Hey folks! I thought I would talk about something today that is near and dear to my heart, though I don't talk about it much, if ever: recycling. Well, that and composting. They kind of go hand-in-hand, if you think about it. Buckle up...
I've been meaning to write a post about recycling for awhile. Though it may surprise you (or not), I'm not one of those people who jumps on board the recycling band wagon just to fill up post space around Earth Day. I'm a hardcore hippie. (Well, maybe not, but for all intents and purposes in this case, let's just go with that!) I have found recycling fascinating since I first learned about it in school. Sadly, back in those times, it was still a somewhat foreign concept and not a widely made practice like it is (for the most part) nowadays.
Why do I find recycling so interesting? First of all, I've always been a nature lover. That love has grown into many more things that I find so exciting as an adult: hiking, growing my own food, feeding my leftovers to our chickens, recycling, etc. Being a nature lover, I naturally want to help out Mother Earth as much as possible so that she “keeps on trucking” for a long time after I'm gone for future generations. Recycling is one of the more obvious/well known ways to help Mother Nature out.
As we're all aware, making products (especially packaging!) takes a lot of resources from the Earth. If you don't already know, you can read some alarming statistics HERE about how much waste (that could be recycled) we make each year, how much energy it costs to make the original products with and without the recycled goods, etc. Kind of hard to believe, right? So why wouldn't we do something relatively easy to help keep our Earth cleaner and more sustainable for future generations? If you're not sure where your local recycling center is, try searching for both trash AND recycling in your county of residence. You should be able to come up with something!
You know what else Americans waste a ridiculous amount of? Food! You know what's extra sad about this? A lot of it could be used for other things! Besides recycling the packaging, of course (see above. Ha ha), you can save food scraps and start a compost pile! Which in turn helps your garden out, and by you growing more of your own food you're not buying as much (less packaging used), you're more likely to eat it (since you grew it yourself), AND less gas you're using to drive to the store! It's a win-win-win-win situation. That's a lot of winning. (Charlie Sheen would be so proud. Ha!)
You can compost all sorts of things and it shouldn't be as intimidating as some people make it seem. As long as you have a good ratio of brown matter (cardboard, fruit waste, leaves, newspaper, etc.) to green matter (grass clippings, coffee grounds, weeds, livestock manure, food waste, etc) you should be good; roughly a 25-30:1 ratio. As far as food waste goes, if it's a whole food of some sort (i.e. fruits, veggies, eggs), you can probably compost the “waste”. Pretty cool, right?