So, remember that New Year’s Resolution? (I mean mine, not yours. You can stop feeling guilty now.) I resolved to do something about waste: create less and bring less into my house. So I thought I’d update you on how I’m doing.
I took the garbage out last week for the first time this year. That was pretty exciting. Not as good as the folks in Ontario who took a whole year to fill their garbage can but for me this is progress. There’s a few things I’m learning:
The secret is having a ton of separate containers to sort garbage. We have garbage cans in each room, a recycling container in the office for paper and one under the kitchen sink for multi-recyclables. We have a large basket in the living/dining room area for newspapers and other larger paper/cardboard. There’s a small recycling container in our bathroom for toilet paper rolls and the few plastic containers that we use there, like shampoo bottles, for example. I have a compost bucket under my sink for fresh kitchen scraps and one in my freezer for cooked food scraps.
To this I’ve added bags in our bedrooms and office for snotrags so that we can compost these. I’ve also become much more diligent about food containers – we don’t have a lot of fast food type containers coming into our house but when we do, I now compost these. This one simple thing has made an enormous difference in the volume of garbage we throw out.
- Most of my garbage is non-recyclable plastic or styrofoam. So this speaks to what I bring into the house. Most of that plastic/foam comes from how I buy meat products. I try to buy meat wrapped in butcher paper and then use that to line my food compost bucket. The thing is, I don’t have unlimited income either. So one of my favourite places to buy meat (because they sell non-medicated, grass fed, happy animals meat) still puts most of their stuff on styro trays and wraps it in plastic. There are other places where I can also purchase the same happy meat which comes wrapped in recyclable or compostable packaging but it’s much more expensive. So, I guess I could eat less meat – which is totally a do-able thing – and the only purchase it where I can get it in recyclable or compostable packaging. Or… what? Any other suggestions?