Via simple yet innovativish methodology-driven habits that strive for increasingly logical efficiencies, I've managed to get my home towards zero
trash output status.
My methods are really quite simple: frugality, compost, reuse / repurpose, recycle, catch water and BURN!
The surprise here may be that this system of habits wasn't motivated by 'emotional environmentalism' at all.
I like to think of my entire premises as a giant living transducer complex.
A device that converts one type of energy or signal into another.
The way I do things aren't any harder, nor require much more work, as far as I'm concerned. It's all about habits and methodologies. This means for
most its about breaking habits, and one I think much about is the too common habit of being non or even anti-methodical. I've yet to find a proper
word to describe this, but I observe it a lot. Perhaps a better approach here is 'practice makes perfect': perfected habits that is.
Step 1: Stop Buying Trash Bags.
At every possible moment this is occuring: Person drives to store. Amongst things, trash bags are bought. Trash bags are loaded into grocery bags and
driven home. Grocery bags are then stuffed into trash bags and then each are thrown out together. Shouldn't that seem like an odd, inefficient
I just skip all those steps, while not buying bags I don't need (although there is a varient I'll get into below). Instead of have big trash can + bag
full of trash (that often includes grocery bags), I use the grocery bag as the trash bag.
I already have the grocery bags. In fact in being as frugal as one can be concerning accepting grocery bags, I still cant go through them fast
1. For several years now I always
insist baggers give me the minimal amounts of bags. I have them over stuff them. Even when I walk to a store
which is often. Never have them double bag. Not one single times has a bag broken and ruined my stuff.
2. I use them for shipping, and I ship a lot with them.
3. They are the trash bags, and I find other utility type purposes as throw away resources when conducting various projects and experiments.
My (disposable) "trash can":
Now this ruggedish methodology might seem less civilized to some, but I argue having a trash vessel several times larger holding trash inside the
house for longer periods of time is much less sanity and there less civilized. A smaller vessel means non-transducable waste stays inside longer.
I use to hang the bag off a cabinet knob, but since I drink a couple cases of Corona a week I eventually started using the box as the trash can. My
improved method wraps a bag or two (depending on holey bags or not) with the grocery bag (perfect fit) which then provides decent leakage protection
coupled with stiff and rugged package characteristics.
Step 2: Rethink The Norm.
Minimizing output also requires minimizing input, especially where frugality is a directive. One example would be buying things you dont need. For
instance, I use food 'tupperwares' as my ice bins. My initial goal wasn't to not need icebins, it was to improve on the practice. I have at least 10
ice trays, but don't like them as they take longer to frezze due to the insulative cells, and they're a pain to clean. Thin layers of water inside
open bottom vessels enables far more efficient ice solidification, are simple to clean, and can rapidly be deployed. Breaking the ice is simple:
either drop the ice flats onto one another and they shatter, or break them with the backside of a dense knife (which I keep on teh counter at all
times anyways). Faster the freeze, faster to prepare, faster to clean, less stuff around, less investments, more uses per investment, and less
These are my 'green' food life extender 'tupperwares':
Note the lack of TV dinners. TV dinners are not only generally garbage in food packaging, the packaging itself is typically not recycle worthy when
all is done and therefore ensures garbage output.
Step 3: Thrift.
Thrift stores aren't just a good place to get all sorts of odd and random yet useful items, they're also a place to offload perfectly good things you
have no use for. The non-profit locations even give you a donation sllip that's a tax write-off. So when you phase out your now unneeded ice trays you
can take to thrift store and get tax credits.
The biggest thing that seperates garbage from recycle worthy resources are 'slime' (i.e. food yuck). Luckily much food can be composted, but certainly
not all in the common sense of the word. Implementing a sink water catchment routine helps hammer this down. What cannot be fed to plants are oils and
salts. Oils in soil eventually buildup to form a hardened layer around the sand type grains leading to soil that repels water. Salts destroy the
ability for most plants to grow in them. Meats & cheeses in general have no place in compost / soil, but that doesn't always mean they must be thrown
out. In many cases they can be burned and produce a different type of fertilizer in the process.
Lately my old garbage can used used in the micro-nursery to catch rainwater and pour into my 4'x30' compost bin / worm factory when it doesn't rain
REUSE / REPURPOSE:
Step 1: Use Trash To Take Out The Trash.
Following suit with the grocery bags, other bags serve just as well (i.e. breadbags, chips). Thin cardboard stock from food packaging I break down for
shippping materials, and use the inner bags for trash (i.e. cereal boxes).
So here the process of saving money on shipping supplies also minimizes my trash output:
Step 2: Reconsider What Trash Is.
Example #1: This old downtrodden cabinet item turned plant container. I get cutting from the plants in this one, and it furthers my jungle effort.
Eventually the wood particles will begin to separate from the outer laminate layers and the wood products will then make for good compost. This leaves
only the laminate remnants to be thrown out. In the meantime I make actual money with this 'garbage', to later fertilize other plants with.
Example #2: Take broken things apart. Not only will you better develop your understandings of how things work, you can harvest cool parts for making
things like animatronics, but when complex machines are broken down to their raw components the recycle conveyors can now utilize them as recyclable.
If you have children I strongly urge parents to adopt this practice with them. I know that doing this on my own from childhood has been the basis of
all of my income acquiring skills, that have generally had me either as an independent contractor or working for myself completely.
21-4-2013 by IgnoranceIsntBlisss because: (no reason given)