It's the fourth week of my challenge and for this week I again weighed the household trash...under four pounds. I still can't believe that is all the trash we are producing. The recycling was 7 items: 4 beer bottles, 1 glass juice jar, 1 plastic tub, and 1 plastic dishwasher goo bottle. I'm not keeping track of paper recycling except to notice that the amount is steady (neither bin is overflowing). Nor am I keeping track of composting except to say that I am very conscious of dividing it into two categories: things chickens can eat and things that no one should eat, thus they go in the compost pile.
If the purpose of this experiment is to decrease the amount of waste we may have hit the wall. Some of the things that are becoming waste are non-negotiable and I'm not sure I can do better than the four pounds (remember the average American creates 4.4 lbs. A DAY).
As a reminder, I shop with three things in mind: 1. our health, 2. our money, and 3. the environment.
Two of the items that continually end up in the trash are directly related to our health. For example, I honestly believe that raw goat's milk is the key to keeping my gut healthy. Raw milk is safe, but needs to be filtered to remove bits of hay or skin or hair. Filtering the milk is mandatory for our health and safety and I have chosen the best option for that.
Also, this week I noticed that a large portion of the kitchen waste was plastic meat wrappers. Bea Johnson advocates for taking your glass containers up to the meat counter and having them put your selections directly in your own jar. Because I insist on local, grassfed/pastured meats and those are packaged in plastic I don't see a way around this one. Because my insistence on grassfed/pastured/local is in many ways a health choice, I'm not willing to compromise on this one.
After reading several articles about countries banning the import of American recycling waste (India and China) I'm trying to think of ways to replace or repurpose the few recycling items. Since I'm a notorious kook I'll try all kinds of weird and odd things, so I decided that glass bottles are going to become a flower bed edge. I surfed pinterest and found all kinds of interesting things, so I'm going to try it. See below.