Thursday, January 30, 2014

Life Pledge #4 - Recycling

This fourth Life Pledge is super simple. I've been recycling now for 25 years, basically since it was invented! So it's no surprise that I am making a Life Pledge to Recycle as much as possible and to find alternatives to the containers that are handed out in stores.

One cup Durobor French Press
My parents gave us a Keurig Coffee pod Machine for Christmas. They may be all the rage but we returned ours to the store after researching online that over 10 Billion one cup containers were dumped into the landfill last year alone! We tried the reusable filter that can be separately purchased but we could not get the coffee to taste any better than instant and loose tea has to steep which is not possible using a Pod Machine.  I can see the convenience of the machine if you need to drive a long distance to work but that doesn't fit our family situation.

Still using a paper coffee filter? Get a reusable filter or French Press (<= learn how to use one).  Your coffee will taste better and no filter is required.

I also stopped accepting paper to go cups, I simply bring my own insulated ceramic cup with rubber lid.

No more paper cups, I bring my own.
Last year I decided to refuse plastic bags at any stores. I made it through 2013 with only accepting 4 bags! I am pretty amazed that I was able to accomplish such a feat given it's such an automatic practice in the US.  Even more amazing is the fact that we have a rack stuffed with bags even though I never accepted any last year. They trickle in when people give me something or when my husband makes his very few shopping trips. At least I can use the extras for the copious amounts of Cat Poo generated in our household. It has taken me many years to finally realize that my reusable shopping bags must be in my purse in order to actually have them make it into the Grocery Store.  I kick myself when I don't have one and cashiers simply do not understand my request to just put the Bread, Chips, or Broccoli (all in a bag already) in the cart without inserting it into another bag. What is with our general mentality of wastefulness in the US? It's such a bad habit we've created. It seems every year a .05 a bag tax is attempted through the State of Virginia legislation but fails.  2 Billion bags go into our landfills each year. I've gotten smarter and to avoid any funny looks at the grocery store, I self scan my items. I'm used to it and it doesn't take that much longer and I can pack my items exactly as I like them.

All my shipping boxes are from others.
Locally, only 34% of our trash is recycled.  That is shocking for a town touted as "progressive". It's so easy to recycle.  Trash pickup companies now offer a co-mingled service.  I've read it is not as good as doing it yourself but it's better than no attempt at recycling.  I separate our recyclables and take it to the McIntire Recycling Center in downtown Charlottesville. It's fun to see the activity and you never know what treasure you will find. There is even a book exchange trailer (only in Cville huh) where it is reported that valuable books have been snagged.

Do your part, use those reusable shopping bags that we all have but forget to take to the store - GET THEM INTO YOUR CAR and out of your house. Set a goal and stick to it - if you forget your bags, run back to your car and GET THEM! Think about the packaging your are bringing home - the less you bring in the less you have to recycle later.  Buy in bulk, it saves on packaging materials.

Have a recycling tip, I would love to hear what you are doing! Leave a comment on my blog post.


1 comment:

  1. Recycling of waste is one of the best ways to have a positive impact on the world in which we live.
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