Friday, March 2, 2012

The Lazy Recycler's Guide

Compost bin in the garden
I'm not quite as efficient as I'd like to be in lots of areas. Today, I'm cutting glass bottles that have been stacking up around here and noticing that I could tighten up the recycling ship in some other ways.

The bathroom: I'm lazy. There you go. Now YOU can feel better about yourself all day. A shampoo bottle is much more likely to find its way into a landfill than a milk jug around here. Why? Because when I empty the shampoo bottle I'm probably standing in the shower dripping wet. Plus (can I just be completely honest?) it's farther from the bathroom to the recycling bins in the carport than from the kitchen.

Did I mention I'm lazy?

The office: Paper tossed here that isn't important enough to get shredded is not nearly as likely make it to the recycling center as newspapers and cereal boxes. But the waste from the shredder religiously gets hauled out to the compost bin.

Go figure.

Clutter: I'm pretty good about shlepping things down the street to my local Goodwill since when I go shopping that is my store of choice--I get points for that, right? But I'll confess that if something doesn't neatly fit into a category, I am very likely to toss it, rather than have it lay around as a testament to my inability to make a decision about it.

The car: I'm vacuuming my car and there is a plastic water bottle someone left, or a newspaper. There is a trash can RIGHT there next to the you really think I'm going to take it home to put it in the bin? I finally did figure out a pretty good solution to this one which is to clean the car immediately after dropping off the recycling. I can give the car a quick once over while I'm at the plastics dumpster.

The refrigerator: Did you know that Americans throw out about 12% of the food they buy? Not broken toys, or empty containers---FOOD. This is someplace we can tighten up not only our recycling but our budget by making sure we use every bit of food we purchase. What to do with the vegetable peels and cilantro stems? A compost pile in the garden with a handy small compost bucket under the sink can solve this problem nicely. For leftovers, careful menu planning can help you cut down on waste.

The lawn: For a gardener and compost fan it is sacrilege to see piles of plastic bags stuffed with leaves on the edge of the street. Most garden waste can be composted (hopefully you are avoiding having your lawn sprayed with chemicals) and if you have a fireplace or outdoor fire pit the trimmings from pruning  branches and other yard waste, like pinecones make great kindling. 

While I'm spring cleaning and getting ready for the gardening season, I'm resolving to do a little better in some areas where I've been slacking. I don't know about you but this housewife needs more than one chance every year for resolutions.

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