What does a Garden Gnome do when she is not gardening, in the kitchen or doing genealogy? Well the answer might just surprise you so read the entries to find out more. This blog focuses on everything we do to make our house a home. There will be a strong emphasis on home energy efficiency and do-it-yourself (DIY) projects. At the same time there will also be crafts, knitting and crocheting projects along with any other little tips we do to create that down to earth, I want to be here home. Please enjoy your visit :)

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Reducing Household Waste

Our municipality just announced that effective January 19, the bag limit for curbside collection will be reduced from four to three.  Our waste collection here is testy at best.  There is a 40 lb limit per bag and if there are more bags put out than there should be, they simply don't pick up any.  Seriously, if the limit is four and you put out five, they take none!  This is rather discerning since sometimes a resident forgets and waste not picked up quite often is driven into the country side to be dumped in ditches.  The recycle collectors are not quite as testy but they will pull items that shouldn't be in the recycle bin out, leaving them on your lawn to blow around.  At any rate, those not playing to the rules end up with problems.  There is a bit of resentment too since those living in apartment buildings apparently have no restrictions so it does take a bit of adjustment if they move into a residence with curbside collection.

There are a multitude of ways to reduce your household waste.  We seldom have more than one kitchen catcher size of household waste per week in addition to our recyclables that are collected every two weeks.  I personally think we still produce too much actual waste so am working on reducing it, ideally to one kitchen catcher per month or less.  Here are a few ways to reduce household waste put to the curb:

  • kitchen scraps - garburator, compost, give large bones to friends with dogs
  • paper - go paperless wherever possible including newspaper and magazine subscriptions,
  • cardboard/packaging - avoid excess packaging especially single serve items, avoid blister packs, buy loose produce instead of packaged, avoid wrapped produce
  • plastic - use reusable shopping bags
  • miscellaneous - repurpose or donate
The easiest and quickest way to reduce household waste is to avoid all excess packaging since a good portion of packaging cannot be recycled.  A good portion of excess packaging is food packaging, mainly single serve foods like snacks.  Replacing these items with alternatives that have less packaging can not only reduce your household waste but also save you money.

Curbside waste should be the last consideration for any household item that can either be repurposed or donated.  There is something inherently satisfying about repurposing an item that is no longer needed for its intended purpose.  Even old socks can be repurposed for crafts or dusting.  Old T-shirts can be turned into pillows or cut into strips then crafted into throw rugs.  If you truly can't repurpose and item then consider donating it.