Zero Waste Wednesday: Digging Through the Trash Again

After my first low-waste grocery shopping trip last week, I decided to take another look at my garbage this week. We only have one bag, which is an improvement in and of itself!

Some items were simply trash: a bag from a wine box, milk drink boxes, a bag of kleenex from the colds Rob and I had, blister packing from Beanie’s new headphones, egg shells, a Fruitabu wrapper, and a cardboard box that had been made very nasty with wet food garbage. We will not worry about the tissues; if either of us had allergies or conditions that led to us always using tissues, we would invest in cloth handkerchiefs. But this is all the more incentive to take care of ourselves and stay healthy! The blister packing is a reminder to buy used whenever possible. Egg shells could could be composted, when we get to that point. The Fruitabu wrapper could be eliminated if we made our own fruit leather or simply bought dried fruit in bulk (Beanie loves the unsweetened, unsulphured dried papaya from the food co-op!). The cardboard box is a sad case. We need to buy a separate trash can for recycling. There is room next to our regular garbage can, under the sink. As for the wine bag, it would be great if they could be recycled. If not, we would be better off buying bottles, which produce no waste, other than the cork. Milk drink boxes are incredibly convenient, but the wax-covered cardboard is not recyclable. We might do well to invest in a thermos for Beanie to take on road trips. On the boat, we often make kefir, which keeps much longer.

Next, come the diapers. There were more in the bag, along with Kleenex and food garbage, that was all too nasty for me to pull out. We tie stinky diapers in old plastic grocery bags. Seeing the amount of waste diapers produce makes me glad that we used cloth diapers for so long. Now, we just need to get on the ball with potty training. Beanie was almost there, the day we left for our cruise. After we ran aground, our routine became so random that we were not able to be consistent. The Bean is starting a potty routine at school, and we’ll do the same with her at home.

Now, on to happier things! A lot of the trash was recyclable. We used to have a recycle container in the kitchen, but it filled up so quickly, that we could not keep up with it. The problem was that we did not change our buying habits to reduce waste. It is important to reduce, reuse, recycle in that order! Now, we have a manageable amount, which can go into my trunk. On Wednesdays, I will leave work right away, so that I can drop it off at the recycling center before they close.

Here are some cans that can be recycled. We don’t drink much soda pop, but we do have some cans that I’ve been procrastinating on returning. I hate dealing with bottle machines! I will just drop all of them off at the recycling center.

There was also quite a bit of plastic, and one glass container.

Cardboard and paper. Yes, I’m still getting some junk mail! Grrr…

I bagged the recycling up in plastic grocery bags, which I can drop off at Meijer to be recycled, after I’m done. The plastic bread bag can also be dropped off there.

And the end result: a trash bag that is about 2/3 of the way full!

2 thoughts on “Zero Waste Wednesday: Digging Through the Trash Again

  1. Bethany – there are places that do accept aseptic containers (drink boxes, broth boxes) to recycle. Lansing just started accepting those, because the recylcing is sent to Ann Arbor which has facilities to process that material. Just FYI.

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