The ‘No Bag’ Resolution

Garbage day in our household has us rushing around the house collecting garbage from various rooms in order to get it out on the street before the garbage truck comes by. Only this past week was different.

After our usual running around collecting, my husband called out from the garage that there just wasn’t enough garbage to put it out on the street. We typically have 1 large green garbage bag of garbage each week but this week we had the equivalent of 2 small kitchen bags which only took up about a third of a large green garbage bag.

We actually reduced the amount of garbage in our household to the point where we didn’t have enough to put out on the street. We, by the way, are 2 adults, 1 teenager and a dog.

Here’s how we did it:

Shopping friendly

  • buying items that have minimal or no packaging
  • using cloth bags at all stores (except where raw meat is concerned – I’m a bit nervous about that one)
  • use whatever plastic bag we do collect for picking up dog waste

Recycling – everything and anything that can be recycled goes into cardboard boxes in our pantry and eventually to the Recycle Depot. That includes:

  • all paper products including cardboard, newspaper, advertising, stationary and packaging
  • all acceptable plastics and any lid
  • metal cans, lids and aluminum pie plates
  • all glass jars and bottles
  • other stuff such as egg cartons and batteries

HINT: For a handy list of what is accepted contact your local Recycle Depot

3. Composting

  • all vegetable, fruit and egg shell waste goes into a small closed bucket under our sink
  • once a week that waste goes into our composter in the back yard (more on composting soon)

One of our New Year’s resolutions this year is to find ways to have more and more “no bag” garbage days in our household. I challenge everyone to find it in their hearts to do the same this year. What a gift to the environment that would be!

A Greener Christmas – Clean Up Environmentally

Once the gifts are opened and the turkey dinner finished, there are a few simple ways to help make Christmas more environmentally friendly and show “Goodwill to our Earth” after the festivities are over:

  1. Recycle wrapping – Be sure to recycle all wrapping paper, cardboard and cards. Keep anything that can be reused for next year.
  2. Recycle your tree – If you purchase a real Christmas tree this season, be sure to counter the effects of cutting down a tree by recycling it after the holidays. Consider buying a living tree and planting it in your garden in the spring.
  3. Environmentally friendly resolution – This New Year, resolve to find ways to reduce your carbon foot print throughout the New Year.

Start Recycling – Paper!

Do you recycle? If not, this is a great time to get started. If you already do recycle, find one more paper product from the list below that you can add to your usual routine. Make it easy to do by placing an empty box in a convenient place (perhaps close to your garbage can) and start placing these paper products in the box.

  1. Newspaper – newspaper, non-glossy newsprint flyers, moving paper and packaging paper.
  2. Cardboard/Boxboard – corrugated cardboard and boxboard (e.g., cereal, detergent, and cracker boxes). Be sure to flatten boxes.
  3. White Office Paper – white paper, copier paper, computer paper, fax paper, lined loose leaf all with one coloured ink on white.
  4. Coloured Paper – coloured paper, soup can labels, envelopes, construction paper, sugar, flour and brown paper bags, wrapping paper, glossy junk mail, magazines, Sears catalogues.
  5. Phone books
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