Waste is rampant in America. It’s a problem, I believe, of abundance coupled with busy-ness, resulting in big, big piles of trash. One day, we may be mining those landfills; natural resources are being used up faster than they can replenish.
Some people are trash renegades. They not only do their part, but they go the extra mile. On WordPress, I’ve met a few of these.
Jennifer at MilitaryZeroWaste shared about taking her own container to pick up fresh sushi from the grocery. What a novel idea. Jennifer’s my kinda gal. Unlike her though, I’m not shy or embarrassed to ask for something, so I tried it straight away. The initial look from the sushi chef made me laugh, but now she knows me – and why I’m doing it – and routinely complies. All I had to do was ask. She takes my gently-used plastic containers and my order, fills it while I shop, and hands my containers (properly labeled for checkout) back with a kind “Thank you.” “Xie Xie.” I tell her in return, for not having to throw something away – especially #6’s which is difficult to recycle. And, of course, for the really, really fresh sushi to take home.
Jean-François at 222MillionTons is all about reduction of food waste. His recent post piqued my own growing interest in soy milk makers. Sure, I’ve seen how to make nut milks (and their by-products) but it sure looked like a lot of work. Having an appliance take the time (of standing over a boiling pot) out of it seemed worth the cost, so I bought one (SoyaJoy G3 $109, Tofu Kit $25, Amazon). In only a couple of weeks – and six batches of organic soy milk ($24), two of organic almond milk ($8), two vegan cheesecakes ($20), one key-lime pie ($8), and one 16-oz. cake of tofu ($10) under my belt – it’s quite easy to appreciate the cost savings. Jean-François has not only helped my budget and food choices, he’s also helped reduce our consumption of aseptic containers. That was a total bonus.
Me? I’m a dirt and trash
Nazi girl, first and foremost. And I don’t particularly care what other people think about it – it’s just who I am.
Sometimes, dirt and trash go together. An acre and a half of property makes a lot of organic matter for my growing garden, but it’s still not enough to supply what I need. In a neighborhood of big properties, very busy people with yard crews to do all their work, countless bags of leaves and grass clippings are regularly left for the landfill. Such a shame. And a waste.
Twice a week, I fight the urge to load every tempestuous clear bag into the back of my van, my dignity (yes, I do have some) keeping me in check. This is a very nice neighborhood. What would my neighbors think? Of me? In a crappy van? Stealing their trash?
Walking the kids to the bus stop this morning, I hit a new low. Well, hello there clean, clear bags of trash right across the street. You’re looking awfully lonely over there.
Now I know these are bags of leaves and shrub clippings ready for the
stealing sneaking. Not only can I see what’s in there through the clear plastic, I witnessed her yard crew from my swing yesterday raking it all up to put to the curb. (And I’ll bet she paid them an extra to do that.) Why they use clear bags is a mystery – anything on the curb goes directly to the local Class I Type I landfill with all the other trash.
She doesn’t know what I know, how valuable this stuff is. Those leaves and twigs are little pieces of sunlight, nitrogen and carbon, broken up in bite-sized chunks for the soil microbes to feast upon.
gasp I hear the trash truck. I hope the neighbors have already left for work.
I must be
Shh, my sweet blogging family.
I know my dirty little secret is safe with you.
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What have you done for the environment that you’re not so proud of?
How do you best manage the trash that flows in and out of your household?
What do you do with yard and organic debris?