Paper or plastic, mom?

Ryan knows how to recycle. He has been doing much of his 3 years, and I think that is fabulous! We have lived in neighborhoods where recycle bins were collected bi-weekly for paper/plastic items, "brown waste" (grass clippings, cardboard, food, etc). The UK also had recycle bins in various areas for glass items that weren't collected from your home. This is what our recycle bin looks like on a good day. On a busy day...it runneth over. Allen grumbles about having to empty it so often....hmmm....maybe similar to my feelings about laundry.

Germany has a great recycling system. They distribute these "mullsackes"-biodegradable, I assume, and items are placed in the appropriate color bag for collection bi-weekly. Bags are bright blue, yellow, red, and clear. You must sort everything---candy wrappers, foil, paper, milk cartons, cans, glass, plastic, etc. They are pretty strict, also. Our neighbors accidentally put milk cartons in the trash collection bags---visibly. Those workers wouldn't collect their bags, and they were left with trash for two more weeks.

Now, that is rough! Ugh. It was a summer month, too.

We recycle almost everything-except diapers, some food waste, and that plastic bag with mushy zucchini that had been pushed in the back of the veggie crisper drawer. Blah. I just couldn't empty it out. That had to exit my hands ---asap.

Twice a year there is a heavy trash collection around the town. I almost took pictures of it, but was fearful of looking silly taking pictures of piles of stuff---really, really old and ugly stuff. We are talking about funky flower furniture, t.v.'s, etc. It looked like the 60's and 70's threw up. Thankfully, that stuff was collected several weeks ago and the town looks normal again. Here was an interesting article that I found about recycling here.....and another.

In celebration of Earth Day, we played outside most of the day. Hello Mr. Sunshine! We missed you (even though you were out for only a few hours!).

Here are some of the things we do to help our earth:

  • I purchased the Clorox Greenworks-so far, so good! I often use vinegar with baking soda also. I ashamedly admit---I am a bleach-lovin' girl. Sometimes, you just can't beat it. A more environmentally friendly one? I will keep my eyes open.
  • With daylight hours extending, we don't turn on lights as often. We have the energy efficient bulbs in several lamps. For $11.00 a bulb, we have bought a few. Anyway, they are 220v., so we can't use them when we move.
  • We use our canvas bags at the stores. We get less "looks" after the commissary introduced green re-usable canvas bags. We are used to this bag issue. German stores usually don't provide bags without a cost, so we take our own. You see many people with a basket in stores also.
  • We do have six cloth diapers that we occasionally use. They are from Bum Genius, and they grow with your baby. This is the only set we have needed since you can adjust the snaps for growth. Why I waited until the 5th one to use them-I don't know. The products were available-just not as readily or were very expensive to replace them with every 6 lb. gain.
  • If possible, we park and walk to various stores. and locations. The less I have to buckle little ones, the better. Europe is much easier in this aspect. Communities are smaller and geared more toward walking (i.e nice sidewalks!). People have to pay more for gas and automobile taxes here. For some, a car is not always an option.
  • On the occasional times we go to McDonald's, I try and tell them we don't need the extra packaging for the kid's meal. Why do we want a huge box, that will just be folded down (and recycled here) anyway? The food obviously doesn't remain in the box and my kids rarely look at it or do the activities.

I'm glad that my children are learning this valuable lesson earlier than some. I think it's important to think of things other than yourself. Happy Day Earth!

3 fabulous friends:

Rhea said...

Oh, no about your neighbors not having their trash picked up because they didn't oraganize their recycling correctly!

We have an amazing recycling program here in our town, north of Dallas. Better than when we lived in Austin, which is surprising since this is a smaller town.

We have a huge bin, almost the same size as our huge trash bin, and we can put everything in the one bin...all aluminum, glass, paper, and plastic products 1-7. No sorting out, just a huge bin to dump it all together. I LOVE it. We keep a box in the kitchen and I make my 11 year old empty it into the bin in the garage daily. We fill it up faster than the trash bin.

I never knew I'd be so excited (and thankful) for recycling!! lol

Tai said...

I am so proud of you and your kids! That is awesome.

About the Clorox Green cleaner - I have switched to that as well. I am just having a really hard time with it because it just doesn't have the yummy smell that the regular Clorox cleaner does. There is just something about that really cleen smell that makes my cleaning day complete. But I will adjust. It is worth it to help a little. That is what a Scentsy candle is for, I guess!

I wish we had a better recycling system here. I have talked about that with Blackeyedsue several times and we are disgusted that the city doesn't do more. Maybe a petition would help. I don't know. It could be worth a try.

And now you have the traffic feed on the side of your blog. Great, now you can see what a loser I am and how many times a day I check your blog.:)

Bilary said...

The comment that looks like it is from Tai just above is really from me. Oops. She came over here today so I could help her set up a blog and I was showing her how to make comments, but I forgot to sign out of her account and in to mine. So, sorry. But now you can check out my sister's blog if you want! She'd probably love a little shout-out!