Friday, April 11, 2008

Step Eight, Reduce Re-use, Recycle

Waste isn’t in the same league for carbon emissions as housing, transport or agriculture, but every little helps.

I bought sturdy cardboard boxes from Klee Paper for dry recycling, but you can pick some up from beside the check-out of your local grocer or supermarket. I printed up labels, so that everyone in the house is clear about what goes where. I then put in shelves in an unused but accessible corner of the house, and you can recycle clothing, thin plastic, plastic containers, green bin waste (cardboard, paper, metal, tin and some plastics), and glass containers in separate boxes. I combine trips by car to the recycling centre with journeys that I had to make anyway.

Composting can be a bit daunting, but I’ve finally realized that if you cut out the orange peels, you’ll get less acid conditions in the composter and get rich black compost that is a great addition to the soil in the vegetable garden.

Even though there are six of us living in the house, we now only put out the grey bin about once a month. The downside is that if you open the lid, there’s quite a whiff, but we use biodegradable bags to cut down on this.

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