Yesterday, as I was taking my trash out, I noted that for the first time, we only needed to leave one can at the curb.
That is huge, given that I had company over the weekend and that we have a little one in diapers (who happens to be at home this week, generating even more trash).
What made the difference? Recycling.
Sure, I’ve done curbside recycling for years, but the difference is now that I’ve stepped it up beyond the cans, newspapers and plastic soda bottles I used to save. I’ve recently located a drop-off point close to my home where I can get rid of old magazines that I can’t take to the hospital, office papers that have been reused as coloring sheets, cardboard boxes and even the paperboard that wraps all of those food items that require a little less preparation after a busy day at work. I couldn’t believe the difference it made.
The difference is also in my home, I’m sorry to admit. I have a stack of cardboard boxes, flattened, and three bags of paper that I’m trying to keep the toddler out of before my next run.
I also have diaper-size boxes of hand-me-downs, assigned to various people and organizations, and boxes of things that I’m hanging on to so I can donate the next time I’m at Fresh Start.
And while I’m not a Martha Stewart by nature, I’m beginning to wonder: Have our homes, in our attempt to be more environmentally aware, become the new landfills? Is clutter the cost of conservation and recycling?