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Thread: Garbage reduction challenge

  1. #1
    Senior Member razz's Avatar
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    Garbage reduction challenge

    As I walk my little dog around the neighbourhood, he is intimidated by the large number of large black bags waiting at the curb each week and switches from my left side to my right. Is he horrified at how much garbage we are creating?

    Seriously, I am amazed how my neighbours, two adults in their 50's, can fill two bags of garbage and 2 recycling boxes every week. I haven't peered into the containers but I do see them filled to the top. This is not unusual. Many others have similar volumes of garbage that we walk past once each week. I rarely fill a bag and in the cooler weather only put out. garbage once a month.

    I have decided that I need to reduce my garbage. Anyone else interested in joining me in a garbage reduction challenge?

    Some of my particular difficulties are disposing of the dog poop, cellophane wrapping, clear plastic covered trays for fruit especially berries and veggies from the grocery store.

    Any links to informative sites would be helpful.

    I offer this one:
    https://www.smallfootprintfamily.com...o-reduce-trash
    Gandhi: Happiness is when what you think, what you say and what you do are in harmony .

  2. #2
    Senior Member catherine's Avatar
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    Here are a couple of other resources:

    https://zerowastehome.com (I have that book on Kindle)

    Rob Greenfield's site: http://robgreenfield.tv/trashme/

    I bought beeswax wrap and it works great, but I can't remember the vendor so here's a review of the best beeswax wraps. https://www.epicurious.com/expert-ad...x-wrap-article


    I find it difficult to cut down on waste because of my need for convenience during busy work seasons. I'd love to travel to City Market in Burlington to buy bulk, but what more frequently happens is I run to the market a mile away and buy anything that will be quick and easy despite how much plastic it's wrapped in.

    Composting is great for waste-guilt, but I suspect you already do that.

    I don't think I'm going to accept the challenge this time around, razz, because I'm in the middle of a work tsunami. I usually eat healthy and I try to eat plant-based foods, but when I skip meals I crave chicken wings, of all things. So yesterday I visited the supermarket after dropping off my son in town and they have a Wings Bar--OMG. I literally bought a bottle of blue cheese dressing and sat in the car and wolfed down a half pound of all different kinds of wings. At least they were in a paper/cardboard clamshell which of course isn't recyclable once I dumped all the oily dressing on it.

    I'm interested in hearing others' efforts at reducing waste, however.
    "Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it--every, every minute?" Emily Webb, Our Town
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  3. #3
    Senior Member JaneV2.0's Avatar
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    Your brain needs fat, so wings during stressful times make perfect sense.
    That said, I don't get wings--too much gnawing, too little substance.

  4. #4
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    I’m a hoarder. Trying to reduce my trash - and other people’s trash - is part of what got me into this mess.

    I think really hard about buying things.

    two weeks ago I spent 20 minutes paralyzed in the cookie aisle because dh wants cookies in his lunch - conventional with palm oil, or organic with non-recyclable plastic packaging? If it had just been for me, I would have skipped the cookies. I spent half the 20 minutes beating myself up for not baking the cookies (chocolate chips in non-recyclable plastic packaging, or drive an hour to buy from the bulk bin? How did the chips get to the bulk bin? The brown sugar only comes in plastic - empty it, tear off the resealable zipper that is made from the wrong kind of plastic, turn it inside out, rinse it off, let it dry, take it to the bag recycling at the grocery store...)

    after the election, when I started reading about the new administration’s environmental policies, I got so stressed I stopped eating.

    the shirt i’m wearing is two sizes too big. It was a gift from someone who was leaving the organization, wouldn’t wear it anymore, and didn’t know what to do with it. I semi-lied and said my kids could use it for pjs. It’s comfortable. I try to remember not to wear it in public, but sometimes I forget. It covers my shorts, so I look like i’m not wearing pants. It’s still in good shape, so i’ll keep wearing it.

    If I go somewhere and they are serving food and the only option is a styrofoam plate, I will pick up a few things on a napkin or lie and say i’m not hungry. Sometimes I notice too late and have to actually leave the line at point of service. Sometimes I bring my own plate or bowl, but sometimes there is too much friction. And sometimes I forget. Sometimes people see me eating off of a napkin and they say “you can have a plate.” I just say “ I’m good.” Nobody wants to hear that you are making an ethical choice not to use styrofoam. They definitely don’t want to hear that thinking about eating off the styrofoam actually makes you feel sick.

    but I am not ready to give up my 100% recycled tp.

  5. #5
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    It takes a month for us to fill our recycle bin and usually only have 1 bag of garbage a week. The only time we use paper plates is at our 2 barbecues in the summer.

  6. #6
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    Dh just bought a vacuum cleaner because I am not cleaning the new room often enough for him and he hates my vacuum cleaner. He ordered it new from amazon. It just arrived in at least one layer of cardboard with non-recyclable tape (the cardboard will go in my garden). If there is glossy cardboard, I will take it to the recycling drop. If there is bag type plastic, I will take it to the grocery store. If there are twist ties, I will save (hoard) them for reuse. I am afraid there will be styrofoam. Or at least little plastic bits. And that stuff they put in everything to keep it dry.

    i feel guilty and frustrated about not cleaning more often.

  7. #7
    Senior Member JaneV2.0's Avatar
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    We have periodic styrofoam recycling here, and notice more packing boxes include those papier-mache-type inner supports instead. But really, most of my garbage seems to be plastic packaging.

  8. #8
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    Sending lots of love chicken lady. I hope it’s a self cleaning robot so it doesn’t add to your stress.

  9. #9
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    Great idea Razz. I liked reading your small footprint link and respect your values and ambition.

    In our area garbage collection is every 2 weeks but we only put it out every 4 weeks. 2 adults, 1 dog, occasional visitors. We have 2 garbage collection sites in the house, one basket in the bathroom and one under the kitchen sink. We fill one kitchen size bag every 4 weeks which holds the garbage from both these collection spots. Actually we could maybe squeeze it to every 6 weeks but I like to get it out of the house after 4. We live in a large city, not a forested, rural island.

    We recycle a lot, compost a lot, use doggy doo biodegradable bags. Since you mention dog poop, we also have a small dog. I tie a knot in the bag halfway down and cut it with scissors to make two bags out of one bag. I figure that cuts the cost and garbage in half right there. We bring them home after our walk and flush the doggy doo down the toilet. Only the doggy doo collection bag gets put into the garbage and really takes up no space. If our dog goes in our own yard or uses the in house washable pads then we pick up using toilet paper which also gets flushed. I know some people who dig a hole in their yard and put a lid from an old cooking pot on it. Then they dump the nuggets there. If you have a big dog or lots of dogs you may need a bigger deeper hole and a bigger lid. I have seen items marketed for such a purpose, google doggie dooley and you will see one.

    We can take any Styrofoam or plastics to the collection depot for recycling. Lots of plastic items just get freecycled, i.e. plant pots are donated to those who garden and propagate. Even shrink wrap can be recycled at our local depot. Lots of things we don’t want can be left at the curb and someone takes them home.

    I understand you are in Canada but I can’t remember if you are east or west. So I offer the following sites re dog poop for your info
    https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/briti...tion-1.5129330
    http://www.metrovancouver.org/servic...s/default.aspx
    https://www.toronto.ca/services-paym...-my-green-bin/
    https://www.regionofwaterloo.ca/en/l...pet-waste.aspx

  10. #10
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    I'll read the ideas but really I don't do public challenges.
    If you want something to get done, ask a busy person. If you want them to have a nervous breakdown that is.

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