Who wants to hear about my garbage? Anyone? Anyone? C'mon, I promise to use the word "rubbish" and speak with a British accent . . . ?
I thought it'd be delightful, . . . uh, let's change that . . . "fascinating" is probably more appropriate, to see how long our family (2 adults, 3 children ranging in age from 8 years to one-and-a-half years) can go without taking the trash bin to the curb for pick-up. Our city picks up each week, though I've regularly just taken it out with the recycling bin every other week. (Read: LAZY. Hey, it's been ice and snow out there, people, if I can avoid a trip . . .) I've always wondered, though, how long it would take us to actually fill the can. And so with the birth of the New Year, epiphany struck: it's time for a Fun With Rubbish Challenge!!! (If you put the word "fun" in there and add embellishments and a classy foreign accent people can't help but be whisked away in the excitement of it all. And if you issue a "challenge," well, then, people have to do it or their very manhood is at stake.)
(Wait, should that be individualhood?)
I will take out the bin when it's full. If it starts to smell I'll move it outside the garage so my neighbors can enjoy the sweet smell of my success. I think they will like me even more than they do now--if that's possible--for inspiring them so with my genius-borderline-insane ideas. I plan to keep track--the last time was January 4th--of the frequency and see how we do over the course of the year. (Disclaimer: This is clearly not a scientific experiment. I will, no doubt, smash it down at varying rates; same goes for bulging over the rim, etc.)
What we do, and what we will start doing to cut down our trash output:
* Keep equally offending everyone with our hybrid cloth-and-disposables diapering system.
* Maintain our recycling efforts--Curbside recycling, check. Glass containers to Target, check. Mail old Christmas lights to be recycled, check. Trip to the Park City recycling center to recycle well, er, it's been awhile. Perhaps in the Spring. My latest quirky recycling habit: tearing off the plastic windows and sticker labels/stamps from envelopes so I can recycle the paper portion of the envelope. It actually makes quite a dent on mail waste. [Note: Since this first appeared at . . . http://www.heraldextra.com/momclick/, I was informed that our city curbside recycling accepts those envelopes as is. Phew. Next step: stop the junk mail.]
*Enhance our composting system and educate/train/put the fear of God into the children about the system. ("Garbage Nazi" returns to reclaim her title.) I recently placed receptacles next to the regular trash cans around the house--kitchen, bathroom, etc. for dry compost material--read "non-rotting"--like paper tissues, t.p., paper towels (rarely use these, though), paper scraps, toothpicks, dry bread crusts, string, cotton Strawberry Shortcake panties that have clearly lived a full life, really, any dry organic waste.
(What? . . . I cut off the elastic waistband first . . .)
*Continue in our efforts to be more conscious about our food waste. Serve what you can eat, freeze any leftovers you can or eat them up before they go bad. And if they go bad, compost them.
*Continue to find new ways to reduce the rubbish. My garbage hero is a woman in the Bay Area who blogs about a Zero Waste Home. (She will blow your mind.) Though I don't see myself adopting all of her ideas, I plan to try several new things I've learned from her.
Who's your garbage hero? (By the way, that's not intended to be read as a self-referencing inquiry as in "Who's your daddy?" Because that would just reek of narcissism.)
Did someone say reek?
Ah, just wait'll summer.
[I wish the city could place a bar code on each bin. The truck scans your bin at each pick-up and the city charges per pick-up instead of a flat monthly rate. As it is now, I pay $10 per month even if I don't use the service. Economic incentives work elsewhere, use it here, too. Would it work? Would people really reduce their garbage output? Maybe if you say it will be FUN!! they would. C'mon, City leaders, what do you think? I challenge you!!]