If you follow social media, you probably know that just about every single day of the year seems to be dedicated to some sort of special thing that we are supposed to celebrate. I can't seem to log into Facebook or Twitter without being bombarded with updates letting me know it's official pancake day, or international bacon day, or national paper airplane day, or garden naked day (that one makes me laugh), or some other 'special' day I don't really need to know about.

Geesh. I mean, seriously ... who decides this stuff? Is it actually someone's job? And is a committee involved in the decision? (please tell me there isn't -- although, I bet there is!!)

Trash, Trash, Trash

So, this morning I logged into Facebook to find that today is apparently 'America Recycles Day.'

I didn't know that it was 'America Recycles Day' (and how sad is it that I'm getting my news from Facebook?), but it actually seemed quite fitting for me today because I've been thinking about trash a lot lately.

And I mean A LOT.

You see, after we bought our house here in rural, south-eastern Virginia, I was downright shocked to find that there was no local trash pickup service.


Really... I kid you not.

Yes, this area is pretty darn rural. But, it's also only a few hours drive in different directions to Richmond, Washington DC, or Norfolk/Virginia Beach. It's also a resort area and many city slickers have vacation homes here ... so, it's not exactly what I would call 'the sticks.'

So, you can imagine my surprise.

If I had known, or even thought it possible that I couldn't just put the trash out by the curb every week (even if our 'curb' is over 500 feet from the house!) and a big truck would come by, pick it up and take it far, far away for me, I'm pretty sure I would have wholeheartedly convinced my husband that we absolutely, positively needed to live somewhere else. And the first time we had to throw garbage bags, boxes and recyclables into the back of the truck and drive them to the icky, smelly dump (about 4 miles away), I thought I was going to die.

What crazy place was I living in where there wasn't civilized trash service?

I mean, who has to do that?

Well ...

I do.

As a matter of fact, I do it just about every week or so and I'm glad to report that I haven't died yet. It has also opened my eyes and made me acutely aware of how much trash we generate.

So, you see, I think about trash a lot.

Mostly I think about how 2 people can possibly generate so much trash and I try to come up with ways that we can make less of it. Here are some trash reducing things that we try to do here to help keep down on the amount of trash we personally make:

    Your garden will thank you too! Here's a short list of things that can be composted:
    • pretty much anything that was once living can be composted (*be careful of meat based products -- they may attract vermin. We don't worry about this, but you might if you have a critter problem)
    • coffee grounds & filters, tea bags and tea leaves, vegetable peelings, fruit peelings, egg shells
    • grass clippings, leaves, spent flowers and plants
    • paper towels, cardboard, newspapers (although be aware of potential issues with colored inks), sawdust, twigs and branches
    • hair & nail clippings
    • vacuum cleaner dirt and pet hair
  2. Don't use disposable things if you can avoid it (use reusable mugs for coffee, reusable containers for water,  etc.)
  3. Maintain and repair rather than buying new
  4. Reuse and Recycle.  While I'll admit that if you take this too far, you might end up on the hoarders show (we're close to that!), there really is a lot you can reuse and re-purpose.

Of course, if you still need some inspiration for cutting back on the amount of trash you produce, do a little research into the 'Great Pacific Garbage Patch'... it's sobering.  OR, take a look at the work of artist Aurora Robson - it's amazing and beautiful ... and very sad.

A Practice from Aurora Robson.

Nov 15 2013
Posted in: Print Gallery

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