Waste in Jars

by Michelle Lasley

Michelle Lasley is a mother, wife in Pacific Northwest learning to balance green dreams with budget realities.

August 6, 2010

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Categories: Food

It’s reusable. It’s durable. It’s made of glass. And, it’s not allowed in daycares, for reasoning I can understand but think is flawed.

“No glass,” was what I was told the first day of Levi’s daycare. The day after we visited Jim’s Jars, the eccentric jar seller to folks in the Portland area.

“Why doesn’t Levi have any food left?” I asked on day two after they told me he didn’t eat any of his lunch. Oregon State Law they claimed. The quoted text I was given does indeed say food that has been uneaten must be thrown out, but it doesn’t give a time-line. Secondly, I find flaws in their argument that plastic baggies allow more food preservation than plastic tubs. The same concept for the plastic baggy can be used on the tub, but isn’t.

You have to conform to daycare’s schedules. This particular place has 1/2 time in the AM. They are giving me a break these first two weeks because I am being trained. My job will require I attend meetings upwards of the early afternoon. I will have to be at work at least 4 days per week. Why are daycares so inflexible? They should be offering a service to parents, not a tyranny on care.

So, what are we left with? Wasting food when it’s brought in glass jars, one of the most renewable resources we have. Daycares, by their created nature, are wasteful and unhealthy. But, what do you do as a parent?

It’s frustrating. It’s annoying. It makes me a little angry. The magic number for daycare to pay for itself in a way that makes it so I am not paying to go to work is 2.2 x daycare. The estimate we came up with last year was higher than “starting wages” for all jobs I applied for. I found the magic combo of a job to my personality, and they granted me what I want for pay, and now it doesn’t look like it’d be enough. Mistake #1: budgeted that magic ratio on full time. But, this is what I want as a part time job. I want part time. I want this job. Daycare rates increased since last year. To maximize the time for Levi to be there under 5 hours, the magic number for half time, the daycare needs to be close to my work.

There is another place. The place I initially wanted. It’s right across the street from my job. I have to reconcile in my head, though, what Potty Trained really means. Because I’m inclined to say “No” when Levi goes all day long in daycare but not at home.

Please wish me good luck. I like this job. I want this job.

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