Monday, December 7, 2009

Let's go Green!

I am so psyched about my latest project. I am officially going to start composting! Zakir is in the process of making an outdoor compost bin out of a $10 garbage can, with a help of a drill and a few other bits and bobs, and indoors I am doing it in style! This is what I have invested in, I can't wait until it comes in the mail:

I think it will look pretty elegant on our kitchen countertop. It is ceramic, with a charcoal filter built into the top. So every few days we transfer the kitchen scraps into the outdoor bin, add some paper to the ratio of 4:1, roll the bin periodically and Voila! Compost! Perfect for our veggie patch. Lasagna gardening is soooooo last year!

This is an interesting little video from the Huffington Post if anyone is interested in learning.

OK, I'm not brave enough to experiment with vermicomposting, but you never know, some day...........

For a while now we have been trying to make our household a little bit greener. We recycle every last piece of #1 and #2 plastic, thanks to our city's recycling program. They also accept aluminum and food cans. Every scrap of paper either newsprint, boxes or junk mail, goes into our recycling bin. Before recycling paper I cut out the Box Tops and Campbell's soup labels to send to the school. Every little bit counts in this economy, when funds are being cut in all sorts of programs. Our garbage bin is almost always less than half full each week, when the truck comes to pick it up since we recycle so avidly. We have quit buying bottled water, and for years have used a water pitcher with a filter, and add flavoring as needed. Each family member has their own color coded reusable water bottle that we take with us on road trips. It's really not too much hassle to rinse and refill. The biggest issue I was having with the ever accumulating #5 plastic containers that you just can't seem to do without. Considering this includes many varieties of food storage containers (including ziploc containers, all sorts of yogurt containers, fruit cups, etc.) they pile up fast. Now (as if they read my mind!) Whole Foods has started collaborating with the Preserve Gimme 5 program so they offer #5 recycling in their stores, including the one a mere 15 miles from our house! Yay! I finally managed to recycle several bags of #5 products that were cluttering our tiny laundry room.

We have also started using reusable shopping bags. Has anyone ever ever realized how much you can stuff into one of those????!!! They are awesome, and also useful for transporting snacks and other items on road trips.

I am also a member of our local Birmingham Freecycle group, a great way to give and receive things you, or someone else, might need. One man's trash is another man's treasure.

Some day maybe we'll have an eco friendly home, with excellent insulation, solar panels and other nifty features, but for now we'll continue to do the little we can. And reap the fruits (from our veggie patch) in the summer!

Oh, and there are several useful web sites from those of you interested in learning about how to reduce, reuse and recycle. Here's a couple I have used in the past:

Learn how to and where to recycle at Earth 911; Recycle my cell phone to get rid of old phones that we all accumulate around the house; our unwanted, but still usable clothes and other household items go to the Exchange Club for the Prevention of Child Abuse. There are many other sites on the web, wich offer info about local recycling, as well as other ways to help the environment and go green.

And even though this isn't directly related to recycling, I feel in a giving mood today. Have you heard about Good Search and Goodshop? Every search generates at least 1 cent for your favorite charity or non-profit organization. And shopping online through this site generates revenue for your chosen organization between 1-37.5% of your purchase. What could be easier? I goodsearch for Hewitt Trusville Middle School and ASFA, and generate funds for the schools doing something I do every day anyway, browse the web and shop online.


The Portas said...

Good for you guys! It's good for each of us to do our part in whatever way that may be. There are so many simple things we can do, like the reusable shopping bags, that people just don't think about.

Unknown said...

Way to go! I have wanted to do more green things lately. I'll have to look into those links. Thanks!

Amyacl said...

Great work! I was talking with a friend about composting the other day - I think that will be my project for the summer.

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