Saturday, January 9, 2010

Zero Waste Challenge

So, for 2010, I will be devoting the year to eliminating waste that goes to the landfill, and reducing the amount of waste that goes in the recycle bin. I think a full year will be sufficient time to find alternatives for both the things I throw away all the time and that infrequent items. I will be evaluating both my the waste I throw away at home and away from home.

Of course, with my greener lifestyle, I have already been taking steps to reduce the amount of waste I generate that ends up in the landfill. These are some of steps I have already taken.

Recycling: of course, recycling is a great way to keep waste out of the landfill. However, the process is still uses a lot of energy and produces pollution. Reducing waste is a better option.

Compost: I have been diligently composting kitchen and yard waste that can be composted including biocompostable paper and plastic items. I have even saved compostables during the winter to start a fresh pile in the spring. I have even brought home biocompostable food containers from eating out to add to my pile. For more information about composting, check out this article.

Using cloths for cleaning instead of paper towels.

Reusable Shopping Bags: I have been diligent about using reusable shopping bags at the grocery store. I will commit to use reusable bags for more of my shopping.

Water Bottles: I carry a water bottle and avoid purchasing bottled water.

Saving and reusing my glass jars, tin cans, metal pie plates, plastic food containers, boxes, bags, and any other containers I can find a use for.

Repurposing: I have been repurposing may items from denim to thrift store yarn and wire hangers to make useful household items.

Donating to Thrift Stores: Usable items that I no longer have a use for, and can not repurpose, are donated to my local thrift store so they can find a second life in another home.

Eliminated the use of paper and plastic plates, cups, and utensils by using real glasses, plates, and utensils at home; even for outdoor parties.

Home canning fruits and vegetables that I grow in my yard in reusable canning jars.

Using reusable holiday wrapping.

Packing waste-free lunches.

For all of these efforts, I still have some items going in the garbage can. Although my can is never full, and rarely even half full, I feel like I could be doing better. Continue reading this year to see more posts on my Zero Waste Challenge.

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