Saturday, September 13, 2008

It's Actually Pretty Easy Being Green

I'll admit it, I am not the most environmentally-minded girl in the world. I never saw An Inconvenient Truth. I still use Lysol to lean my kitchen instead of some product with fewer chemicals. And I have never been one to recycle - that is, until now.

Recycling where I live is a choice (as opposed to being mandatory like up in Ulster County where trash and recycling rules are so draconian it's enough to make your head spin), and being outside the city limits (i.e. I don't have anyone picking up my trash so dump runs are something I have to plan for in the course of my week) it's not a choice I have made. Oh sure - when we have a lot of boxes I'll separate them out and recycle but everything else I sort of ignore.

I should also note that I am kind of neurotic about my trash (given that I am neurotic about everything this shouldn't surprise any of you). Ever since we had our visit from Pepe Le Pew I have been very careful to keep all of our trash in bins with lids. The problem is, half of our trash is perishable, while the other half is not, and at the rate we produce non-perishable trash (empty bottles and cans, junk mail, magazines and newspapers etc.) we've been generating a full bag of trash a day. That's a lot. And we only have 2 lidded trash cans which means by Day 4 we are full up. It's less of an issue in the winter, but when it's summertime and 90+ degrees - it can be rather unpleasant.

So last weekend when we had a house full of guests and were going through even more water, soda and beer then usual, I started recycling. I started stacking empty water bottles on the counter in the kitchen. I'd rinse the cans and line them up next to the bottles. And every time I went outside, I'd toss the bottles and can into the one unlidded trash can we have. It was genius! Instead of taking the trash out every day, we started going 2 - even 3 days before we had to change a bag.

And while it took a little longer to sort through everything before heading to the dump and also at the dump getting everything distributed in its proper bin, a) I was less stressed about the trash in general because I knew we had plenty of room in our 2 lidded bins for whatever perishable trash we did generate and b) it felt really good being environmentally conscious.

Next stop on the Green Train? COMPOST!

And if that ain't country, I'll kiss your...