What do you throw away?
My haul one recent morning from the temporary offices of the Board of Education dumpster on Hamilton:
- Two office chairs (needed)
- A giant rubber band (cannot live without)
- Chicken wire (for the community garden), and
- Stuff for the garage sale across the street
Nothing in the dumpster that could not be RECYCLED or REUSED. There are more "R"s to cutting down your waste stream.
How about REPAIR? Could you fix that toy or chair?
Instead of throwing an item away could you REGIFT it?
The most important R may be to REFUSE to use or buy a product in the first place. I stopped buying plastic water bottles 5 years ago and you should have heard the teenagers grumble, complain and moan — one even shed some tears.
Sure it is easier to just grab a bottle of water and go. But it didn't take them long to get used to filling a bottle from a glass gallon jug of water we keep in the fridge. The point being: It was not that hard to change. Now if I can only get them to REFILL the ice cube tray...
See that toy soldier in the above photo? He is going to be our symbol of waste and conspicuous consumption. I will keep him around and take a picture of him and waste when I see it.
Onward Recycled Soldier!