11.13.2008

checking in for trash-talk...

we are nearly 1/2 way through our month of trash-watch. it's not been too difficult--in fact jeremy might say it's been even easier since he's not had to bring the trash out to the curb for pickup. we aren't accumulating crazy amounts of garbage yet. i'm just kind of disgusted that the bulk of our garbage is food packaging. the most of which is unidentified plastic, things i'm not sure are recyclable anywhere. i know that my waste management facility only accepts hdpe #1 & #2, so that's clear enough. but then i read online that cereal liners (which we have at 6 of for the half-month) are hdpe #2. and we've been tossing them in with the trash.

plus there's lots of other plastic--a surprising amount. clingwrap from cheese. plastic bags from farmer's market-purchased tortillas, farmer's market-purchased spring mix & spinach, trader joe's pizza dough. plastic trays from crackers and oreo boxes. many, many, many ziplock bags that have been reused several times and are no longer something i want to hang onto. right now we've got a trader joe's paper bag filled with all of this packaging. i suppose in the general scheme of things, 1 bag for nearly 2 weeks of trash isn't horrible. but it's still not ideal.

we did send a package of not-so-good sausages and some past-its-prime feta out with garbage pickup last week (to avoid attracting critters). neither the sausages nor the cheese could be composted, and i didn't want to give them to the dog. food waste has always been an issue in our house b/c i am a true believer in the law of expiration dates, and have, in my paranoia, made jeremy question things too instead of taking an "eat-and-see" approach. we are getting better at this--shopping less has made a real difference. and lots of our questionable food finds its way elsewhere of the trash--becoming compost (whithered produce, moldy bread), chicken feed (stale bread, crackers, chips), or dog food (ignored leftovers, and other things that pass the sniff test but aren't in my personal culinary agenda).

and just in case you're curious, we've gone through 3.5 rolls of tp. who keeps track of this stuff?

:)

2 comments:

Family Time said...

I work in a grocery store and most of the plastic wrapping, such as the tortilla packaging can be placed in a plastic bag and taken to your local grocery store or walmart where there is a plascic recyle box. All of the plastic wrap and cardboard that is shipped to my store is recyled into containers. The grocery stores then sell this stuff to companies so that it can be used again. Good luck.

Melissa H said...

I love what you're doing here. The trash issue especially strikes me. We spent 5 years in Germany where recycling was not only mandatory but also incredibly comprehensive. You had glass, paper (all kinds), metal, non-reclyclables like dishes and porcelain, and everything else. The sheet we were given by our recycling center on post put it simply as "When you buy something, it comes in a package. If that package is not paper, glass or metal, it goes in the 'yellow bag' with the plastics." All plastics, cereal bags, paper milk cartons, foil, plastic wrap, Pringle's cans, Tetrapaks, you name it. They even had compost cans that the city came around and collected with the regular trash. Stores, as a general rule, don't provide bags, if you forget, you either pay or hand-carry your stuff out. Granny carts (those handy wheeled bags) and hand baskets are VERY popular. It was inconvenient in our tiny apartment to have so many cans for recycling, because it did have to be separated, but in contrast, I would prefer it to the guilt of tossing almost everything in the regular trash. I'm glad to hear that our local lack of "green" isn't just because we now live in...Kentucky.