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Wednesday, July 21, 2010

going green

Today our first bag of gen-u-wine garbage penetrated the threshold of the boiler room door. It is currently sitting amongst the harmless and non-smelly three bags of shredded paper. You read that right- three, not two. I obviously forgot about one. That is a lot of freaking mail- imagine how many trees could be saved if it was all recycled...

Sooooo... yes. Smelly garbage is living in my basement. However, it is not as smelly as it MIGHT have been. It took one week to fill a single bag. I was considering waiting until tomorrow when I saw the small tears created from all the shoving that had happened over the course of the last seven days.

I really just wanted to put off dumping all the dirty kitty litter into the bag and thus into the basement- and i did successfully put that off. Guess why!? The transfer station takes kitty waste!! But they compost it. Gross. I am not doing that- it doesn't make very good soil for veggie gardens according to the great and powerful google, so I will let them handle that. This doesn't seem like an uncommon practice, so feel free to check out your local transfer station to find out what you can pre-emptively rescue from the great monsterous landfills!

I have been surprised how much there is to learn- no worries, I will share info as i find it! Feel free to follow the lead or ask any questions if acting on any of this information interests you!!

We have also discovered that we have access to recycling for aerosol cans through the Northeast Resource Recovery Association (NRRA- http://www.nrra.net/ ). Our previously mentioned pizza shop, hereforth referred to as Jack's, now has a contract with this organization to have recyclables removed from the store for us. We have our own dumpster with a lock and everything! They handle 1-7 plastic, glass, metals, the aerosol cans, cardboard, paperboard and Lord knows what else. It is amazing how much stuff can be recycled- and more amazing (but in a bad way) how much of it ends up as trash anyhow. Your local transfer station probably has an online listing describing what recyclables etc. they handle.

So, Jack's is on its way to reducing as much waste as possible also! Hurray! Just fyi, we are not using the shop dumpster to handle our recycling at home so we only need pick up once a month. I have plenty of storage for our stuff here, so I will be taking it in myself when necessary. It will be cheaper and I think this means less burning of fossil fuels- never a bad thing.

The NRRA sells earth machines (which are just name brand compost bins if you don't have time to build your own) for a $42 and they supply rainbarrels for $60- not bad copmared to the prices I have seen. Look online or ask around to find something similar in your area. There are also tons of online resources for building your own bin- it is remarkably easy to do! http://www.wikihow.com/Build-a-Compost-Bin

You can make your own rainbarrels if you want to save your dollars, too. Jason got some 50 gallon barrels free from Coke and converted them, but you can easily use 5 gallon buckets for the same purpose. If you don't have a garden, you can water your little houseplants with the rainwater captured. five gallon buckets are available (for free) at any local pizza shop and many restaurants- they are often thrown away! Here is a link with written instructions and a video. The written instructions recommend using bleach to clean your barrel- I very strongly do NOT recommend using bleach, but other than that it is a solid source of information.

http://www.swfwmd.state.fl.us/conservation/rainbarrel/make-a-rain-barrel.html


Here is another short video... it may load a bit slowly but it is worth watching- a well explained example of how to make a big rainbarrel. There are tons more links on youtube and google if you want to go hunting for a video that works for you... but i think this one is pretty good. :)



Again- please ask any questions that you have at all- I would love to help make it easy for anyone to begin going green!!

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