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Going the Distance, Backward

Hold on, just a minute!  Before you throw that orange peel, onion skin or dryer lint in the trash…or the vacuum dust, or the eggshells, the bbq ash, or the spaghetti sauce jar — does it belong there?  Are you sure?  I have learned the answer is often NO!

I used to throw all these items into a plastic bag, together with all the other “useless” stuff I needed to discard — to keep things clean and orderly — and so does most of our society!  In fact, that is one reason we live longer than the previous generation. We throw trash away and keep things clean.  We go to the store and get new stuff.Right?Yes, right!  That’s because most of us grew up that way. My generation had everything we needed and most of what we wanted.  Until recently, when we discovered the truth expressed by the word UN-sustainable.  (No, I am not writing on a political theme, here; at least I don’t think I am.)

It’s simply that I’ve rediscovered a few of the old ways.  I started to toss kitchen scraps into a container under the sink, instead of stuffing it down the disposal. Dryer lint is collected in a rescued container that sits on top of our dryer; and all of these items are turned into food (compost) for my garden and Kelly’s garden as well.

Look what I’m doing with toilet paper rolls today.

Newspapers now go to a recycle bin, along with cardboard, office paper, soup cans, and plastic containers of all kinds. Glass!…I’m having a lot of trouble throwing away glass.

A few weeks ago, I was rinsing out one of three Classico spaghetti sauce jars after a big family dinner, when I noticed that the manufacturer had gone to the trouble to mark the jar in 4 ounce increments!  Can you think of other uses for this jar? (above) I can.  When I told Rachel, she said, “Great, I use 4 a week, you may have them.”  Four a week, I’m not sure I am able to re-purpose 208 of these!  Many could end up in the recycle bin to be made into more glass.  Who knows, though?  I might just learn to can this year and use them all!

I now tuck lettuce into the flower bed.

Since we began to make compost, and recycle, we have significantly reduced our trash. We used to take out one or two tall kitchen bags daily; now it might only be a weekly thing.   I jam plastic shopping bags into a pretty tote in our car trunk and drop them off monthly in one of many recycle bins available at most stores that use them.  Want to see our trunk?

I’m taking these magazines to the used bookstore to trade for great books.

There is a real opportunity in trash.  Making use of stuff we used to throw away is the new, new!  People are re-discovering the old ways of making use of what is available to supply what is needed.  Some people are turning trash into beautiful objects, others are turning it into new business ventures.  The old English proverb, “Waste not, want not” has endured for a reason.  The stuff that meets our need is all around us.  At least that is what I’m discovering as I learn how to waste less.

My word of the year is “STEP”…I’m taking some more steps backward to see what else I find.  Will you join me?

Check out a few of these links to see what I’m talking about.  We Upcycle , Thrifty and Chic,Homework, today’s assignment: be inspired!    But before you go…take a look at what I did with old calendars and fabric.

I just HAD to  fit my new passion into this post.  Raising hens, now 7 is such a joy.  Oh and guess what they give me back?

Photo ops!

Now go check out what some other people are doing. And have an eggcelent time!

Love,
Becky

2 Responses to “Going the Distance, Backward”

  1. Marielle says:

    You can recycle prtety much anything. Here are a few tips:-Add another garbage can to your list and start recycling your plastic goods as well. Green and brown glass can also be recycled.-Don’t throw away old clothes donate them to a local (or national) good will. Same with used children’s toys, DVD, CDs and books. Try selling things online rather than tossing them!-If you use plastic bags when you shop, either bring them back to the store for recycling, or, for small purchases, ask for no bag at all!-With your organic waste protucts (meal leftovers, food waste), collect them in a small bin in the house, then transfer them out back to a small compost pile. You can use the compost to fertilize flowers when gardening.Save the world

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