Sunday, June 24, 2012

Step One: Trash

On Saturday I went on this great website and entered my info to stop getting junk mail! There is another website called "Green Dimes" which sounds interesting, but I am going to have to look into that a bit closer and see if it is worth the $36 fee. I am hoping that it will not only stop the catalogs, credit card offers, and other needless junk mail, but also those blasted grocery store fliers!

Another part of step one is composting. We composted while we lived in Tucson and for awhile in Maine, but not since we have been back to Arizona. While I was messing around on-line to see if Phoenix had any places to drop off compostable stuff I found that Phoenix actually has compost bins made from only city trash cans (you know the big green ones) for $5.00! You just pick them up at the public works. There is even a link to composting in the desert (which is a bit different then in more moist climates). And just general composting hints.
Then there is also worm composting, which we tried in Tucson and failed miserably at. I am willing to give it another go. I think maybe the kids would enjoy it as well, ok maybe the littler ones will enjoy it. Here is a good link on how to get started.
Although all the composting, junk mail reducing measures are great... the real change needs to come from us making less waste in general. And let's be honest, what really needs to happen is the reduction in throw away goods, even the recycling kind. At this time we fill to the top every week a large city recycling can. ( I have no idea how many gallons those cans are, but they are big), plus we toss out 26-39 gallons of other stuff that can not be recycled (lots of food waste). We have a lot of room for improvement. Which is actually not as overwhelming as it seems. It just takes us being more aware of what we buy, how we use it and what we truly want.
How much of the stuff that sits in our trash can was something we used for 10 minutes or less? I am going to venture to guess most of it. Which is sad, but not hopeless. The first step is our awareness of the issue, and then to take those steps to change how we do things. Getting our produce in these muslin bags is one way. Also using cloth napkins, washable dish rags, towels for spills, reusable containers instead of foil or plastic wrap, using reusable water bottles, coffee cups and sandwich bags. Also storing food in plain old large, glass mason jars works very well and cuts down on plastic use.
Remembering that there is only so much we can take from the Earth and remembering to be respectful of what we do use, is always a good lesson (at least I think so).
One of my favorite reminders is the movie "The Story of Stuff". We can't continue in this linear way of using resources.
So there is Step One.


Heather aka Proud Mama said...

Tempe used to offer a free com poster. All of the cities we have lived in there do. We had two in our home in Gilbert. Just call the city of Monday. They even deliver it. Worms are easy too if you are patient. We kept ours on the porch. Your porch is shaded enough all of the day to work.

momto5 said...

i was thinking maybe the garage would be good as well.

Nicole said...

Heather, I just watched the movie "Dirt" and I am wanting to compost and try worms as well! Spending time looking at homes to maybe move has stalled me for sure.