A Load of Garbage on My Mind - Eco Challenge
Garbage has been on my mind for some time.
It really got me thinking when I saw the Gardening Australia presenter Josh Byrne talking about how in permaculture there is a belief that nothing should leave the block. It got me thinking. If I didn't have a garbage man come and take my rubbish "away" what would my property look like ? Where would I store all the rice cracker wrappers, drink bottles and used glad wrap. What would the pile look like after one year ? How about after 13 years ? I am embarrassed to think that every plastic bag I have ever used it sitting a couple of kilometres out of town in a big pile. Add to that the plastics of every person in my street, and every person in my little town. Whoa!
Slowly but surely I have been reducing the plastic input. It is still no-where near enough, but I began with the shopping bags and it really raised my awareness. Now I am conscious of what I throw into the garbage bin and it has started to affect what I purchase. Mind you, If i want something I still get it, particularly if I am not organised with an alternative.
Since coming home from holidays and digesting the trillion thoughts I had swirling around my brain I really feel the need to embrace the idea of 'nothing leaving the block'. Today I set up a little garbage system under the sink. I removed all the cleaning products that had been hiding under there and made some space for a garbage sorting system. I have the garbage bin, which now has no plastic bin liner, a recycle box, a compost box and a chook food box. I try and equally distribute scraps between the chooks and the compost because we badly need to build up good soils.
I have been tearing up paper and putting it into the compost bin. It breaks down really well. I love that it returns to the earth. Then, I pick up a piece of plastic and continually harp on to hubbie about how I cannot do a thing with it. I can't bury it, I can't put it in the compost, feed it to the chooks or any other thing except place it in the bin to be taken "away" ( to the spot out of town where my pile is growing by the day)
The more I embrace the idea of nothing leaving the block, the more my passion will assist me in making wise grocery purchases
One thing that will really help is the idea of only consuming things that were around in my Grandmothers' day. It seems that these items are not packaged, or are packaged in paper. Things like flour, sugar, butter are all in paper and I can avoid packaging on fruit, veg and meat.
So tonight the garbage bin goes out, full of plastic. Little by little as I work through this transitional period I hope that it will go out less and less. My first goal will be to get to the point where I only put the garbage bin out once a month. That seems so difficult from where I sit at the moment, but I think before too long it will be as natural an act as baking bread. Considering that my Grandmother didn't have a rubbish collection, I think the least I can do is make a conscious effort to do my best!