In an effort to be greener and not contribute any more to land fills than we have to, in July of 2010 we got brave and told our garbage man we no longer needed his services. We live in a rural area and contracted his services, so we had that option. I was afraid if we didn’t do this, we would get too lazy and trash things that could be recycled. Also, the garbage collectors were burning oil and gasoline to come down our one-half mile drive way.
It all sounded easy at first. The nearest recycler is twenty-five minutes away. So far we have went once. We purchased metal trashcans lining them up, one for plastics (only number 1’s and 2’s), one for metal (thus the metal trash cans for when they will need to be recycled) and one for glass. Paper is either burned outside, used in the wood burning fireplace to help start fires, or taken to where my husband works, as a recycling bin is just outside his office. We have compost bins for our raw food scrapes.
We take our own reusable bags to stores; try to remember to ask for mugs in lieu of paper cups at Starbucks. I have my own reusable plastic cup for the cold drinks.
This whole process has made us rethink our whole consumerism as a family (there is just the two of us – empty nesters). Not only are the ingredients in products we are buying important as we try to be as organic as possible, but also the package it’s in is equally important.
It’s a learning process, and I hope we are making some impact. I am finding that there are some items we encounter that can’t be avoided as garbage. Where there is a will, though, there is a way. I’m thankful that thus far the actual throw away has been so minimal as to be something we can toss into the small trash can at the gas station once a week.
The other day I did break a ceramic bowl. I was at a loss of how to dispose of it. My solution thus far is to bury it in the field to be found perhaps hundreds of years later by an archeologist.