Thursday, May 21, 2015

Could You Live with Your Trash?

Some time back,
in a post about saving money,
I made a comment about decreasing your trash.
Also, look in your trash to see what you are spending money on.
Now, it's time to ask a couple more questions.
Where is away when you throw something away?
If you couldn't throw it "away" how would that look?

I would rather not preach, but offer some ideas for decreasing 
the amount of trash we (society) produce.

If you've not yet seen such heart-wrenching things,
put in your search engine and view images...

The Great Pacific Garbage Patch

I typed it that way to make it easy to copy and paste.
We have been working on decreasing our amount of trash
around here, and the homesteading, sustainable, or DIY lifestyle
actually lends itself in this direction quite well.
We have 3 garbage cans.
I think the last time I went to the dump was just after Christmas.
We are getting close to needing to go again within the next month or so.

Here are a couple charts I found interesting:

So what can we do?
1. Take a reusable tote with you to the store.  That's an easy one.  A bonus is that some stores take a nickel off your total for each bag you bring.
2. Take mesh bags (or muslin etc) with you for produce.  I find these at the Dollar store - 3 for a dollar.  You could also get a veil from a thrift shop and make enough for you and your neighbor.  Or, you could grow your own produce.
3.  Compost your scraps.  Many of us are already doing this.
4.  Re-use items.  Again easy.
5.  Consider the gifts you are giving.  Try not to give plastic as a gift.
6.  Buy in bulk.  Azure Standard is a wonderful site.  Go in with others if you don't need a lot.  Even with shipping, it's usually less expensive.  I have a friend/neighbor who I call and say, "When you order from Azure, can you add 5 lbs. of XYZ or whatever."  Often it's a case of "Oh good, I need some too.  Can we split a bigger bag?" etc.
7.  Cook at home.  It's healthier and creates little or no garbage.  I recently found out (by asking) that the plastic liners around our meat from the butcher/meat packer is even recyclable.  (We get a full beef in the fall.)
8. Yes, I left recycle for way down the list.  Obviously, recycle what you can.  The thing is ~ if you can avoid it in the first place, that means don't bring it into your home, you won't have to recycle it.
9.  Before you pitch an item, ask a friend or neighbor if they could use it.  Or keep a bag to add things to.  When it's full take it to a local thrift store.  (These items can be a tax deduction if you ask at the thrift store.)
10.  And alas, how many of you open your mail over the garbage can?  You can begin to control what comes into your home via the mail box.  The Direct Marketing Assoc. has an opt out choice.  You just go to the link I just provided and decide what you want or don't want to receive.  The only glitch is that if you have donated to an organization in the past, it will not remove you from that list.  You will have to call those places and ask to be removed from the list.  Mail has been an on-going issue for us, but we receive very little junk mail.  Any time you give your name & address out, specify that it is not to be sold or distributed in any way and that you would like to be added to their 'No mail" list.

There are probably many more ways to avoid and/or decrease the amount of garbage you produce.  If there is something that works for you, please feel free to leave a comment and share.  

Until next time,
Nimble Fingers and Even Stitched


  1. I do try and recycle, have a compost bin for raw veg waste, paper, cotton scraps, etc, we also have garden refuse bins, recyling bins and a bin for things that cannot be recycled, this can make over 6 weeks to fill but it gets emptied once a fortnight. Our council do not have a glass recyling service so must own up to putting glass in the bin ghat goes into land fill, however our council are about to start incinerating land fill rubbish which is good

  2. We don't have trash pick up so we recycle jars, cans (all kinds) and anything else that they will take. They are single stream so you don't have to separate. We burn anything paper. That leaves me with jar lids that I don't know what to do with, even with canning I can reuse the lids, just the rings. There are some reusable lids but I've heard bad and good reviews on them. Haven't tried it yet. Food items we throw out back for the opossum and raccoons to eat. We do recycle but they won't take those new light bulbs or any paper that food has been in. I tried taking the recycle bags to the store but it just didn't work out well. I guess our baggers don't get many and it was a mess.

  3. Great tips! We try to be very careful to produce as little trash as possible, though we're better in some areas than others. We are moving next month and getting rid of a lot of stuff, but we're not tossing it in the trash. We've given many things to charity or given them away to someone who can use it (even "junk" is often desired by someone who is able to upcycle or reuse it in some way).
    Another big thing we do is to use cloth diapers and wipes.

  4. Such an interesting article on "Could you live with your trash". You have some great tips that can be done with little effort. I so enjoy when I can reuse items. Thank you for sharing with the Clever Chicks Blog Hop! I hope you’ll join us again next week!

    Kathy Shea Mormino
    The Chicken Chick