Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Two Cans a Week, a Countdown to Earth Day Post

It is hard to live in the northwest and not be aware of the environment.

When we moved into our 2nd home, my daughter was a baby, still consuming those disgusting disposable diapers by the dozen. I know, hide your pitchforks, I used disposable diapers. It was after all, only 2004, and there were not as many choices available as there are now.

So, when we signed up for garbage service at our new home, we scheduled to have 2 cans picked up per week, because of all of those disposable diapers.

Now, my daughter has been out of diapers for some time; like, for 3 years. Have I scaled back on our garbage pick-up? No. Why? Laziness.

It is true; I have been a diligent warrior on decreasing our trash to 1 can per week, while increasing the amount of recycling so that our huge green monster (as we so lovingly call our recycling bin) is packed to the brim. But I have yet to formally let the garbage company know, just in case I might have “extra” in the future.

Well, “extra” is not acceptable now. If I am going to be true to my word and incorporate greener ways of living into my family’s life, than doing it once in a while is not an option.

Watching the recycling bin burst at the seams doesn’t make the fact that we only put 1 can out okay. I need to reduce the amount of stuff going into the huge green monster as well. And what is the first thing I see when I look into the bin?

Water bottles.

With three active kids and the quest not to drink as much juice or soda, our water bottle consumption has hit an all time high. Drinking water is good; no doubt about it, but what we are drinking our water in is not so good.

Inside my “Tupperware” cupboard, way in the back behind all the Glad Ware and those dinosaur Ikea cups with the straws, live several containers suitable for holding water. Some of them are even cute, see:

Maybe if I could get into the habit of using these more, my recycling bin would not be so heavy on the nights when I have to wheel it out to the curb by myself. Maybe I wouldn’t have to bang on the wall to the bathroom and remind my kids to “save some water for the fish” every day. Maybe I would remember those re-usable bags I purchased to bring my groceries home in and not get the stink eye from other customers (who just so happened to remember their bags) when I forget them.

Change isn’t automatic. I can’t flip a switch and become a different person, a different wife, and a different mother overnight. But I can, with small changes along the way, be better to our environment.

I can make a difference and it all starts with the little things I do every single day.

I’ll begin by calling the garbage company tomorrow, officially turning our family into a 1 can per week household.

*Cross-posted at Seattle Mom Blogs


jen said...

and this is how it starts.

Shania said...

Good for you. We're down to one can and three recycle bins, and working on reducing that.

Becky said...

i agree with jen.

Lisa said...

You are so right. Little bit each day. You are inspiring me, lady.

THanks. I needed some to deal with this stuff myself.

Anonymous said...

Good girl!

Now, I am trying not to use my garbage disposal so much. Talk about a habit. But when I read about all that gunk at the sewage treatment plant.. plus in our pipes..

So our big green yard waste monster is full to the brim these days.

Looking to try a kitchen composter... yikes!


ps I wonder whatever happened to my Birks?

carrie said...


You really need to write your own blog, you know!

I love you.

Mamacita Tina said...

Yup, my little man is very aware of trash (he loves to read garbage truck books) and how much our family creates. Thanks to him, we really try to watch it.

painted maypole said...

i use the refillable waterbottles because I am CHEAP. and i love that it's environmentally better, too. I just bought some aluminum ones, so i feel WAY cool (and I get weird looks when I pull out my canvas bags at the grocery store)

LindaJ said...

At least your carbon footprint isn't one and a half the size of "ideal"

My kids do use the water bottles (pictured above) But they take up so much room in the dishwasher. What is worse the water bottle we throw away? or the energy, water and soap we waste on rewashing? I can never win.

Yeah mom, where is your blog? We could stand to learn a few things from a gal like you.