#CTWW Challenge – National Zero Waste Week

Originally at Simple is Working – 9/7/11

This Week’s #CTWW Challenge:

The second phase of National Zero Waste Week is all about updating everyone on how the commitment we made last week is working out. Here you go:

This week we want to know how it’s going. Please visit the National Zero Waste Week site HERE and leave a comment about how your committed efforts have worked out. If you write an article about it, be sure to leave the link. Once you’re done, come back here and tell us as well. The idea, here, is to talk about what worked, what didn’t, etc. so that everyone can learn the most effective ways to reduce waste away from home.

Zero Waste – this is a difficult one for us, because we have done much of this for a while. Waste equals extra money spent and we are very frugal, especially now that we are on a fixed income.  We both are home full-time and really don’t go that many places, so the opportunity to have more waste is less.  When we do go out, we usually have several stops planned and take the most efficient route possible for the least amount of mileage/backtracking.

We have been recycling for a long time (we sort out everything that we can or are allowed to recycle at the town transfer station recycling is free, trash bags cost $1.25 each, so we have financial incentive to recycle), compost what we can – helps the garden, I am the human composter that has leftovers the next day and the next day and the next day :), eating reasonable portions and then doggy bagging the rest when we go out to eat – very seldom.

I use a BPA-free CamelBack “sippy cup (bite valve)” to drink coffee, I find it much safer when working around my computer or driving, this way I don’t wear it or spill coffee on my Mac. Make coffee at home, before going anywhere when we want coffee, so we don’t stop at the store to get coffee and be tempted by “other” breakfast alternatives (this means getting up a little earlier).  Also many small convenience stores will let you re-fill your cup and charge you for a small – nice for when I do travel.

We have some waste but very little and rinse or wash non-recyclable items (and recyclable too) before putting them in the garbage and hold them in the shed between trips.  So we go a little longer between trips to the transfer station – when garbage is clean it doesn’t stink.  If throwing something that will stink, usually put in plastic bag or recycled baggies kept just for this purpose.  This reduces traveling in the truck, which only gets around 15 mpg.

I don’t know if this is exactly what the challenge was, but that is an update of our efforts to avoid waste, when possible.