My post today is not designed to be a bashing blog on Berkeley County recycling practices but it is certainly an unavoidable topic within this context. All I will say about that situation is, be a responsible citizen and ask questions from your leaders!
That being said, I have become increasingly troubled with garbage and waste. I believe our disposal of said waste is socially irresponsible and I believe there must be reform as it relates to manufacturers and the materials they use to package all of the items we call necessities. The Biering household has made a few changes over the course of the last months in attempts to fight the battle one small change at a time. These are the easy replacements we have made. I have shared because they are easy and you can make the changes too!
The result is we have gone from a huge green container busting out of the top and two recycle containers (that Berkeley county is no longer recycling) to …….drum roll……. approximately 2 bags of “garbage”– These bags consist of gross stuff you can’t compost, like blood soaked meat wrappers, cellophane frozen pizza or other packaging that we can’t figure out what to do with. This is 2 bags of garbage a week for 5 people plus friends who visit. I feel this has been a huge success! You can do it too, it’s really not that hard:)
How we have changed
- Look for paper and cardboard-they are biodegradable.
- Shop the farmers market-no packaging and better for you!
- Google the products you want specifying no plastic-lots of options delivered to your door.
- Buy toilet paper without tubes Scott Towels–I get great pleasure from finishing the roll and there being nothing left….
- Buy powder detergent for dish washer and washer machine (it’s cheaper and works just as well) and it comes in cardboard. Buy bar soap for tough sports stains it works better than any product I’ve ever bought in a plastic container! fels naptha
- Buy bar shampoo-it’s awesome! This is not the only brand but I like it! J.R. Liggett Shampoo
- Compost! You don’t have to buy a big fancy composter but we love ours!
- Dillon has taken lots of geology classes and disagrees with this one, but we burn all our paper.
- Seperate all garbage by burnable, usable, compostable, plastic (because it’s virtually impossible to eliminate all of it), glass and cans. Then, burn, upcycle glass to other useful household items and then take cans to get money for them.
- Take wine bottles to local kiln and melt to make gifts (Feel honored to be a part of our efforts if you receive one of our cheese trays for Christmas )
- Drink tap water. Stop buying bottles–it’s expensive, wasteful and not necessary. Carry a cup or metal bottle with you everywhere you go.
- This sounded like a great idea but I don’t normally even use straws and this has been challenging to remember. But I did buy these….Glass reusable straws
- Take bags with you for your groceries. They hold more, aren’t hard to carry and eliminate a gabillion plastic grocery bags!
- This one is going to be hard for some people and I don’t always succeed on this but try to eliminate use of your Keurig if you can’t commit to recycling them. Use a coffee press, it’s just as convenient and uses no plastic. They range in price from $100-$20. Even John Sylvan the creator of the Keurig says it’s bad! Why I wish I had never created it….
- If you do use the Keurig, take a sharp knife and cut the top out of the used cannisters, dump the coffee in your compost bin and recycle the rest. If you don’t do this then it’s just garbage….. recycle K-cups
If you need motivation for this just take a drive over to hwy 52 landfill and cruise around….They won’t charge you to go in, but it is far from FREE. There is a huge cost to all of us and Earth.