We decided to give a trial run to not having a garbage pick up at our house anymore. Being in rural America, choices are very limited on who will come out here in the boondocks at pick it up and the company that offered doesn’t keep their end of the bargain (we pay them for weekly and are lucky to get every other week). So I sat the kids down and had a lesson in all things politically correct regarding the three R’s (reduce, reuse, recycle) and then added rural America’s 4th concept: burning trash. We had already been giving table scraps to the chickens, dog, and cats and the boys knew, from school, the basics of recycling other stuff. So we set up an area on the back porch and an area in the laundry room for reducing our trash. We will be recycling paper, glass, aluminum, steel (tin), cardboard, and food scraps. We will be burning dirty cardboard and paper (pizza boxes, kleenex, paper plates, food wrappers, “bathroom” stuff, bottle lids, etc). Things that might be used again will be put in our reuse drawer (glass jars, plastic containers, pringles cans, etc) Things that cannot be put in any of these categories we will bag up and will pay our local landfill to drop if off there.
While figuring out how we were going to manage all this, I fell upon www.eartheasy.com and they have some truly easy concepts on composting and recycling and all other things worthy of tree huggers!!! lol I printed out their instructions for a compost bin, a basic 2x 4 frame that is staked direct to the ground and has no floor. They also have a list of compostable things and what category they are in (carbon or nitrogen etc) with suggestions (actually easy sounding to me) to actually get the thing working. Things like: keep a plastice cover on to encourage heat and to deter animals. And: put kitchen scraps on and cover them with your pile of leaves/grass that are kept separate from the actual compost pile specifically for the purpose of covering the kitchen scraps to make things less appetizing to the curious creature looking for a meal. Now, truly I am no radical tree hugger, so don’t go thinking I’ve jumped my political fence or anything!!!! LOL (God forbid- LOL) I just cannot stand the waste that we Americans go through even in a day’s time!!! That above website gives some awful statistics like how much energy one pop can equals and how many water bottles are in the landfills etc. The other day I was talking to mom about rice pudding, of all things. She wanted to know if I made mine from leftover cooked rice or raw. I said that I used the leftovers and said, “why else would someone make rice pudding if not to use up leftovers?” She was so excited that, if I had said this in a church, I swear I would have heard an “amen”. She said I had truly been raised right! LOL So many people see their leftovers as exactly what they were the first time around (food, containers, the news, etc) and if we would look at things a little more open minded we would have some wonderful dinners (technically made from garbage because most leftovers end up there), some great bug jars, drop cloths for the kids art projects, and some wonderful “tupperware” that when taken to the neighbors, nobody cares if it makes it back home or not. If each container that cannot be recycled were used just one more time, that would cut the garbage in half!!!! And when that same container gets too nasty to use again, I can burn it without guilt, knowing that I am burning one container and not 2,3,4, or 5 containers (the number of times a cottage cheese container might make it through the sink and reused without cracking). Radicals might disagree with my burning but I know that my idea is still better than just sending it all to the landfill, which is what is done more often than not by the general population.