The Down and Dirty on my Garbage


This month I’ve been focusing on reducing waste in the kitchen as I read through Zero Waste Home. While I’ve made great strides, I’ve also hit several road blocks.

First, I can’t find a place to buy package-free bulk. Each week this month I’ve explored a new store with my mesh produce bags and my canvas bulk bags. After exhausting all of my options (small town, I know) the only bulk, package free products I can find are coffee and soap.  Although I’m disappointed, there is encouragement in this cool info-graphic that states that if Americans bought their coffee in bulk bins for one month, then 20,000,000 lbs. of foil packaging would be saved from landfills.

Second, the City of Abilene only accepts #1 and #2 plastics for recycling. Yikes! This creates a cycle of only being able to find packaged products, then not being able to recycle the packaging.  On a positive note, Ian loves getting “toys” out of the recycling bins.


My solution for now is to do my very best to buy products sold in cardboard, glass, and biodegradable bags.  I’m also committing to cut out pre-prepared frozen veggies and fruits and freeze my own when they are in season (and on sale).  In addition, any #3-7 plastics that we cannot avoid will be saved and recycled when we travel to a city that has recycling in place.

Another road block comes in the form of composting. While we have a robust composting system, we also have a healthy team of rodents waiting at the ready for a midnight snack.  We have a closed composter and a ruthless cat, but composting meat scraps is not an option for us. When you’ve had an invasion of rats the size of opossums (plus a opossum invasion), you’ll do anything you can to not ever have one again!  In order to reduce kitchen waste that cannot be recycled, we are reducing the amount of meat we consume each week. Tasty composting scraps with a healthy side of dryer lint went into the bin today.

photo-7I’m open to learning about more resources in my area as I continue on this journey.   My number one resource for package-free food right now seems to be in my own backyard.



One thought on “The Down and Dirty on my Garbage

  1. Eek on the rats!
    We use cloth bags at the grocery store but I hadn’t thought of using our own bags for bulk and produce. I’ll have to look into that.
    Also, Ian is a fantastic name! 😉 My Ian also loves to play with the most random things.

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