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Decreasing Disposables in December

“Can you recycle this here?” (Holding up a massive can from gravy)


“I could recycle, but just throw it away.”

[conversation between two aunts overheard at family Thanksgiving ]

Me? I couldn’t even throw away the two graham crackers left on the plate with my appetizer dip and felt totally guilty using a new plastic fork for dessert after my plate was inadvertently cleared.

DDD button

The aunts in question would have simply had to take the can upstairs to the garage. I get it, really, I do, because I’m an incredibly lazy person at heart. Sometimes it takes great effort to turn my will toward doing all the things I know I need to be doing. Sometimes I throw away things that could be recycled, too, especially little pieces of paper and plastic baggies. It seems too much effort to get it all the way to the garage…and those are “losing words” that won’t accomplish anything, I know.

We are all called to do what we can with the energy we’ve been given. Some days, I really don’t think God is calling me to rinse out and recycle every plastic bag. It would make me too crabby. I hope I’m not the only one like that! This series is as much to give myself a kick in the pants as it is for you.

It is the perfect time of year to tackle the issue of waste, although the issue of “waist” is also appropriate!

Between Thanksgiving and Christmas, America’s waste increases 25% (and our collective waist…?). We waste a ton. In fact, a million EXTRA tons per week. Parties, cards, wrapping paper…it all adds up to a lot of garbage.

I’ve been impressed since I entered the blogosphere with some folks’ commitment to reducing their waste. Beth of Fake Plastic Fish is an admirable example:  here is a list of all the plastic she’s stopped using over the years. I won’t ever attain such low waste status, and I’m okay with that. I’d like to continue improving though, and I think the Lord would like me to as well.

What might you need to cut down on in the garbage field? If nothing else, may this series challenge you to increase your consciousness of the effects of our actions and your dislike of unnecessary waste. It nearly gives me a heart attack when I see someone rampantly wasting raw materials. I wish those same palpitations on you. 😉

Here are some topics we’ll cover this month:

Unless otherwise credited, photos are owned by the author or used with a license from Canva or Deposit Photos.

11 thoughts on “Decreasing Disposables in December”

  1. Pingback: Kids Cook Real Food/Kitchen Stewardship – Anne Pinney

  2. Pingback: 5-Day Challenge: Take the Trash Challenge | Green Your Way

  3. i appreciate you doing this. we gave up paper towels/napkins last year and never looked back. we even manage to do our parties without disposables–that’s what the dishwasher is for! plus, it’s just nicer to drink out of a real glass:)
    .-= suzannah´s last blog ..sunny day, sweeping the clouds away =-.

  4. I have missed you! I have been so busy with school I have been kind og ignoring my subscription messages, but this one caught my eye and I had to come read more! I am in Asia right now going crazy because they burn garbage, even plastics, everywhere! I am hoping to kind of implement a new recycling program at school 🙂 Wish me luck and keep up the good work!

    1. Kissy,
      Awww, it’s good to have you “back” (although you’re awfully far away!). Kanmuri talks about the awful waste in Japan at this post, too – sounds like Asia needs an eco-overhaul! You, too, keep up the good work. 🙂 Katie

  5. Emily @ Live Renewed

    Looking forward to this series! I have done a lot around our house over the past year to reduce our waste. I think it’s kind of like a snowball effect – once you make a small change in one area, you start thinking about all of the other areas you can make changes in. I would love to see if I can find even more ways to stop throwing things away!

  6. I stack my recyclables near the door, because it’s just too much effort to get them to the final destination (8 feet past the door, on our front porch). I think making something convenient goes a long way toward making it happen. have you considered buckets/bins in the kitchen for paper and containers? When it’s full you can make the trek, saving quite a few round trips.

    1. Amy,
      I know, you are so right. The terrible thing? My garage is RIGHT off the kitchen. It’s just a matter of opening that door. Silly, really, but we are lazy beings at heart sometimes! Good tips for others though!
      🙂 Katie

  7. Living in Japan is a nightmare when it comes to waste. They have a long tradition of wrapping stuff in 3 or 4 layers of plastic and paper. So if I buy a bag of cookies, I have the bag, another transparent plastic wrapper inside and all the cookies are wrapped individually inside. Most of the veggies at the supermarket are wrapped in plastic. Sometimes you’ll have one carrot, ONE, in a plastic bag. Same goes for the quarter of lettuce, the three potatoes. Waste, waste, waste!

    I usually try to avoid all this wrapping, but here you always end up buying something wrapped in three layers of plastic.
    .-= kanmuri´s last blog ..Because bad driving is the road to Hell =-.

    1. Kanmuri,
      Wow. That is really eye-opening. I so appreciate the international perspective you bring us!

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