Sunday, June 26, 2011

Food and lawn waste and how putting it in the landfill is flat out unacceptable.

My household generates a lot of food waste. It's ok to judge me... I'm judging myself.

It's ridiculous. It's like we buy food with the intention to cook, and then we somehow don't. Either something comes up with my husband's work to where we have an unexpected dinner with people one night, or there's another event going on through dinner time and when that event is over we're too tired to cook, or something. I personally feel like these are all super lame excuses.

At one point in time we were eating several frozen TV dinners a week because it was easier to keep frozen stuff in the house because we didn't want to constantly throw out fresh food, plus it was so much cheaper. This isn't a sustainable option because those things are *loaded* with sodium, among other unhealthy things like fats, sugars, etc.

You know what else goes on at my house? My husband cuts the lawn, and evidently he was bagging the trimmings and clippings and putting them in the trash can. I'm sorry, but in my personal opinion, things that belong on the earth DON'T belong in a landfill.

So, what are we doing about it?

Aside from cutting down on buying stuff we aren't going to use, which we have done quite well with, we got a composter! That way, when we have the random piece of food and my husband trims the lawn, it can become fertile soil. At first I had such grand illusions of getting a palate thing from a store and making a floor and lining with wire to let the new composted dirt fall out onto a slide-out floor type of thing for easy soil collection, building sides out of natural wood and layering the greens and browns and mixing it with a shovel.

My husband nixed that idea before I could even get the word "build" out of my mouth. Something about how "it'll get gross and stinky" and "we don't have a large enough backyard to do your herb garden AND have a huge compost pile" made him really not want to do one. Like most marriages, ours is a series of compromises. I wanted one, but he didn't want a huge one and he wanted it fairly contained so he went to Home Depot that day and got a compost tumbler, came home and assembled it in our mudroom. It's better than nothing and it's made out of recycled plastic.

It fits great in our backyard. I'll post pictures in the morning, but it's large enough to accommodate the lawn and food waste generated. So now whenever I peel that banana, the peel goes to the compost, as well as the leaves, newspapers, strawberry tops, etc. We plan on using the compost to fertilize the lawn. Since the compost actually smells good (properly balanced compost doesn't smell bad... it smells like earth) I'm hoping that he'll let me build a small one out of recycled but untreated wood so that we can use that in an herb garden I want to start. I have a small problem with using compost made in plastic to feed plants that we're going to eat. I know, I'm crazy that way.

I'm excited about this little step we've taken to become a less wasteful family. We're also working on leveling out our schedule for the week so that it's not this up-and-go mentality that we have now. After all, it's difficult to do that with a baby.

No comments: