Wednesday, January 16, 2013

I have some Green Confessions to Make!

Welcome to the January 2013 Natural Living Blog Carnival: Green Confessions. This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Natural Living Blog Carnival hosted by Happy Mothering and The Pistachio Project through the Green Moms Network. This month our members have written posts about areas of their life where they aren't as "green" as they may want to be.

I think there are all levels of Green living. There are those who just do a few basic things like try to recycle and reuse when they can... to those who go off grid and live a lifestyle free of anything toxic. I like to think I fall in the middle somewhere. I think the reasons people Go Green are just as vast. For me it is a stewardship type of action to what God has provided me and my family. To treat and honor the earth He created.
Just like Kermit said though "It ain't easy being Green!"Since we moved a year ago, being Green has gotten harder for me in one particular area.. and as we beat around the bush more...
Confession time.. We aren't recycling :(

In Ohio I had a grocery 1 mile from my house that had huge bins you could put your recyclables in. All mixed together, easy peasy. I loved doing it, and it was oh so convenient.

When we moved to KY I asked the local garbage collection if they did recycling.. NOPE. You all who have curbside pickup of recycleables are seriously lucky! Even if I did have to pay for it. Not an option here.
I knew there was a center about 30 miles from here that does it. I felt lazy and didn't want to try to figure out how to house all of these recycleables until our once a month trip down there.

I decided that this year I was going to attack this problem and put a bit more research into it, and work in a proactive way to get back into recycling.

I found a place in our own town that you have to separate out each item (and the items are very specific), washed, and delivered to their inside bins between 8-4 Monday through Friday. Not EASY, but doable.
We are a family of 8, we create quite a bit of waste.

We did an experiment this week specially for this post. We separated out the select items that I know they will take in our town, and set them aside for a trip to the recycler. Didn't happen yet, but Trash day has come and gone and I think we reduced by at least one garbage bag.
Here is our trash (which is actually quite low this week, even with the recycling!)
 We had to separate out the plastics 1 and 2, the tin, and the cardboard. I didn't have any glass to recycle.

We found that we use ALOT of plastics!! This box was overflowing!

Aluminum cans will vary greatly depending on dinners and such, but this is still a nice dent that we kept out of the landfill.

Cardboard could get quite extensive with the boxes I get for reviewing. Nothing large came this week, but still there were mailers, and pizza discs to recycle. The company said they don't take boxes like cereal boxes and cracker boxes? I did find that the center 30 miles away does do the cereal boxes so we will save them this go around and store them to take there. They can be flattened and don't contain any food particles so shouldn't be a problem to save.

Another item I noticed that we threw away too much of was sandwich and ziploc bags, and plastic or foil type lined bags for chips. This activity has helped me become more aware of the things we are using that are directly going to the landfill because there isn't even a venue for recycling it.
I am hoping to continue to increase our recycling and teach the kids the great habit of taking the time, though it may not be EASY, to do the right thing!

Visit Happy Mothering and The Pistachio Project to learn more about participating in next month’s Natural Living Blog Carnival! Please take some time to enjoy the posts our other carnival participants have contributed:


  1. I agree with the recycling. Whoever has the bins are sooooo lucky! When I lived in RI we had bins. It was nice and easy. Where I live in AZ, some areas have recycling, but our's does not. My husband and I bring our boxes of recyclables to the local dump. They have big bins set up. We do what you did. We sort and bring everything over several times a month. It is definitely worth it. I also love composting which takes care of veggies and coffee grounds (I really need to try to waste less though). I'm not part of your hop, but I just had to stop by and check in on you. :) Have a great day!

  2. I have to admit curbside recycling started where I lived over 25 years ago, I really had no idea that there were parts of the country where you might have to drive your recycling 30 miles!! I have always felt lucky to have lived in an early adoption area of recycling but this really has shed new light on this for me. Here are a few idea that might help:
    1. If your neighbors are as green as you maybe you can rotate going to the local recycling center and the one 30 miles away so lighten the load and make the trips more often so your stuff does not accumulate
    2. Sign up for Terracycle where you save recyclables (specific ones) and mail to them in a prepaid package. They donate money to a charity or local school you choose.
    3. If you are an activist try to get your town or county to make recycling easier and more local. You can also talk to your local grocery store, if they are part of a large chain they have the ability to set up recycling at their store.

    Good luck, recycling is so important I hope you are able to do more of it even though it is incredibly hard for you!

  3. I am also trying to do more in recycling. I recycle newspapers, magazines, etc., plastic, glass, tin, etc. Luckily, one day a week, the garbage trucks pick up only recycling. We try to recycle everything we can, and if the garbage collectors won't take what we want to recycle, we try to find out where we can take it.

  4. We have binrecycling and it is easy. Back home in upper michigan there are things you can drop off. But no cur bside.

  5. We have binrecycling and it is easy. Back home in upper michigan there are things you can drop off. But no cur bside.

  6. We have binrecycling and it is easy. Back home in upper michigan there are things you can drop off. But no cur bside.

  7. We have binrecycling and it is easy. Back home in upper michigan there are things you can drop off. But no cur bside.

  8. I'm in the middle of being green too! There are so many areas I need to improve on and recycling is one of them.

  9. I recycle everything...but I also have curbside pickup! :) I have friends that live close by in a mobile home park and the park does not recycle, so they throw everything away. It is crazy how things can be so different and we are just 10 minutes apart. I think it is great that you are realizing how much waste you create as well as commit to recycling! I understand the burden of having to transfer your well sorted recyclables and I think it is great that you want to try. Good luck!

  10. I agree with Leigh, if you have time and inclination why not try to install curbside recycling pickup in your town? I understand most places make money out of this, especially from the metal recycling, which should help keep local taxes down.

    Another thing you could do is to try and reduce plastic in your life as much as possible. When I did this I was surprised to see both my recycling bin and my trash can get emptier. Keep up the recycling!

  11. I love how this theme has encouraged people to take the first step to fix whatever non-green thing in their lives is bugging them!

    Our old place had a dumpster for recycling cardboard. Yay. Our new place? Recycling, non-sorted, at the curb! I was so excited! In fact, the smaller your regular trash bin, the lower your bill! The recycling pick up is FREE! Sometimes I do wonder about the water used to rinse bottles, but I try to only rinse once.

    Our city takes all that cardboard, but not pizza boxes or anything food has actually touched. That was kind of disappointing, but cracker boxes are still game.

    Good for you taking this first step!

  12. Green living is pretty difficult at times but so very worth it! And what an I opener it can be to see exactly what you let into your house by noting what is going out. Recycling is important but reducing our use is even more important! Keep up the good work!

  13. Love that you did an experiment for this carnival! Isn't is strange how we don't even notice how much plastic (or aluminum, or whatever) we use until we have to sort it all out for recycling? Then suddenly we realize how much we actually consume.

  14. Our city does curbside recycling, but not in our apartment complex. They're opening a recycling center near us in April though!

  15. I was shocked when we moved here and didn't have curbside recycling. When it finally hit this area, I was dancing around for a week. It is so much easier to set it at the curb then to have to store everything in the garage, load it and the kids up, and take it somewhere. We do still have to store and drop off some, but it is much more manageable now.