Welcome to the January 2013 Natural Living Blog Carnival: Green Confessions. This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Natural Living Blog Carnival hosted by Happy Mothering and The Pistachio Project through the Green Moms Network. This month our members have written posts about areas of their life where they aren't as "green" as they may want to be.
Ok, it is confession time so here it is: We don’t recycle. Gasp! I know, sounds pretty appalling considering we lead a very natural, green lifestyle otherwise. I used to recycle, but we stopped a few years ago and I will tell you why.
I wrote a few months ago about the challenges of living naturally in the rural west but one of the things I didn’t mention was the fact that we don’t have curbside recycling. While that can make recycling very convenient, not having it did not prevent us from recycling for a number of years out here. Instead we had to have a dedicated spot in the house or shed for a "recycling center”. Then about once every few months I loaded it all up in my little old truck and headed to town to unload at the recycling center. No big deal.
Then we slowly began making life changes such as starting to buy organic milk that only comes in wax cartons instead of plastic milk jugs. Milk jugs used to be one of the main things we recycled but not anymore since we cannot recycle the wax cartons.
We rarely use store bought canned goods anymore so don’t have tin to recycle. Instead, I buy a lot of our food like beans in the dry bulk bins rather than buying them canned. I also am making the majority of our foods from scratch so we no longer have a need for store bought canned goods.
We used to subscribe to the local newspaper and had stacks we took to the recycling center. A few years ago we stopped subscribing and now just read the local paper online so no more stacks of newspaper.
Now when it comes to aluminum, that is where I will confess I am feeling a bit guilty. We used to recycle all of our aluminum although we didn’t have a lot since we don’t drink soda and we prefer microbrews in a glass bottle. As we stopped having many other products to recycle, I tried to continue storing aluminum cans to take to the recycling center. The problem was that we accumulated them so slowly and didn’t have a good spot to store them. Unfortunately the bags of cans were thrown under the deck when we were building a garage a few years ago and successfully created a major pest problem for us with ants, yellow jackets and mice that we’re still battling.
So now we don’t recycle anything. We can’t recycle glass where we live so unfortunately the glass beer bottles have to be thrown away. We reuse and repurpose a lot of items, but I will admit that if a beverage in an aluminum can is consumed in our house it is thrown into the trash can. Being a longtime advocate of living a sustainable eco-friendly lifestyle, I always feel guilty if I see an aluminum can in the trash can.
What can I do about it? I decided that in the new year I am going to figure out how we can recycle the small amount of aluminum we have without attracting pests and rodents. Here are a few ideas I have on how to make this work:
- Create an easily accessible but unobtrusive recycling bin in the garage
- Rinse out the can before it is placed into the recycling bin
- Commit to taking the cans to the recycling center once a month so they don’t become a smelly nuisance
Do you have any tips to share? How do you make recycling work for you?
Visit Happy Mothering and The Pistachio Project to learn more about participating in next month’s Natural Living Blog Carnival! Please take some time to enjoy the posts our other carnival participants have contributed:
This post shared on: Simple Lives Thursday
Simply Natural Saturdays