Casa Beebe

Earth Day ’12

Okay, a year or so ago I wrote a post about Earth Day. I talked about all the different things that people can do to help lessen their impact on the environment. I also mentioned a couple things that I wanted to do, but didn’t know if I could make that leap.

Being that Earth Day was this past week, I thought I’d revisit some of those ideas and see how the last year or so has developed.

One thing I wanted to do was to start composting. Composting is great for the garden. Gardeners call composted dirt “black gold” because it is SO full of nutrients and it is a great consistency for plant growth. I wasn’t sure if I could compost because everything I read about it sounded so technical.

There was all these rules about what to put in it, turning it, watering it, etc., etc. It just seemed like a huge hassle! Then a friend of mine told me that basically all she does is throw stuff in a big pile and let it do its thing. Huh. That didn’t sound so hard.

I didn’t want a big pile of debris in my yard, and I didn’t want to pay a couple hundred bucks for a composted at the garden supply store. I decided to just use a couple of big 50 gallon garbage cans we had hanging around. Chris drilled some holes in them to allow for water to escape and oxygen to get in there, along with bugs.

I put a stainless steel canister on my kitchen counter and nearly everything that is compostable from my kitchen, including paper towels, paper tea baggies and tea bags, coffee grounds, egg shells, fruit and vegetable peelings, ends, etc. goes into the canister. Ever few days (before it gets stinky and nasty) we take it out and dump it in one of the compost cans. That’s it. In the spring/summer the black soldier fly larvae hatch in there and they go town decomposing and composting the material at a rate you wouldn’t believe.

We also throw in yard clippings or other debris periodically, but most of our compost comes straight out of the kitchen. It is great to know that I am keeping SO much stuff out of the landfill and at the same time using it produce my own food.

I also talked about riding my bike more, which hasn’t happened. And I talked about recapturing rain water, which also hasn’t happened.

Another thing that has happened that I didn’t mention and didn’t know about at that time is reusable/resealable lunch bags. I wrote a post about these a while back, too. I can’t tell you how many plastic lunch bags I have kept out of the landfill in just the last several months since I have had these! I LOVE THEM! They wash easily in the dishwasher, are good sizes, and they keep plastic trash from the landfill. Love it! I also stopped using paper towels in lunch bags and bought cloth napkins.

Oh, I have started using fabric shopping bags, too. I found some huge ones at the dollar store and bought several. I take them to the grocery store almost every time. I even re-use my plastic produce bags from the grocery store. I save them and take them back the next time. I also use those in my stainless steel countertop compost bin. I have also taken to saving and reusing lunch meat containers and yogurt containers. They are great for packing lunches and for storing leftovers.

So, even though I haven’t started riding my bike or recaptured rainwater, I have made significant progress over the last couple years in reducing my environmental load. I am trying to be more creative and aware and reusing products as often as possible.

So, that is my update on my own personal efforts to celebrate the earth everyday and not just on earth day.

Do you have things you do to reduce your impact? Share with me in the comments!

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This entry was posted on May 1, 2012 by in composting, Earth Day, Recycling.
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