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It's only waste if you throw it away

The solution to less garbage is simple - don't throw stuff away. Especially don't throw away organic material. This includes kitchen scraps and garden debris (leaves in particular), also paper and cardboard, wool and cotton, leather, bamboo and anything else of natural origin. All these materials can be composted. Until you can persuade your municipality to start composting, you will have to join forces with your neighbors to find a convenient space for a block or community pile.

(A little aside here. I would like to direct you to my ebook on composting. It has been ready to go for about a year and everything is in place (theoretically) to have it available tomorrow. Well! That's not how the world of technology works. Maybe Tuesday.)

So, your garbage has been reduced considerably by taking out all compostable material. What about the rest. Much of it can be recycled (day 11), much of it can be re-used at least once before being thrown away (day 9), and the rest probably didn't need to be in your house in the first place.

At the risk of sounding preachy, do you really need all the crap that finds its way into your house? This is especially true of packaging. Reject bags, and bags within bags. Take your own, or don't use a bag at all. Reconsider the advantage of home delivery whether it be pizza or Amazon. Buying outside your immediate area generates waste in the form of packaging. Sure you can recycle the cardboard (do you?), but what about the packing peanuts or the air bags?

It will take some time to get there, but if we all aim for zero waste, our Commissioner for Public Works will be able to fulfill his dream of closing the county landfill.


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