Every day is Earth day…


And did you know that every Earth Day has a theme? According to earthday.org, this year’s theme is “Invest In Our Planet.” The mission is simple, “Get Inspired. Take Action. Be a part of the green revolution.”

So mostly to just feel like I’m taking action for the stewardship of this earth, last month I ordered a Zero Waste Box from TerraCycle for the food packaging waste that is 90% of our garbage. The company has recycling boxes for just about anything—beauty products, garage waste, batteries, drink bottles, styrofoam… You can check out their website here: https://www.terracycle.com/en-US/.

Our small rural recycling center is limited. They take only 1 & 2 plastics, tin cans, cardboard, and paper. No glass. No aluminum. We save the glass and make quarterly trips into a glass recycling place run by the Pennsylvania Resource Council. We bag up the aluminum and give it separately to the guys who drive our garbage truck. They told Mr. H.C. that they kept it separate and sell it to an aluminum buyer. We were desperate, so we believe them. I guess. Cardboard and paper we either burn or shred and use in the garden as mulch. Food scraps are composted. So that left food packaging, meat scraps, and 3 through 7 plastics that went into our garbage bags. Oh, and kitty litter. (If anyone has any good ideas on how to environmentally dispose of kitty litter, please tell me.)

I bought the Zero Waste Box because I was just disgusted at the amount of food packaging waste we had. Mr. H.C. was unhappy about the high price of the box. I get it. It was more than I would normally spend, so I told him it was an experiment. But at some point, we consumers have to admit that we are complicit in greenhouse gas emissions. Of course, the big oil and gas companies are the worst offenders, but “…45% of global greenhouse gas emissions comes solely from the production of things we use and buy every day.” That quote is from an article “How Buying Stuff Drives Climate Change” by Renee Cho. Here in rich first-world-America we are really guilty: yes, I’m trying to make you feel guilty and think about all that stuff you put in the trash. Think about where it ends up. And our grocery store shelves are filled with food wrapped in plastic and cellophane. We’d better start taking responsibility for it, hadn’t we?

I paid $124 for the small Zero Waste Box that is 11″ x 11″ x 20″. I’ve been cramming stuff in for 7 weeks now, and it is almost full. If I really wanted to, I could dump it out and compress the stuff down a little more and maybe get 8 weeks. That is $15.50/week, and the return mailing is post paid. That doesn’t seem outrageous to me. But even better, our local library has a similar box in their front lobby where I’m going to be taking my stuff after this box is full. They are collecting plastics to be made into an outside bench.

Consider what else you can do to “invest in our planet.” And if you have to pay a little bit more, then consider it your “tax” for earth stewardship. I’ve also recently given up buying plastic baggies. I tried it one other time with some wax covered cloths and bags and they kind of worked for awhile, but I needed large bags for freezing breads, so I succumbed. But this time, I’ve found the answer, I think. These are compostable, and they work in the freezer too. And when I finish with my Finish Powerball Quantum Dishwasher pods, I’m going to be trying out the no-waste packaging of Dropps Dishwasher Pods.

Here’s your Earth Month challenge: Do something to make a difference, and tell me about it in your comments. It can be planting trees, planting a garden, making your own toothpaste, laundry soap, deodorant, face cream. It could be carrying your own silverware around so you don’t have to use plastic utensils. It can be seeming like a weirdo to the check out people at Walmart when you say, “Could you please put everything in this bag? I’m trying to cut down on my plastic use.” The last two times I’ve done this, I’ve actually come away pleased that I started a good conversation about it.

And I’m working on that kitty litter…

7 thoughts on “Every day is Earth day…

  1. We bring our own leftover containers every time we go out to eat. Good for the planet, and it saves the restaurant money too (until the next customer, but we’re trying).
    Also I bought some pretty metal straws that we take with us when we go out. It’s actually much more fun to drink your beverage from a chilled metal straw than plastic anyway.
    We use Cleancult Dishwasher pods, which come in a cardboard box. We find that they clean well too.
    Every little bit makes a difference!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. We definitely haven’t found any good way to do the kitty litter thing. I use the beeswax cloths, netting bags and have the compostable wrap. I bring the netting bags and my own bags to the grocery store and never bring home any plastic from there. We don’t eat out or do take out so can’t cut down much there. Our biggest switch has been to a hybrid vehicle and I love seeing the E light on. It’s a Lexus so runs off of the power it produces and not electricity. Bernie

    Liked by 1 person

    • We are doing research on a hybrid. Our new garage is ready for a plug-in, but our 2018 Subaru still has many good miles left. We are hoping another year or two will make the new EVs or hybrids even better….


  3. We have an advantage, because we are decidedly rural. We compost all organic matter (which we mix with chicken manure in the composters, for that extra zip in the garden.) Local recycling is a joke–but they’re good on glass and metals. We minimize anything that comes in plastic. And we plant trees. Hundreds of trees. Every year.

    Liked by 1 person

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