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.
link on how to get started.
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.