paper or plastic

Is it weird to say I’m getting really annoyed at throwing
things away? 
Yes, I’m cleaning out too (and donating), but I’m getting
annoyed that all my trash just goes into the trash can.  It was probably one of the first points of
contention in our home after we got home from the honeymoon.  
I knew Chris was not a recycler.  But, it was different before we got married; he had his rules at his
house and I had my rules at my house. I could
recycle at mine and they could do whatever they wanted in boy land on
Buckhead.  But now that our home is the
same home, I want to recycle. (yes, I realize the silliness that this sounds
like a temper tantrum) 
Lucky for him, the full dilemma does not fall on his
shoulders; my new town does not provide the ease of recycling of my previous city.
Not to worry, I’ve come from the place where you have to do
your own diligence to get the right things to the right bins, and I’ve been
known to make a Saturday trip to the city recycling bins part of my weekly
But, now that I’ve done the research and really know that’s
the only option, I’m kinda sad.  There
are still a ton of things that I just throw away.  Not only are our trash bins beyond over
flowing each week, I’m afraid I’m becoming a statistic.
This month, the Northwest Arkansas Bloggers are focusing on
the ENVIRONMENT in their monthly #NWArkCares campaign and it gave me the
perfect platform to share my rant. 
We seriously take out a bag of garbage every single
night.  And twice on the weekends.  (smh)
Things it makes me
most sad to throw away:

  • packaging trash – with wedding presents galore and buying
    new things to set up our home, I feel like all I do is cut tags off new things
    and pull protective card board off corners. So much of that used to go in the
    big black bin in my garage, the recycling one.  

  • walmart sacks – yes, I have one of those things that you
    can shove bags into to store and reuse. But after 5 weeks, it’s already full to over
    flowing…you can only keep so many plastic grocery baggies….

  • water bottles – my Chris loves to have something to drink
    in the car.  And, you can’t blame
    him.  He is way better at getting his
    daily water intake than I am, but we have water bottles all the time. And, all the other bottles – my naked juice, milk, condiments, so…many…things.

  • boxes – we’ve been pretty good about getting this to spaces
    where they can be crushed, but I have boxes of every size.  And, it apparently takes the biggest box in
    the distribution center to mail one throw pillow.  I
    know there are good reasons why there is so much empty air space in those
    boxes and I’m sure Mr. UPS and Miss FedEx are thankful!  (If you work for Amazon and are
    reading this, could you get me the answer…seriously it baffles my mind with
    every delivery)

My love and I are going to take a field trip to the
“recycling center” in our community. 
Word is its on the property of the county jail (that’s why I’m taking my
hulky hero with me the first time!).  I’m
curious what drop off will be like so I can get me the proper bins to haul it
out there.
In the meantime, anybody have any cool ideas for “pretty”
ways to keep a recycle can beside our trash can and it not look like trash city in the kitchen?  Wondering if we can add in the extra steps to
make it all happen in the garage.  Or, do you have tips for getting your hubby on board with recycling and changing habits?

This post is part of the #NWArkCares series by the
Northwest Arkansas Bloggers group. To view other posts, visit the Northwest
Arkansas Bloggers Pinterest Board or follow #NWArkCares through social media.

18 thoughts on “paper or plastic

  1. I still fight this battle quite a bit, however it has gotten so much better. A few years ago, I put a full-size kitchen trash can next to the regular trash for the things that can go in the bin on the curb. My thinking was and is–make recycling as easy as throwing something away. I am happy to say that it gets fuller faster than the trash, and that we don't even put our garbage out every week because we have so little trash now. It may not be pretty, but it is convenient which I think is main hangup for guys and recycling. Now the things that we butt heads on is all of the recyclables that I collect in the garage. When there's enough of them to mail I send them off to TerraCycle.

  2. We keep ours in the laundry room, between the kitchen and the garage, but I still catch Nathan throwing paper into the trash. I wish we could have two bins in the kitchen too, but don't think we have the space.

    I'm just so excited we have curbside recycling pick up. I've never lived somewhere that did that and it makes it SO much easier.

  3. We have three big, stackable bins in the garage (so only vertical space is taken up). They are for paper, plastic, and glass/tin. It's the norm for our family to put recyclables there. I like that they're big, because then we only have to take them to the recycle center about once every couple of weeks or so. And yes, it cuts way down on trash. Habits are certainly a big deal in marriage. I grew up recycling (thanks, Mom) and with recycle centers at the local grocery stores, so I'm used to it.

  4. girls, this is great. I always had 2 black bins in my kitchen in Rogers. One was trash and one was recycling. Kept me from always making the trip to the garage. We don't have curbside pick up in my new town…its why I'm having to find a new routine!

  5. We keep. We're too tight even to let the recyclers have most of it. Ha!
    Our attic is storage for small, cute boxes that will make good gift boxes.
    We shred many types of paper for garden mulch, since our ever-present armadillos seem to go around it a bit. Yay! Nothing like falling through the ground in the ROSES because of a secret tunnel under them. You get full of scratches and roses die.
    We keep WalMart bags. When one bag is full of zillions of its buddies, it goes to the basement or attic for use as stuffing when we need to move (for the 16th time?) or mail something. Hey, it works.
    I also made a beanbag chair for a grandson, once, and stuffed it with WalMart bags. Kinda fun feeling to know where they all went.
    We only buy water and other drinks in small bottles when we are traveling. Then we reuse them by washing and refilling them for our daily use. We filter tap water using a Brita or else a Berkey.
    And last, but not least, the really huge boxes get flattend through the year and used under garden mulch to block weeds. Works, again. Also seems to confuse the fire ants. Yay.

    1. Lots of good ideas. You are better about organized spaces than me. Somewhere between cleaning out my grandparents and my moms house, I'm not as good at holding on to things these days

  6. I am thinking about Periscoping about TerraCycle and what I send in to them, etc. I will post in #NWARKCares about it.

    Rachel, I am interested in how you knit/crochet the plastic bags together. I have a lot of them ready to take back to walmart, but that is interesting….

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