When I got dropped off of the road part of YERT, I knew that being trash-free would become a bigger challenge – mainly due to food preparation since, suddenly, all the packaging that the three of us had mostly managed to avoid (by not finishing people’s cartons of milk or OJ, or boxes of cereal, etc) I would now be coming face to face with in my mom’s own fridge. I mentioned a few days ago that I’ve been a little frustrated but, seriously, what do you do with a kitchen full of already packaged food? Not waste it, surely?
“Mom,” I’d said, pointing to her little under-counter bin, “this garbage bag is going to last us until the baby is born. So don’t throw anything in there that you don’t want hanging around for the next 2 months.” She’d just looked at me, big eyes. “OK.” she’d said. I’d had a feeling it might take a few days to catch on. I did pull a couple of banana peels, a few pieces of junk mail and the occasional kleenex out of there but for the most part, and no thanks to my tirades and nagging, Mom started getting the hang of it. It has been 3 weeks.
I was hoping that we wouldn’t have to take garbage out…I really was. But, I am not kidding, the trash had started to stink. I couldn’t figure it out since all we’d been putting in there was plastic, plastic and plastic. And waxed food cartons that had been washed very well. This morning I found the culprit – a disposable diaper. Yum. We had a little visitor a few days ago who isn’t quite potty trained yet and I hadn’t told his sweet mama that we were trying to keep the same garbage until July.
It’s not her fault. Anyway, I was fooling myself if I thought I could keep packing the refuse down to make that bag last another week, much less another month. So, regrettably, Mom and I took the garbage out, and took video to record the unhappy event. I have to say, though, I am so proud of mom for her efforts!! We have only one very small bag of garbage, compared to 3 BIG bags of recycling going out tomorrow, and that is a BIG change. I wonder if the garbage men will notice? Almost makes me want to get up at 6:00 am just to watch them them scratch their heads in wonder at how we manage…but not quite…
AND, yesterday, Mom turned in her gas powered lawnmower for $50 at the recycling facility in Louisville and then we went to the hardware store to pick her up an electric, battery-operated lawn mower (for which she also got a $50 rebate. She’s hoping it will pay for itself in saved gas costs, and she feels good about not polluting or using oil), and today we bought a few more CFL (Compact Flourescent) bulbs. Next on the agenda…. could it be that Mom is considering retiring her old van and buying a Prius???