There has been something niggling at me for a while now. Not a bad niggle, just something that needs my attention. I’m not sure if you have taken note of this but it drives me to distraction some days. Why does everything come with so much packaging? Even with minimal packaging there is still so much recycling and garbage that piles up.
Almost everything comes with some sort of excessive packaging, short of fruits and veggies that Mother Nature has nicely packaged herself without extra waste. At least this packaging, if not consumed, can go into the making of beautiful, rich compost and go back into the earth in a productive manner. Mind you, some fruit growers and/or their wholesalers feel the need to encase produce in evil plastic packages and shrink-wrap.
I try to shop to avoid excessive packaging but my recycle bins seem to overflow each week. I recycle absolutely everything I can and have set up a recycling station in my kitchen. Two large bins to collect paper and plastics/cans/bottles. I always have a separate heap of plastic bags to recycle too even though I only use reusable shopping bags. A couple of weeks ago I forgot my reusable bags so I purchased a few plastic bags (feeling guilty the entire time I was bagging and carrying my groceries, hoping no one saw me carrying plastic bags) thinking I could use them at some point as garbage bags. Ack! My Guilt-O-Meter instantly blew up! Every time I open my pantry and see the measly couple of reserve bags in my bag dispenser I have to look away quickly and distract myself to avoid the trip down Anguish Avenue.
Change of subject for my sanity.
I have been working diligently on reducing the amount of garbage each week. For the last couple of years, I have been able to put out the garbage pail for collection with two small grocery bags, on average. Some weeks I have no garbage at all to put out at the curb. When I see other people’s garbage piles I wonder what the heck they are throwing out to have such a mass amount of garbage each week. Not that I really want to know. It would probably irritate me to no end. I think that my two small grocery bags is excessive for my family as it is. So, I’m plugging away at reducing garbage and packaging and sorting my recycling responsibly. Once there is a system in place it is simple to allocate everything to its proper place.
My system includes:
1 bin for paper recycling
1 bin for glass, plastic, cans and cartons
1 heap (supposed to be tidy but seldom is) for plastic bags and wrap from packaging
1 city collected compost (for the municipal maggot pile) which includes things I wouldn’t put in my own compost bin but the city accepts
1 raw food scraps and yard waste compost bin
1 garbage pail
It actually makes things easier to sort as I go along. This way on recycling/garbage day it is mere minutes collecting the bins and dragging them to the curb. Much better than having to sort everything while collecting. Do you have a tip for reducing garbage and recycling? I’d love to hear your ideas.
When it comes to garbage, there is no such thing as throwing it away.