Monday, September 14, 2009

Are you STILL using disposable plastic water bottles?

Watch this trailer.*

* Totally stolen from Fake Plastic Fish.

I think because our trash is taken away by large trucks and hauled off somewhere else, we don't realize what kind of an impact we have collectively. It's only when you either see the giant trash heaps or see the giant garbage pile swirling around in the North Pacific gyre. So in case you're wondering why it is I keep on making my own yogurt, kefir, sour cream and buttermilk when I have so many other things I could be doing, that's why. Reading that article is what made me want to stop buying bread all the time and instead, make my own. It's what led me to make more of my own dairy products, buy more products in bulk (loose leaf tea, flour, oats, etc.) instead of individually wrapped bits, use cloth diapers and make Caitlin's lunch. It's why we cook at home most of the time (that, plus it's less expensive plus twins).

All of these things add up to less trash to dispose. Less plastic for turtles to eat. A smaller carbon footprint. Also? A smaller trash bill.

We have the smallest trashcan (33 gallons) we could rent from our trash service. We have two larger recycling and compost containers that handle twice the volume that our trashcan does. I still compost all of the vegetative matter, but now the service will take all of the icky stuff I couldn't compost: meat scraps, bones, fat, dairy, and the giant seed-filled weeds from my yard. Of which, this year, there are a lot. Maybe next year the twins will be safer in the yard and allow me to get out there and weed without worrying about them ripping green tomatoes off the vine or crashing into the miniature pond. Either one makes mommy cry.

Does it take more time to make these things at home? Certainly. However, knowing what goes into all of these different foods that we're putting into our bodies and reducing the amount of plastic waste that we produce makes it worth it to me. So much of the plastic we consume in our society is completely useless. Everything is disposable. Getting out of that mindset is more important than you might think. Have a look at your own trash and note how much of it is plastic. How much is recyclable? How much of it can you compost on your own or, if you're lucky like I am, send off with your curbside composting service?

Thanks to Julie, over at Chez Artz, here is a link to some trash facts. There are some scary numbers in there, but without opening our eyes and acknowledging what we're doing, we can't change.

What are you doing to make a positive difference in the world?


sara said...

we've been using reusable bottles filled from our own tap for a couple years now. it's not just less trash and less money, but after hazel's expensive dental surgery last fall, we learned that kids acually NEED unfiltered water for dental health. i had no idea. there is so much conflicting information out there.
keep fighting the good fight!

ellen said...

I do everything I can right now. I have reusable water bottles, we recycle, take our own bags to the grocery store, compost, use laptop lunch boxes for the kids. I want to garden more next year. My concern there is the health of the soil. Yogurt containers make me crazy. They aren't type 1 or 2 which mean they aren't recyclable out here. I should try making my own yogurt you some day.

Sara, the filters shouldn't filter out floride. Read what it says on the filter you use. Also, different towns add different amounts of floride to the water supply.

Cousin Janet from NY said...

Just so you know, you have taught Caitlin well. She cautioned me about using straws because they just sit at the garbage dump forever & when we bought her yogurt for a snack at night she suggested we wash out the containers & save them for left-overs (which I do more often now & think of her every time). Just so you know.

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