Monday, 25 February 2013

What's in your garbage?

Ever since buying my home I am becoming acquainted with some of the less charming aspects of home ownership.  Gone are the days of trotting down the hall to the garbage chute and dropping the bag.  Now I actually have to remember to take it out the night before and figure out if it's a blue box or grey box week.  None-the-less I have been thinking a fair bit about what I'm putting out on the curb each week.

Every week each house gets to put out one bag of trash, one green bin and either the blue box (plastic and metal) or the grey box (paper and card board).  So most houses have three bins out in front of their house every Thursday.  But not me.

In the four months that I've lived here I've put out the garbage twice.  (Yes I put the garbage out whenever it is full and I use normal size bags.)  I realize it's difficult to compare myself to others without knowing how many people live in a house and what they've been up to for the past week.  Still as I wander down the street I look at the size of their garbage pile and wonder what's in there.

When you consider it, you probably paid for every thing in your garbage can.  From the broken toys to the food wrappers you are the one who paid for it.  You then get to throw it away.  The same is true for recycling.  Yes it's green good for the planet (pat yourself on the back the Lorax is proud of you) but who do you think paid for the empty soup tins you're recycling?  It's not the people who sold you the soup.

Then there's the green bin, ok you didn't pay for the yard waste (unless you've killed off a bunch of flowers you bought) and some kitchen food waste is normal (obviously you're not going to eat your peach pits) but what else is in there?  Did you accidentally turn some leftovers into a science experiment?  Or do you just not like to eat the tail ends of a loaf of bread.  How much is going out in the bin that could have been used.

I'm not going to tell you you should never throw anything away ever again.  I do think that it is important to know what you are throwing away and why.  What did it cost you?  Can you reuse it?  Could you have avoided buying it in the first place?  Is it going to be shortly replaced with something else?

Start really looking at and questioning what you're throwing out.  The planet will thank you and so will your wallet.

No comments:

Post a Comment