Blooming While Practicing Zero Waste

By Jannie Vaught

In this article, you will read about gardening, plants, seeds and such but today I would like to venture into another subject that is keeping me and many of us in small towns from “Blooming” and it is the closing of our much-needed recycling areas.

Ours closed and now I am overwhelmed with cardboard, aluminum cans, plastic milk bottles and the many other items that food and products come in. I know we need food to be safe and efficient to use in our homes. But the double packaging of a bag inside a box wrapped in plastic that takes a sharp knife and scissors to open is beyond all things necessary. Many of you know we are solar, and water collecting, gardening and seed savers, but the lack of this service has really caused much stress and concern as we fill the trash with items that can be remade into useful products. I am a Do It Yourself DIY person. If I can’t make it I find out how to and maybe who can help me learn. We choose what we buy regarding the packaging and content and often put it back as it simply will not work in our homestead life. Back not too many years ago there was this movement of ” Biodegradable” products that were produced to breakdown in compost or were burnable without toxic gas.

What happened to that?

It went to the money to recycle!

But now they don’t want it and it is Too Much waste and we are drowning in waste with an ocean full of plastic the size of a small continent.

What are we leaving for our children and grandchildren?

Now there is a movement called “Zero Waste” happening.

Using glass jars that can be used over and over and cleaned safely, reusable grocery bags made of feed bags and netting for vegetables and fruit. Steel water bottles and coffee cups made of natural products. My daughter has a stainless steel straw with a little brush to clean it to use in her cold drinks!Disposable plates made of cornstarch or palm leaves. I do not use plastic silverware. I have a small cloth napkin in which I wrap my silverware and keep it in my car for use plus a cloth napkin if I get messy. I try and purchase “Real leather shoes” ones that I can oil and clean and resole or better quality that lasts for many years, not just one month!

It is all in taking time to pay attention to what I’m purchasing and what happens to it after it leaves my hands. And when I make my own items find them to last longer and I have plenty to last. So as a community how can we be less wasteful and as a consumer can we be more observant? A suggested internet site I find helpful is great ideas, but too pricey for me so I figure out how to make my own, I’ve become very good at the cotton cloth dipped in beeswax instead of plastic, used on glass or metal pans for storage and sandwich wrapping even to cover a liquid.

It’s all up to us now!

Let’s leave our kids a healthy earth one idea at a time.

Growing green with Jannie