Sunday, May 3, 2009

It's Easy Being Green: Avoiding the Landfill

I hope this doesn't gross y'all out... It is amazing how little trash we put out. So much of what used to go in the trash is now recycled or composted. Here are snapshots of one of my recycling bins and the compost pail today:
Some of the things in the recycling bin: cereal box, junk mail, coffee lid, magazines, plastic bag our newspaper comes in, pizza box. Comments about a couple of these items: of course it's preferable to use a reusable mug for transporting coffee, and we do so 99% of the time, but when we don't, we make sure to recycle both the paper cup and the plastic lid. Our city takes pizza boxes even with the grease on them; some cities won't - if yours won't, you can at least recycle the top of the box. Just rip it off.
In our compost pail: egg shells, flowers cut from the yard for arrangements, used coffee filters and grounds, veggie scraps.
This stuff would really add up in a landfill over time! It's so easy to recycle, and nearly as easy to compost. If you're not doing both already, I urge you to give it a try. I'm oddly proud of how little actual "trash" we produce at our house.


mlc said...

Nice post on recycling. We live in the country and are trying to wean ourselves off the garbage pick-up. Our county has recycling drop-off points. I so like them. After all these years I still haven't actually succeeded in making real compost. I don't think a pile of rotting organic stuff down behind the house counts.

Heather said...

I love these posts about It Being Easy To Be Green. Great way to showcase the practical and actual side of it all.

Ginger said...

Heather and mlc- Well, recycling in particular is especially easy for us at home because we have curbside recycling and don't have to sort! But, I've always done it even when I had to take it somewhere. Glad you're enjoying these posts.

mlc- I got a lot of useable compost for the first time last year. It was awesome! My husband made a screen and I ended up getting two wheelbarrows full out of my two bins. That took some semi-regular turning and watching the composition and moisture level. I consider it composting even if you never get anything out of it, though. It's stil better than putting stuff in the landfill, plus birds love picking around the piles! We grew up with a pile in the backyard, but the only time my dad ever "used it" was to get worms for fishing!

Susie said...

Oh I think that is definitely something to be proud of.

Janet said...

Way to go Ginger! We had a bit of a wake up for limited trash when we lived in Germany. They collected trash every other week, but recycled stuff, weekly. The packaging on things we Americans buy is just nuts. Shrink plastic over cardboard with a cellephane cover, etc. Some companies are finally getting the idea to limit packaging.

Prairie Chicken... said...

last year was our first year composting and we just "harvested" ... what a surprise to see how much we got in return from our kitchen scraps! our vegetarian lifestyle is finally paying off ;)
- our neighbors two person houshold throws 6 garbage on the curb every week.
My two person household throws 1 garbage bag on the curb, sometimes we can go 2 weeks without having a full bag to toss on the curb.

Lisa Blair said...

Yay, Ginger! That's great!

I am stunned that Prarie Chicken's neighbors have so much trash! We also rarely have more then 1 bag of trash a week.

And I agree with Janet on the packaging thing. Even at the grocery store people put each type of produce in a different plastic bag. I don't get it!

Ginger said...

Susie - you're sweet!

Janet - that is so interesting! We have trash pickup twice a week and recycling once every two weeks. We typically only put out one can of trash every two weeks, though.

Prairie Chicken - good lord about your neighbor!! I keep hoping children in the neighborhood will see all our recycling and pressure their parents into doing it. Would you believe that it appears to be working?!

Lisa - I only use produce bags when it's something like a hot pepper or something soaking wet. It took awhile for me to ween my husband off produce bags, but now he just throws the bell pepper in the cart. I love it!

Becca's Dirt said...

I agree with you Ginger. I began my compost before I turned one blade of grass for a flower bed. I hated to waste so many food scraps and coffee grounds. I admit I have still got to get a trash can for each of these: paper, plastic and glass. It is very easy to recycle and everyone should be conserving our landfills.

Happy recycling... Becca

Kim and Victoria said...

Kim is the biggest recycle "Nazi". :-)
He's so proud of how little trash we send to the landfill.
Good for you for recycling and composting.
He just expanded the size of our compost piles anticipation of our chickens.

Karen said...

I had to laugh when I read this, because I had considered doing a very similar post about how little garbage we are down to. Between recycling, yard waste/food waste pickup from the city, starting a worm bin, and beginning to save coffee grounds and eggshells for the garden, my trash separation is getting a little nutty! But the result is a tiny, I mean TINY bag of garbage every week. I'm scheming to make it even smaller... gotta stop buying so many crackers and cereal with plastic inner liners, I really hate that! Congrats, you are doing the planet a big favor!

Ginger said...

you're ahead of me with the worm bin!! you should do your post --- the more people we expose to this way of thinking, the better!