my own water bottle in the freezer the night before and ask my partner to hold it for me at the end of the race.

Little things maybe, but they add up.

3 responses to “Plastic bottles: dumb stuff we do

  1. Our past couple of motorcycle trips I’ve been re-filling a talking rain bottle with tap water, instead of buying a new one each morning. What started this new practice was staying at a “green” Best Western in Omak, WA. The hotel has replaced individual shampoo/conditioner/lotion bottles with dispensers in the shower and on the sink counter. They message this with an estimate of how many little plastic bottles don’t end up in a landfill due to this one simple change. Downstairs in the breakfast room they have washable plates, bowls and coffee mugs. After a night there, one becomes hyper aware of the multitude of little plastic bottles and throw away eating ware at the other motels we stayed in. Soooo, re-using my water bottle is a small thing; choosing green lodging is another.

  2. Neighbor Susan

    It can be done and should have been done at this race in hyper-recycling-conscious Seattle. The Eugene Marathon organizers made a commitment to trying to be “green”. At greater expense and effort, they had reusable rather than plastic goodie bags; they gathered all the paper water cups on the route for composting; and they had lots of recycling bins all around the finish area.

  3. Pingback: About those Seattle Summer 5 and 10K runs, and such: The City of Seattle responds… « What it’s like

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