Monday, January 29, 2007

Where we are waste-wise

I know I'm a bit ahead of schedule (it's not February yet) but we started actively reducing the amount of garbage we create as a family since the beginning of the new year.

Already, we had less garbage than most of our neighbours but we have gone from about 1 to 1 1/2 large trash bags per week to less than 1/2 a bag per week. That's for a family of 4 and it includes diapers.

Area where garbage could be reduced most easily: the kitchen!

What helped most: composting all our kitchen waste.

We had been lazy about that. It was just easier to put it in the trash can than walk to the parking lot and dump it in the compost bin. Between all the eggs we eat (egg shells can be composted), the coffee we drink (coffee grounds and unbleached filters can be composted), the rest of the food prep that happens in our home and the fruits eaten as snacks, that's a lot of trips in the cold to the compost bin (but we're doing it!) and a lot of stuff that doesn't end up in the garbage.
Tip: We keep our compost container inside the refrigerator until it's full so we don't get any fruit flies or odors.

Other things that helped:

Picking the rest of the garbage apart to see if anything got missed and could possibly be recycled (a used tissue in the garbage can? It should be moved to the recycling bin).

I found it easier to sort the content of the small wastepaper baskets once in a while instead of taking every single little item to the recycling bin right away. So once a week, instead of dumping the content of those small baskets into the garbage, it's quickly sorted. Most of it seems to be recyclable.

Not being afraid of picking something out of the garbage and putting it in the compost or recycling instead (children seems to forget to put apple cores in the compost and guests put all sorts of recyclable waste into the garbage).

Compacting helped too. Obviously, if I'm not bringing in anything new, I have less to throw away.

One thing that doesn't help:

Our toddler is in disposable diapers. That's the drawback of not having a dryer. In the winter, it would humidify the house too much to be line drying cloth diapers indoors. I do have a dozen prefolds I could use comes spring and summer, I would just have to find covers in his size. I can just imagine how little garbage we would have if we didn't use 'sposies, maybe I'll have to try setting them aside to see.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

February Challenge: Waste reduction

The challenge is on!

I will be working on:
  • paper towel use
  • junk mail
  • packaging of items - fewer prepackaged items
  • reusing containers (and choosing containers that can be reused)
  • kid related papers

Friday, January 26, 2007

monthly challenge?

With a new month approaching, I was wondering if each of us would want to have a monthly challenge toward sustainability. Thoughts?

We could either all do the same thing each month or have our own personal challenge. Then we could post these specific steps we have been making. ideas?

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Keeping it Real

I read/heard once, and can't remember where, that if you wouldn't eat it, you shouldn't put it on your body. is a great resource for all kinds of information and today, they have a great article about personal care/cosmetic items. Here's the link:
I've definitely been giving this a lot of thought lately and we've decided to make our own personal care items from real organic ingredients. Think about doing this for yourself, too.


I created this blog so that some members of the yahoo group could share projects, etc.