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Archive for the ‘Eco-friendly’ Category

I have to admit when I moved to the West Coast, I readily told people I didn’t believe in recycling. This is like being in South and saying you don’t believe in Creationism. The reactions weren’t good, suffice to say.

When I got my first job, I zipped through cleaning up my inherited office by throwing almost everything right into the trash can. My office mate, also new, dutifully followed behind me like an aftershock, opening shrink-wrapped instruction books to sort into paper and plastic recycling, removing CDs from their paper (recyclable) wrappers, and compacting the little trash he had left into a tidy pile. I thought this was very silly and told him so, but I was in Canada now and people are much too polite to contradict you. They just follow apologetically after you, move things into the blue bin.

I was finally moved to recycle when I was asked to vote for a video by a local elementary school in a Green Competition to win $50K. The school wanted to recycle their soft plastics, since they already recycled or composted everything else, and made a video about their successful efforts.

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Soft plastic is probably the majority of what you through away at home — styrofoam, foil-lined wrappers, milk cartons, plastic bags … things like that. And as a new home owner, I my trash habits were not going to be good on the wallet. We are charged $5 per bag over our one tiny trash can per week limit. With 4 adults, 3 chickens, 2 dogs, and 4 cats living in our house … it was time to recycle. Plus, if a place as bureaucratic as a public elementary school can reduce their trash to one bag a week … then my comparably tiny household should be able to do it too.

So I looked up the program that McTavish elementary used, called Pacific Mobile Depot. The come to your community center or school once a month, you give them all your junk, and it doesn’t go into a landfill. Brilliant!

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This is two month’s worth of soft plastic, really compressed. I have a small bin under the sink to collect it as I go, then move it out on to this big bin on the deck.

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The puppies went with me to take it to my community center on my designated weekend. I setup a reminder in google calendar to tell me when its my week again.

Recyling is good

I got there right when it opened, and it was very busy. It’s always busy. For just $2, I get to recycle all this stuff. Cheap and eco-friendly. And even a 5th grader can do it.

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Solar Dryer

If you’re shopping this year for a clothes line, you will find that the simple string and clothespins of yesteryear have been replaced with $25 version called a “retractable solar dryer”

Solar Dryer

I of course just hung some yellow rope outside and called it a day. Sun dried clothes smell yummy!

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Lawn mower advice

We have no lawn mower, and it’s starting to look like a jungle out there. Well, a selective jungle … as we have about 15 different types of green stuff growing out there, all at different heights, posing as a lawn. Moss has invaded at least half it, and frankly, I’d much rather have a moss lawn!

Anyway, that is not the state of things. So lawn mowers. I saw an ad for a Push Reel Mower for 149.99.

At first I thought this sounded like a good idea. I hate operating things with motors (including the car, power tools, etc) so this sounded like my way to mow the grass. It really doesn’t seem that heavy, and our giant .15 acre city lawn is actually apparently microscopic and the right size for one of these things. Unfortunately, if you don’t mow every week … it’s a apparently a nightmare.

I am not really a lawn person. Now, I will never neglect the chickens, or forget to water the tomatoes, but cut the lawn? Isn’t that supposed to be a once a month activity?

What do you think? Spend another $100 on a entry level gas or electric mower? Or be eco-friendly, cheap, and indulge my motor-phobic ways?

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