Saturday, October 29, 2011

Streamlining Saturdays: Changing Habits (Sustainability Edition)

For those of you who don't know, we live in Portland, Oregon. Our city just started a composting service that couldn't be easier - just throw all your food and biodegradable waste in a green bin that gets picked up every week. To encourage people to compost they have reduced regular garbage pick up to only every other week. Meaning only compost and recyclables get picked up every week. Meaning we need to greatly reduce our waste.

I'm so excited about this challenge. And a challenge it will be. So much of the waste we have is a result of conveniences we have gotten used to, but certainly don't need. I immediately put a system in place to change our garbage habits so that we'll be able to compost and recycle and greatly reduce the amount we send to landfills (*shudder*).

First part of the plan:
Move your garbage can. You will quickly realize that most waste could either by recycled or composted if you took a little extra time to put it in a different location. We have compost and recycling receptacles under the kitchen sink, but I moved the garbage can all the way out to the garage. This little change means I am aware every time I throw something away (since the garbage can is not in it's regular place in the kitchen) and so I consciously decide whether it really belongs in the trash or in the compost or recycling. I am proud to say that this simple change helped us reduce our waste to only half a garbage bag, even after a week of having people over for Steve's birthday.

Come back next week for more parts of the plan! (This makes me sound like an evil genius, which I am not.)

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