A while back, on a mailing list I subscribe to, there was a short thread on reducing the use of the plastic bags used to line trash cans, such as those found in individual offices or cubicles at a business.
The initial message read thusly:
Hi friends in greenness-~-
I concocted a way to save plastic bags from the environment (doing my part!) I hid my trashcan from the janitorial night-staff, and have stopped using it!
If I ever have garbage items in-hand, which is rarely, I walk over to my area’s printer and trashcan nook and deposit it there, saving the bags at my desk which otherwise are replaced each night. Someone one-up that
The follow up:
One up that? Easy!
I use no plastic bags at all and keep my garbage in my Acme in-office composter. This allows me tocompost my (and a couple of coworkers) lunch waste into soil that I can use to grow wheat in my office window. I grow wheat using a solar powered, hydroponic system, where the water for the hydroponic system is collected from the building AC condensation, and pumped through the compost. This both filters and nutritionalizes the water, as the water is also pumped through my fish tank (600liters) where I grow Tilapia for my lunch, fish sandwiches.
The wheat is grown staggered in such a way that I have a continuous harvest of grain. I grind thisgrain in my hand operated grinder to make the buns in my solar oven (I keep this in the parking lotfor cooking my fish sandwiches and buns). The stalks/straw from the wheat I cut long and weave into tatami mats that I have put around a small zen garden where I can go to get centered after a long stressful day (raking gravel really does it for me) in the office. The bones from the fish, Iput through a “fast fossilization process” (yes the same one that makes dino bones seem older than 5k years) that makes them very hard. I can then use them as rakes in my zen garden or donate them to be used for combs by some of the less well kempt engineers in my group.
I am sure you other engineers out there have designed similar system. I cannot wait to hear about yours!