Trashy Thoughts

April 30, 2007 at 6:22 pm Leave a comment

Trashy ThoughtsInspired by this post here I’ve been guilty of thinking trashy thoughts. I have been taking a closer look at the waste our family produces. We recycle as much as we can, compost the majority of our food scraps and donate items we no longer need to local charities. In general we produce about 1 to 2 bags of trash a week. However, I want to reduce this even more. So I’ve taken a good look at what’s going into my trash can. The big question is where is it all coming from? 

Convenience Foods
It is amazing how much packaging from products goes into our trash and recycling as the result of single use or let’s face it “convenience foods”. I’ve done an inventory of our kitchen and have a few strategies to reduce these types of items from ending up in our house.

Buy in bulk – I try to do this but I noticed a number of places for improvement.  

  • I’m going to start buying my baking staples (flours, sugars, salt, spices, etc.) in bulk.
  • I’m going to focus on buy bulk pasta, grains, raisins, cereals, nuts, etc.
  • When I cannot buy in bulk I will look for products with the least amount of packaging or with a package that can be reused (best) or recycled (better than the garbage can).

Use your freezer – Well this is something I really need to work on. Instead of buying various convenient foods I need to be cooking larger portions and freezing the extras for evenings when I want a quick meal to prepare.  

  • My goal is to stock my freezer with yummy organic dinners for future busy days.
  • I also want to learn to make my own jam and the great art of canning.

We have already replaced many of the disposables found in typical homes. We use cloth napkins, dish rags and reusable mugs instead of there paper alternatives. However, one place I have had troubles using the cloth alternative is shopping bags. I’ve always said that we use them as our garbage bags and therefore are reusing them before trashing them. Well this is sort of true however I was just reminded that typical plastic shopping bags do not readily biodegrade in landfills and require great amounts of energy to produce and recycle. I have purchased some Ecosafe bags (it feels so weird to buy a product that I am simply going to throw out) for our trash and I am making a pact with myself to not bring any more non-biodegradable plastic bags into my home. 

  • To save time shopping and keep those pesky plastic bags out of my home I will order most of my groceries through SPUD
  • When I do go to a store or farmer’s market I will make sure to bring along my cloth bags
  • I will wash, dry and reuse the plastic bags that do enter our house (eg. bags from bread, bulk purchases, etc) as many times as possible.

The northern Manitoba town of Leaf Rapids became the first municipality in
Canada to ban plastic shopping bags. The ban idea is catching on. Late last month, San Francisco became the first city in
North America to ban the use of traditional plastic grocery bags.

“I went to the store. I bought a wastebasket. The cashier put it in a bag. I brought it home. I took it out of the bag. I crumpled up the bag and tossed it in the wastebasket.” –Lily Tomlin

If everyone makes small changes, it will add up to a big change! What will you do to REDUCE your trash today?


Entry filed under: Reducing Our Impact.

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I am passionate about reducing my impact on the environment and am learning to live simply and live green. I am learning the age old arts of home food preservation and cooking from scratch. This is yet another eco-blog and a place for me to really channel my passions for writing, photography and sustainable living.
April 2007
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