Saturday, January 9, 2010

Don't Dump on Mother

In our house, we try to reduce our trash load as much as possible. Face it, we live in an over-packaged world. If we can leave a lighter footprint as we pass, it helps keep trash out of the waterways and the landfills and makes a cleaner and therefore healthier environment for us all. We can do that in a couple of ways. First is to try and resist buying overpackaged goods in the first place. Usually overpackaging is done for convenience. But do we really need sliced apples in individual packets or individual salad servings in the grocery store? And what about those indestructible plastic clamshells that you need heavy scissors to cut open? They're not even recyclable.

I sometimes wish you could get credit for percentage of your curbside trash that was recycling rather than just trash. We try to recycle as much as possible. What isn't eligible for curbside pickup, like mixed paper, batteries or currogated cardboard, I end up taking to the county recycling center once or twice a month. I just have a fixation about it for some reason. I've even been known to bring boxes home from work if I know they're just going to get tossed in the dumpster. But that's just me.

My county has a neat feature at the landfill/recycling center where they've established a "Too good to throw away" area. People can drop furniture, building materials, toys, and yard sale castoffs there. A lot of it does get re-used, and thereby stays out of the landfill. We've dropped stuff there and also found some good items. Our metal porch table is from there. It just needed some sanding and a new coat of paint and is good as new.

Anyway, it's time to battle the post-holiday clutter monster. Onward into the new year.
Oh, and don't forget to cut up those 6-pack rings before disposal. A duck or fish will thank you for it.