Zero Waste?


Is it possible to live without generating any trash in our modern-day society?

(By trash, I mean items that end up in landfill)

What do you think? I think that it may be possible, but it will take conscious effort.

Our family has tried to reduce~reuse~recycle whenever possible. We were more successful in the beginning when our recycling center was fully accepting recyclable items like glass and plastic. As our local center started refusing items, it made it more difficult for us. So we slowly slipped back into our old ways. But I am resolved to get back to being a better steward!

How many bags of trash do you set out per week? Are you recycling? Do you reuse items to keep from putting them in the trash? Share some of your tips with our readers please.

Right now our family of 5 is generating 3 bags of trash per week (13 gal kitchen sized bags) and this is too much! My initial goal is to reduce that to 1 bag per week, then I’d like to reduce that to less if we can.

If you’re like me, you need some inspiration to get you going with reducing your waste. Let me introduce the Johnson family to you. They live in California and in 6 month’s time only produced a handful of trash.  Bea Johnson has done many of the things that I see our club members doing: using cloth bags, bringing your own container to put your bulk items in, recycling waste, reusing boxes and containers that can be re-purposed and so on.

The Johnson’s give three tips to go waste-free:

1. Graduate from just bringing your own shopping bags to the grocery store, Johnson says, and use reusable bags to buy produce as well.
2. Think twice before buying plastic products, and make sure you buy only what you really need. “Shopping is voting,” Johnson says.
3. Refuse junk mail through sites like dmachoice.org and catalogchoice.org.

Click over and read the entire article, it’s very inspiring!

One of the ways to reduce waste is to re-purpose items that have been discarded. I’ve been saving old T-shirts to make into a braided rag rug. Recently I re-purposed some soda bottles, cardboard and straps off of a bag that was to be discarded along with some duct tape, hot glue and spray paint to create this fun accessory that I found on Pinterest~

Playtime Jet Pack.

Playtime Jet Pack.

Ready to blast off!

Ready to blast off!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Will you take the challenge to reduce your waste with me? Comment and in the next few months we will revisit this post and see how we’ve progressed!
Happy reducing!

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7 thoughts on “Zero Waste?

  1. When we remodeled our farmhouse kitchen in 2004, we put in two drawers just for recyclables which has reduced the “mess” part of recycling. Parsons does not have a city-wide recycling program but Class Ltd. does take recyclables, sorts them and trucks them over to Pittsburg. And on the braided rug idea, I have been saving jeans – and am starting a braided rug with them. Good winter activity and I doubt that it will every wear out since jeans are so hardy. What about socks? Does anyone still darn them or have alternative uses?

    • Megan, That’s a great idea, having drawers for recyclables! I have braided denim before. I did some braided wool hot-pads too. We do darn our socks as well, if we catch them before the hole gets too big! 🙂 Then we tend to re-purpose them into dust rags or other handy uses.

      • I agree – socks make great dust rags, car polishers, etc. We have a friend who makes colorful and effective drink coasters out of felted wool that she makes from 2nd-hand shop finds.

    • Yes! we darn socks and patch jeans, etc. etc. Braiding rugs with strips of jeans is a great idea. My mom has done that and I love the rugs. My MIL made a beautiful quilt top using the best parts of the legs of worn out jeans and fabric scraps from other projects. I recently used worn out jean legs to cover our hen’s nest boxes.

      • Megan – the hens prefer to lay eggs in the dark (privacy issues!) 😉
        and in reality it is better to provide dark nest boxes for the health of the hens. Too much light can cause problems with hens seeing red at the vent on another hen when an egg is being laid. Hens unfortunately then begin to peck at the vent and can actually peck the other hen to death. Often these deaths are incorrectly identified as due to prolapse but actually can be prevented by providing dark nest boxes.

      • Very interesting. Our nest boxes are relatively dark so we haven’t had a problem with that, but it’s good to know! Thanks Deanna.

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