How many of us have lots of paint cans sitting in our garages? Pretty much everyone, right? I have finally gotten to my garage, and shed to “get rid of” stuff I have accumulated over the 10 years I’ve lived in this amazing house. It will be an ongoing endeavor, I’m sure. But the first thing I am realizing is that there is so much here that will end up in a landfill. This is painful. Stay tuned as I attempt to recycle as much as possible.
After some searching for where to recycle old paint, I see that it’s just not so easy. Latex paint and oil based paint are different. The oil based stuff, of which I have none, can be brought to Orange County, NY’s recycle EVENTS. This means a few times a year. Not ideal, and one has to sign up by a certain date, and bring it all to the site where the collection will be happening. In many cases this could mean that one need either borrow a friend’s truck, or maybe get together with neighbors, and pool resources to deliver the hazardous waste. No wonder I see things like car batteries sitting in people’s driveways. Scary stuff.
Meanwhile, for latex paint, they simply recommend that you dry it out, using “kitty litter”, and dump it in the regular trash. This is reminiscent of the battery recycling issue. What the hell are we doing to ourselves? It’s just too easy to think we would just buy more, and get “rid of” the stuff we don’t need. There is no “away” people, it’s all still right here in our water and our air and our soil. I love a brightly colored room as much as the next gal, but oh will I be thinking more than twice next time I consider painting.
Here is the PDF on latex paint disposal for Orange County, NY from the government website. Latex Paint Disposal
In my search for floss I found some that I thought was Eco friendly, and recyclable. I was wrong. This is vegan and the packaging is recyclable.
But the floss is still made of nylon, a petroleum product. It’s a nice attempt. But shreds easily anyway, and the last thing I want is to contribute to more “growth”
“Its success also encouraged DuPont’s management to adopt a long-term strategy of growth through products developed out of basic research.”
And on top of that, the floss inside the box also has a plastic bag around it. I understandwhy, but plastic kills birds, and sea life, gets into our air and water, and never biodegrades. It simply breaks down into tiny particles that then permeate everything everywhere.
So maybe the next thing I will try will be this stuff recommended by Rebecca Rockefeller’s blog.
… who knew toothbrushes used to be made from “animal bristles”, gross. I may resort to using my finger once my toothbrush is worn out …
Another month, another trash take out. It’s been a month since I have thrown out the trash. Here is what my trash looked like after that month. Please keep in mind that I have been throwing away MORE stuff in preparation for throwing away less stuff. Just been getting rid of things as they are no longer needed. Talk about more awareness. This particular brown bag got soaked with stuff so now I’m realizing I have to rinse out any box containers I throw away too like the soup and hazelnut milk ones.
I also realized that Ollie’s tennis balls are going to have to last longer. He tears them apart and I have to get new ones because we use the ones that squeak. These things are like Ollie crack. He cannot live without them. I’ve actually kept many of the ones he “used up”, but they are beginning to collect. I’ve used some on hooks to make the hooks less poky for my clothes and towels. But have not yet found many other uses for them. Feel free to make suggestions if you have any. The balls are small, about the size of a golf ball, and hollow with green felt on them.
Finally got my broken blow dryer to the only place that supposedly would recycle it. Specht’s Auto in Warwick, NY I say supposedly because when I brought it there, I also asked if they would recycle other stuff I am currently holding on to. They agreed to take my left over batteries, the alkaline ones that wouldn’t charge. But in the process of that conversation, through a cloud of cigarette smoke, I was told that they can be thrown into the trash. I suppose that is what is being done now. But I researched it last week, and what I was coming across was that a large number of batteries show not be thrown into the same trash container because it could actually explode from the heat they might create. I reluctantly left the batteries there since I knew I was not able to find another place to really recycle them anywhere near here. Driving 30+ miles to recycle some batteries may just be self defeating.
Next up, those energy saving light bulbs, the ones that contain mercury.
As of today, I have way too many batteries. I was so psyched to get my battery charger in the mail on Friday. It charges, rechargeable, alkaline and nimh batteries! It even charges those square 9 volts. So I’ve been a charging fool for several days straight now. I wish I had people to give those batteries to.
AND, I now have my very own deodorant waiting for me in the fridge. I’m really close to running out of my “natural” roll on, and will surely miss the nice scent, and the convenience of rolling it on. Looking forward to testing out the one I made today though with lavender and rosemary oils, coconut oil and baking soda, plus corn starch. Here is the recipe. I used the second one without shea butter since I have not yet had time to order that. Actually, today I placed an order for 3 kinds of butter from a place that says they are organic and fair trade. Looking forward to playing with these. They are cocoa, shea, and mango. Mmmm, making myself hungry. Here is a last minute dental container I found in my medicine cabinet holding my deodorant in the fridge till it gets solid.
This experiment began last week when I realized that the local waste pick up was no longer going to be picking up our leaf bags. It was basically the last straw in a series of factors leading to me taking this effort on in earnest. I checked with other companies who do trash pick up and “removal”, and every one was offering only alternatives that went in the other direction of picking up MORE trash, and MORE often. Since I was paying 27 bucks for the privilege of having my trash shifted out of my sight, I decided to forego it altogether.
But first, I had decided many months ago to eliminate plastic bags as my trash receptacles, as that was really the only use I still had for them. Plus, I was now on a committee of a local sustainability group to eliminate the unsightly plastic bags from our local town of Warwick, NY.
Over the last year and a half as I decided to become vegan, I realized that I now had so much less trash. At this point, I was using brown paper bags and a plastic bin they happen to fit perfectly into. As trash pick up day would come up, I’d see that my trash bag was not full at all, and that there was nothing in it, but packaging, so no smell either. Eventually, it became apparent that I could wait three weeks at a time before having a full trash bin.
Granted, I live alone, well not exactly alone, and my house mate is sadly not vegan. The upside is that his food comes in recyclable cans. Feel free to ask me why I’m vegan, but that is a somewhat separate conversation, which I am sure will resurface in the future of this blog.
So after un bagging my leaves, and contributing them to the mulch ditch I didn’t even realize was available right next to my house, I looked at some web sites and learned a bit more about “zero waste”. I first heard about that concept from Sustainable Warwick as well. Someone hosted a screening of Plastic Paradise at their home.
Sadly I didn’t make the screening, and am still looking forward to watching the film. But someone sendt an email to the group mentioning the idea. That gave me this idea. There were suggestions of making a film about it. But google is my friend, and I learned someone has already blazed that trail with the Clean Bin Project. Plus, I’m not a film maker … yet. But I do intend on seeing that film.
I called my trash hiders yesterday, and let them know I no longer needed them to hide my trash from my sight. It’s all an experiment, or did I say that already? So I will be focusing on reusing,recycling, and reducing as much as possible. If you have any pointers as my great friends on Facebook have had, please feel free to share them here. FOr now, I will be spending my time trying to use up all the things which are in non recyclable containers that are still in my house, while making sure anything else I buy doesn’t present the same result. Trash, your days are numbered!
The first thing to go was my Sensodine toothpaste. Here is my new toothpaste made from, you guessed it, coconut oil and baking powder in equal parts with a tiny bit of vanilla extract mixed in. YUM!