Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Reducing garbage/waste at home.

Here is a thought: How else can we be green without spending a lot or any money?
How about our daily garbage. How much waste/garbage do we send to the dump on a weekly basis? How much does this cost you? Are you charged per barrel you put to the curb?
Just this week I was looking at the amount of garbage I set to the curb. That's when I was thinking about how much we used to throw away.

They say the average household generates about one ton of garbage/waste per year. Of course that figure could be better/less or worse/more depending on who's study you look at. Either way that's a lot of garbage in a person's lifetime.

We are a family of five. We used to have a 50 gallon container filled to the rim, that I would roll to the curb on Monday night. It was heavy. Lucky for me it has wheels.
Then for the recycles we would have one container filled.(a blue box)

OK. So what goes into our garbage?

Our largest source of waste is from the kitchen. This used to be at least three full large kitchen bags. At times we have had four large kitchen bags per week. Then we added the garbage from the bathrooms, bedrooms and office. This in total became quite a large amount of weekly waste.

The kitchen garbage would include mostly food packaging, leftovers, and fruit and vegetable wastes. There was a lot of paper waste also: from advertisements, envelops and copier paper.

Man, what a waste!

So how have we reduced this amount over time? Now the actual amount of garbage we bring to the curb has gone down over the years. We maybe have one to two bags per week at the most from the kitchen. Then we also have one little bag each from the bathroom, bedrooms and office.

This reduction is largely due to the amount of recycling we do. I found out that most cereal boxes and other food boxes such as those from crackers were recyclable. Well that reduced the kitchen garbage significantly. I wish there were a way to recycle those inner plastic bags.
We only buy milk in recyclable plastic containers so no waste there. Newspapers and magazines get recycled.
Most, if not all, junk mail goes into the recycle bin, so that reduces it. Paper from the office gets recycled.

Every Monday night I put out two blue boxes for recyclables. One holds paper and carton. The other holds glass and plastic bottles and containers.

I know that we could reduce our waste even more. There are still many thing we do throw away, because they simply can not be recycled.

One thing I would like to work on for ourselves is composting. As long as it can be done economically I will do that in the near future.

Then there is the electronics and hazardous waste recycling program with the town. I now gather my elctronic parts and computers to take to the town in the spring. The also have a time when they collect hazardous waste. This may include paint and pesticides.

As long as we can do our part I feel good about being green. And all this without spending extra money.

1 comment:

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