Leaner and Greener

I have been inspired by my friend Mariah. She lives her life as close as possible to Zero Waste. It is truely amazing. Furthered by the culture at her workplace, which has eliminated the need for trash cans, she only has garbage pick up because the city will not allow you to stop said pick up. This is partially due to the concern that if someone did stop garbage pick-up it might lead to a rotting cest pool of a home in an otherwise clean and green city.

So, I said to myself, “Gwen, how can you do this in your life?” First, see what I can transfer from garbage to composting. Second, evaluate what items are paper recyclable that I’m currently trashing. And Third, look into the potential recyclability of items that currently think of as trash: plastics not taken by recycling, electronics, fabric scraps. Today, I’ll discuss my discovery of food recycling options in Bellingham.

I had heard some information about Bellingham’s new recycling, but didn’t know if it was more money put out than return for the environment. It costs twice as much, though still not a huge ping on my pocket, as my current yard waste pick up by City Organics. I LOVE these guys. They’ve snagged my can from the side yard on days when I’ve forgotten to put it out. I really want to continue to use them so, my first step was to investigate City Organics ability to take dairy and meat scraps as well as food-soiled paper in addition to the current pick up of yard waste. Unfortunately, they only take items which are grown on the earth. I have decided to keep City Organics for a while – seems I have a bit more yard waste that can be hauled off.

My next step was to request ‘Food Plus! Recycling’ from SSC. This option allows me to put a ton of my food scraps into the compost bin. Amazingly, I threw away a ton of napkins and paper towels that can now be composted. What’s even cooler is that this compost will return to Whatcom County as soil several years from now. More information about SSC’s ‘Food Plus! Recycling’ can be found at their website: http://www.ssc-inc.com/recycling_residential.php. I must admit, the biggest frustration about this is the fruit flies. UGH! They seem to take over my kitchen. Plus, the smell is horrendous if you leave meat in the bin outside to cook in the sun. I haven’t discovered a better way to handle this yet.

Next week, I’ll discuss paper recycling, what I’ve realized is recyclable and how it affects each room in my home.

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