7: Waste

I’m joining Marla for another read-a-long.  You can find all posts in this series here.

To be honest, I’m not a very “green” person.  I do have some reusable tote bags, but I only got them because they were free and my grocery store would reimburse you $.05 for each one you used.  Well, once they stopped the reimbursement (due to rising costs), I stopped using the bags!  Oh, except for one that I take to the library to carry our millions of books home in.

A couple weeks ago I was cleaning out the pantry and was horrified at the sheer number of plastic grocery bags we had.  We use them to line trash cans, but we still had way too many.  So, the day before I began reading this chapter, I decided to start using reusable totes again.  And I took two bags full of empty bags to the grocery store and put them in their bag recycling receptacle.

I got into the habit of recycling when I lived in Canada in a huge house with lots of roommates.  One of my chores was sorting and taking out the recycling.  The city I now live in charges for recycling pick up.  And my husband (who might be a tad more frugal than I am) refuses to pay for this service.  He thinks recycling companies make money and should take our materials for free.  I don’t know if they typically make money, but I read an article in our local paper a while back that said they were not currently making money.

My solution?  My parents live an hour away and their trash fees include recycling.  So, I save up my recycling and take it to their house whenever we visit. I also found out that our city has a drop off site where you can recycle for free.  They have two giant trash bins that you can toss your recyclables in.  I’ve made the trip there twice, but it’s almost an hours drive round trip, so I have to wonder if my gas pollution is negating my recycling efforts??

As far as waste?  I’m sad to admit that I am a huge waster of food.  I am very anal about expiration dates and pretty much refuse to use anything past the date on the bottle/can etc.  My husband on the other hand uses items (like condiments) that have been opened and expired for a couple of years.

I’d love to reduce our food waste.  It kills me to know I’m throwing money in the trash and wasting what was at one point, good food.  I’ve thought of putting a list on our fridge of what needs to be used up first so we can either eat those items for snacks or I can incorporate them into our upcoming meals.

Our utilities company had a program a couple of weeks ago where you could turn in up to two shower heads and get free water saver ones.  We took advantage of this.  I  love taking long hot showers and I have to say, I really miss our old shower head!  It was much easier to adjust and just plain led to a more enjoyable shower!  Even if it did have a few stray spots where water would shoot up to the ceiling…

I felt convicted as I read the beginning of this chapter where Jen mentions how God created this world that we are tearing apart.  I haven’t ever really looked at it that way, but now I can’t stop thinking about it!

Just as I was working on this post, I saw this article about food waste.

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3 thoughts on “7: Waste

  1. Boy, do I hear ya! good for you for all the steps you are taking. I might steal the list on the frig idea. I don’t know if I am disorganized or what, but I hate when good food goes to waste, simply because I didn’t make a meal with it!
    The comment about your husband and condiments made me laugh.
    Thanks for the post!

  2. This is so us! I hate expired stuff and Diesel will just eat away. I really need to get better about not wasting. We currently don’t have good access to recycling. I used to drive the non-can recyclables to my in-laws’ (like your parents, recycling is included in their waste fees) and the cans to the recycling center, but that got to be too much and the bags would just pile up. Now we give our cans to our neighbors, an elderly couple who goes around collecting cans from the neighborhood, but everything else is just trashed. It makes me feel terribly. I am excited for the someday when we will live in an area with recycling in the fees.

  3. i think that for such an overwhelming topic, taking small things (like the bags and being more mindful of food) and focusing on them is a good idea.

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