Although many locals complain about the lack of recycling opportunities in our area, for those who care, there are a lot of options, especially now that the Progressive Waste single stream recycling is here. Even before that option became available, my husband and I could go 2 - 3 weeks without putting out a cart, due to the amount of compostable materials that could go in the City compost bin. However, now we can also drop off bottles and plastics in the single stream dumpsters around town, reducing the need to roll out our cart even more.
My daughter and family have been living with us for several months now. Although it sometimes seems these adults cannot get the hang of sorting their trash, we are still doing pretty well. They got used to the single stream where they used to live and are a little lazy. We're working on that.
We have a compost barrel set up for most garbage (not meat), the City compost cart that goes out weekly, and we drop off plastics, glass and metal at the single stream dumpsters when we are out and about. I also periodically drop off those annoying plastic shopping bags that still seem to show up in the house when someone besides me goes shopping. My husband hordes aluminum cans and turns them in when he has a pick-up load of crushed cans to finance some of his projects.
But some online posts got me thinking...how low can we go? The Utne Reader had a good article on zero-waste living that is worth a read by anyone. Even if you don't want to go as far as some of the folks mentioned in the article, it does point out some ways in which you can reduce a lot of waste, save money and live healthier. A win-win-win. Here are some tips from the Zero Waste Home blog. I'm not sure I am 100% ready for all of the ideas, but most of them wouldn't require a lot of effort.
There are several blogs on this topic out there. Two good ones are mentioned in the Utne Reader article. Another I particularly like that also has some great idea for businesses is Pick Up America. The link here is to The Zero-Waste Home toolkit. Zero Waste in ACTION is targeted more toward business and industry. There are a couple of other related blogs worth mentioning. One I particularly enjoy is My Plastic-Free Life.
Who knew there would be so many people making such an effort to reduce their trash production? If only there were more. Even if you aren't ready to take on the zero-waste challenge completely, all of us can do better. Why not see how low you can go?