Friday, September 25, 2009

Recycling and Re-Useable Carry Bags

Do you recycle? Can you be bothered recycling? Do you consider recycling to be in the too hard basket? Do you think recycling doesn’t make any difference so why bother?

I bother, not because I worry about future generations, but because I am lazy and also hate to see waste. Why wheel the bins down the street, when I can use a compost bin and my chooks to get rid of waste. I don’t buy things in single serve packaging, I just can’t be bothered buying 10 of them. I would rather buy one large item and use as needed. Plus it’s cheaper! This method both saves money and also excessive plastic packaging of the individual items.

Aluminum cans in our house are recycled, the kids collect them and then we transport them to the local steel recyclers. This is their pocket money for Christmas presents. People say why bother? – I bother because it teaches my children responsibility. Responsibility for their actions (they have to work all year to achieve the desired result) and also that money doesn’t grow on trees.

Plastic bags are another bug bear of mine – not because I hate them – but for 20 years I have NEVER bought a plastic bag off the shelf – I have always used the bags from the supermarket shopping for the bin liners, for the school excursion trip, for the lunch that hubby takes to work. For the dirty pair of shoes that needs to be packed. Even for the dirty/wet washing that needs to be packed when holidaying.

Soon I am going to be forced to BUY (God forbid) plastic bags for the bin liners, for the dirty shoes for the wet and dirty washing. This goes against my grain.

The ‘Green’ bags that you see people carting to the supermarket are not actually that ‘green’ friendly. Each green bag is ‘worth’ 1.2 thin plastic bags, and we will still be reaching for bags to line the bins with, pack the dirty shoes etc.

Green bags are not what I consider to be recycling, simply because their manufacture actually involves the same problems, along with disposal when they wear out. And new material is being taken off the shelves to replace what was previously recycled!

I know of some families that will not serve food left-over from the night before’s meal. They would rather throw the food out than be seen to be eating left-overs. I consider this to be grossly wasteful and these people should be ashamed that they are wasting perfectly good food for the sake of vanity.

In our house left-overs are probably the best meal we can have. Often a meal of left-overs involves meals from 2 or 3 nights, which means there is a variety of food available and often food tastes far better the 2nd time round.

We use a freezer to preserve the left-overs until we need/want them. Sometimes it will be because only ½ the family is home and something pulled from the freezer is just the right size for 2 or 3 people, rather than cooking a whole new meal.

This not only saves money and food, but also energy costs which in turn saves more money. It is rare for our family to cook exactly the required amount. Often we have extra heads for a meal, often some family members can’t make it home. So the meal is considered a meal for ‘Ron’ – meaning later on and placed in the freezer.

A saying that has my grandmother used to use and I think goes back to the 2nd World War – “Waste not, want not” and it is something that I live by and something that I am proud say my children also believe in.

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