Archive for February, 2012

We have a lot of trash cans in our house. And I’m not just talking about having one in every room. There’s a recycling bin, a container for landfill trash, a compost bucket, a bin for compostable paper. The compostable paper one came into the mix just because our compost bucket was filling up way too fast. And since paper doesn’t smell bad, it doesn’t need to fill up the small bucket that’s designed to keep the smell from bad-smelling food waste contained until it’s taken outside to be composted.

Currently, it’s way too easy to just toss things into the landfill trash. It’s more easily located, first thing in the kitchen, and often, in my laziness, I plop little things in there that could go in the recycling or paper just because I don’t feel like walking  that far into the kitchen. “Just  this once,” I tell myself. “I usually do the right thing, but this little scrap is so small, it hardly matters.” And truthfully, it really doesn’t. But that doesn’t mean I can’t work on being better about it. It’s also about the principle of the matter. I’m being a hypocrite and I know I’m being a hypocrite. And for no reason other than I’m just feeling a little lazy at that particular moment, and letting myself off the hook by saying I’ll do it next time.

But I really wasn’t doing it next time either.

I tried posting a sign on the landfill trashcan, designed to be part reminder, part guilt-trip, and part informational for when we have guests over.

Overly dramatic SIGH. “Yes, I Can compost or recycle this little receipt.” and begrudgingly I would walk to the paper bin and deposit my little shred of paper. And that worked for a while, with the sign pushing me to do what I knew needed done but just didn’t want to do right then.

But lately, my response has been, “Yes, but I’ll do it next time.”

Am I really that lazy? Unfortunately, yes, I am sometimes.

Ok, now for a bit of background here. Really, we only take our landfill trash out about once a month, with Husband and now I making a game of how long we can hold out before the bag is full and needs to go out. And we keep track of it. Because I’m weird and I love to keep data about stuff. (Seriously. I have lots of lists tallying various data on a wide range of things in my life. I figure averages, make graphs, and plot data on just about everything. I know, it’s weird.) Actually, in 2011, we took our trash out a total of 10 times, so not even once a month. (Yes, I keep a list of when the trash went out, and I’m doing it this year too, so I can compare it with previous years. I should start weighing it and plot a graph by weight to see our progress…..)

So a few days ago, this obvious thought occurred to me. Given this fact about our trash almost never going out, WHY WHY WHY is that the receptacle that’s easiest to access in the kitchen? It seems like maybe that bin should be switched with the recycling bin and the trash put over where the recycle bin is now.

With a little reorganizing, I think I came up with something that will work much better than the system we had. And with some new and smaller bins, it doesn’t take up nearly as much space as before, looks nicer, and makes more sense. The recycling bin is now the easy-access bin by the kitchen entrance, with the others piled by the fridge, neatly labeled. It hasn’t been in place long enough for me to really evaluate how well it’s working, but it seems to have streamlined our trash process, all while maintaining my current level of laziness. Score!

Paper, landfill trash, and compost bin, neatly organized and labeled. The recycling trashcan (not pictured) is on the other side of the kitchen, for easier access.

And here’s one of Madeline, simply because she was trying so hard to make it into the pictures I was taking. Whenever there’s a camera out, she automatically assumes it must be to photograph her and comes running to pose for every picture.

How do you organize all the trash that needs to go to various places?


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Valentines Day is often affiliated with binging on chocolate. Or is that just me?? But individually wrapped candies and chocolates generate so much trash.

And I have a particular hatred for Hershey Kisses, mainly because those stupid little flags somehow ALWAYS end up all over the floor, never making it to the trash, or recycling, or wherever. We don’t even buy them. I’ve actually banned them from the PathToGreen household I hate them so much. And yet I still find those darn flags in our house. It’s like an infestation.

Ok, enough ranting. Back on track.

It’s surprisingly easy to make your own homemade chocolate, and with much less trash. I’ve blogged about this before, and thought it would make a nice reposting for Eat Chocolate Day. (Yeah, let’s face it, that’s really what this holiday is about for me.) Check it out here, and get started making your own chocolate, and passing on the excess trash.

And with a small investment in some heart-shaped candy molds, you could really make some attractive treats!

Also, here are some great links about where to find fair trade chocolate. Because companies who produce chocolate (or anything for that matter) without the use of slave labor deserve our full support and are worth the extra dollars. Here and here are some great sites that list specific brands that use fair trade cocoa.

And on a personal/side note, this will be the first Eat Chocolate Day in several years that I haven’t had a (poorly planned) dentist appointment scheduled. Bring on the homemade chocolate!

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