Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Reducing Our Trash and Recycle Waste [#CTWW]

This week's challenge comes from Mrs. Green (I just love her blog!):

This week, consider your recycling habits and decide on one more things which you can do to reduce landfill waste.  Let us know what you are doing, and how, so that we can learn and be inspired.

And then, if you would like ...

Visit the (Inter)National Zero Waste Week blog page or the Facebook Page and share your efforts with everyone participating in this year's event (close to 1000 from all over the world).

A quick survey of the trash can and the recycle bin reveal the following items making up the majority of waste. I am also going to call recycled items waste because we are not reusing them and they required energy to be recycled.

Trash Can
  • Unrecyclable containers from restaurants (Styrofoam, paper lined with plastic, plastics that cannot be recycled)
  • Plastic bags
  • Plastic wrapper (packaging)
  • Tissues and paper towels
Recycle Bin
  • Beer and wine bottles
  • Cardboard boxes (from online purchases)
  • Junk mail
  • Plastic containers from dairy, fruit, etc.
  • Glass jars
  • Aluminum cans

Once we started recycling, really recycling, and composting, our trash waste reduced dramatically. However, there is always room for improvement. There are so many changes I can make, but I have to take baby steps to reduce the amount of change I introduce at once. Yes, I would love to be able to bring my own take-home glass container to restaurants to take the left over food home, but I could see people (even my own family members) looking at me like I had three heads. I am going to chose one item from the trash can and one item from the recycle bin to either change what I buy, reuse the item, or compost it. 

Trash Can: Tissues
Waste Reduction Plan: Since 98% of the tissues are used for wiping a nose, these can be composted. Obviously, if you are sick and using tissues, you would not want to compost these.

Recycle Bin: Junk Mail
Waste Reduction Plan: Compost junk mail and shredded items. This will add good carbon matter to the produce scraps in the compost bin. I had been saving glass jars for storing items from the bulk bin or spices from my garden, but I ended up with a huge number of jars and no where to store them.

>> What ideas/tips do you have for helping me reduce my waste?


    Kristina (The Greening Of Westford) said...

    I meant to do this challenge, but time got away from me. If you haven't already tried this, you could reduce your junk mail by getting off the mailing lists. I'm pretty diligent about this, but still end up with stuff I can not figure out how to stop! Take a look for some tips here: http://thegreeningofwestford.blogspot.com/2010/08/no-more-junk-in-your-mail.html

    Jen said...

    You could use your junk mail to make your own paper.

    Do you have a return program for your wine/beer bottles?

    Glass jars - if you have too many consider giving them away on freecycle

    Malea said...

    I agree with Jen...if you have that much glass, consider Freecycle or Craigslist. I have been trying to gather a particular type of glass jar from a specific brand of jam, but it will take me FOREVER to get the number I want/need. If I saw them on Freecycle or Craigslist, I would be so happy!

    mail4rosey said...

    This was a great post. We reduce waste by trying to eliminate it or keep it as minimal as possible coming into the house.

    And if anything comes in that we know we'll be able to re-use, like boxes from a delivery, we put it away to use later.

    Katherines Corner said...

    Thank you for sharing at the Thursday Favorite Things hop. Your participation helps make it a success.I'm sorry I am slow to visit I am fighting a nasty head cold and my time on the computer has been limited.Wishing you a beautiful day .xo

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