Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Trying to Achieve Zero-Waste Stream

Garbage Day

Tomorrow is garbage pickup day at our home. My husband Michael gathered all the trash in the house; from the 2 bathrooms, 3 bedrooms, den, living room and kitchen. We live outside the city and have trash pickup once a week, so we have this huge garbage transporter on wheels.

When Michael came back inside from wheeling the garbage to the end of the driveway, he had a funny look on his face. I asked him what was wrong. He turned to me and said, "All we had was one kitchen-sized trash bag." I did not understand, so he restated, "We only used one bag's worth of trash this week." Then he broke into a big smile and said, "We are recycling almost every thing we use!"

Recycling Works

Now that he can see the real impact of the recycling we do, he is vested in it. It has taken a few years, but now we can see that we will be able to do away with garbage collection completely. That will be a savings of over $20 per month.

Recycle, reuse, repurpose, pass it on
- recycle all cardboard
- recycle all paper, newspaper, wrapping paper, medication/makeup inserts
- recycle all aluminum
- recycle all metal (lids of jars, the cutout when you open a tin can, and things the kids find)
- recycle all glass
- recycle all 1-3 plastics & try not to buy them
- recycle Styrofoam and cornstarch pellets that are used for packing

- do not purchase items with more waste than product
- choose glass over plastic
- do not purchase 4+ plastics
- keep cloth bags in all cars for shopping
- if a plastic page is brought home, it is used as a trash can liner in the bathrooms
- save padded envelopes and bubbled mailers to use again
- rehab items and buy used instead of buying new
- compost all yard waste and kitchen waste
- if you have trees trimmed or removed, have them chipped and use the chips as mulch
- use newspaper as mulch and weed killer (find out how at MotherEarthNews)


ariwolu said...

I never do recycling, after read this I'll try to save my carbage... :D
for recycling of course

Thomas said...

Follow the golden rules of the green era like switch off your electronics products instead of keeping them on stand by, use recycled goods dump your trash accordingly .

curtis dawson said...

this is good information! keep it up!

Gesundheitsportal said...

Very environment-friendly attitude. Seldom we can hear such a great concern. We really need to recycle not only to save the earth but to earn some money too. You see, there's money in trash. HOw's that for an added cash? Nice isn't it.

CyberCelt said...

@ariwolu-you should recycle, especially if you wish to have children. It is to them we will leave this Earth.

@thomas-I still forget to do this. I was taught it was more energy efficient to leave computers on than switch it off/on.

@curtis-share your story if you wish.

@Gesundheitsportal-I take all my recyclables to one place. I figure if they take my tin cans and plastics for free, it is not fair to sell my aluminum to him.

derl said...

i used to buy many drinks at the gas station and was left with so many bottles at the end of the week, now i make iced tea instead and save money and calories not to mention the 7-14 empty bottles every week

casa rural huesca said...

The city of Austin wants to follow in the footsteps of San Francisco and Seattle by creating a zero-waste plan that will eradicate the garbage it sends to landfills.

Anonymous said...

Great resources! I hope more people use them.

Yes I agree that anything in a landfill is not good, and I often do make my own applesauce - it's so easy, and it's gotta be better for you. It lasts for a couple days in the fridge in a glass container.

But you and I both know that people are lazy and they are going to continue to buy pre-made food as much as they can. The packages that Smashies come in are better than those little plastic disposable cups. It is, according to their website, NASA-inspired, eco-friendly, socially responsible, and BPA-free.

Jill said...

The same thing happened to my family. We got our trash down to one kitchen size trash bag. It feels great.

lisa winter said...

you've posted some great tips here. i think one way we can also reduce our waste stream is to reduce our consumption. Fix,borrow, or make ourselves are great alternatives to buying so much also.

CyberCelt said...

@derl-I am a big tea drinker also.

@casa-Austin is pretty progressive

@green-Thanks for stopping by and letting me know about the Smashies.


@lisa-You are exactly right. We are resources hogs in the US.

mrs green said...

Oh this is fabulous - one bag a week is awesome.

Over here in the UK, we are aiming to put our bin out once this year!

We've reduced our weekly landfill waste from around 150 litres a week to less than 100gms - all of this is non-recyclable plastics or foil laminate such as crisp packets.

You are so right, recycling DOES work and how great that you will save money. There is no such luck over here, we pay the same for rubbish collections (ie no collections) as our neighbour who puts out over 300 litres a week!

Never mind, at least I am doing my bit for the environment :)

Keep up the fantastic work!


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