Monday, February 25, 2008

reduce recycling?

i'm not a huge new year's resolution girl. let's face it, i have enough guilt in my life. i don't need to add 'didn't fulfill new year's resolution...again' to my list. but this year we are really trying to stick with this new year's resolution, which is to pick 3 small places to be more green each month. for february one of our focuses (foci? whatever.) was to reduce our recycling. which sounds totally counter-intuitive right? but really that downcycling of the things you recycle takes a ton of energy. why not just buy things with less packaging? we investigated our top 3 offenders after careful recycling review. and they are:

1. plastic milk containers - if you have kids, it's OOC (out of control). we use 2 full gallons of milk per week. that's 2 plastic gallons. it's a lot. plus, even before this household initiative, these irritated me for the sheer fact that you put one of these in your recycling bag and it's almost totally full. annoying. so here are the options to reduce the plastic. and the annoyance.

cartons - bob swears the milk tastes "different" too bad bob. plus, being paper, it blocks the light and keeps the nutrients in. thats good for everyone.

glass bottles - you can get milk delivered. to your house. seriously. in glass milk containers. then when they do the next delivery, they pick up the glass bottles and clean and reuse them. so cool. you can also order lots of other things too, like half and half, butter, etc. crescent ridge dairy also sells at whole foods if you like the idea but don't want to deal with delivery. you pay an extra 1.00 at checkout and you get it back when you return the bottle.

2. plastic juice containers - ditto on these. cartons only.

3. little yogurt cups - toby is on a 95% yogurt diet. this means many many many individual serving cups in our recycling. those had to go. i bought some glad containers and buy the big ole things of yogurt at the store.

another big offender in our house is beer bottles. but i figure those can go out on the curb because there are those less fortunate than i who pick them up in the wee hours with their shopping carts and turn them in for 5 cents. i'm ok with that.

check out the offenders in your house, i bet you can reduce your recycling too. and then you can feel smug. like me. and if you have any thoughts on how to reduce recycling, please post them here!


Dana said...

One other idea for reducing - big (glass) bottles of applesauce, instead of the little cartons. I think a lot of "kids" food is a wasteful packaging culprit. Jack says the issue we are really talking about is the " surface to volume ratio", but then I dozed off and didn't get the full explanation.

Sido said...

Great post! My recycling usually consists of the bin plus like eight trader joes bags full of crap. I really gotta do the yogurt thing - sucha waste when the my little lady just eats the same yogurt all the time anyway.
ps: my downstairs neighbors don't recycle. Sometime I just want to go down there and be like "really guys? really???"

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