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I'm curious... What's the best change you made that reduced your garbage?

 
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Location: North FL, in the high sandhills
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Agreed!

Anything you can build with, like wood or steel, tools, and highly reliable vintage appliances, tractors, and the like aren't going anywhere in my world.

I think a major part of that old timers wisdom was the 5 year window.

Probably gives you a more accurate "scan" and more data on what to do, or not do  with things.
 
Posts: 296
Location: New England
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I wanted to stop buying fabric conditioner sheets, because I rarely used them. After some thought, I bought a bottle of liquid fabric softener, which lives in my laundry room. When I want such a thing, about 1x a year or so, I soak a washcloth with the fabric conditioner and throw it into the dryer with the damp, clean whatever. Works. No waste, except the bottle -- but they last a long, long time at this rate.
 
Posts: 57
Location: Urban Central Scotland (Stirling)
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Melissa Bee wrote:I've done so many of the reduce-reuse-recycle-refuse things others here have mentioned, so I won't repeat them. And I got to the point where I was producing only one small bag of household trash every week--like a plastic grocery bag, with plenty of space left to tie the handles together.

But the one major trash issue that remained was cat litter. I'm a cat lady, and I also foster, so even though my 33-gallon garbage can was only half- to two-thirds full every week, most of that was litter.

I had already shifted over to pine pellet litter, and had, through trial and error, figured out the minimum amount I could put in each box. There is no need to put 2" of litter in a box; a regular-sized box in my household gets one repurposed Starbucks Venti cup of litter, and the extra-large boxes made from huge storage bins get 1-1/2. Pine pellet litter expands as soon as it gets wet, and before long the cats have plenty of fluffy sawdust to absorb pee and cover their poop. I scoop poop every day, remove any saturated sawdust, and add a handful or two of new pellets to "top off" the box.

So while I had done my best to reduce the amount of outgoing litter, there was still a lot of it, and I was still putting it out with the trash. But this year, I decided to start composting the sawdust (I'm still throwing away the poop) for use on the ornamental plantings out front--and now I have practically no trash. It would now take me over a month to fill my 33-gallon can, and about half of that is cat poop.

With my current setup, I can't get a compost pile hot enough, and I don't have space to let humanure-type bins sit for a couple of years, so I can't safely compost the poop. But in my next place I'll have more space, and come up with something better. And with no stinky cat waste in my garbage, I'll be able to forego curbside collection altogether, instead holding my mostly-clean garbage in cans and making semiannual trips to the dump (where I can also offload recycling).




I know this is an old post, but I'm really interested in hearing more about how you composted the cat litter. We've just moved our 10 year old cat who was allowed to go outside and dig his own toilet to a home where he's now an indoor cat. The volume of waste from the litter is overwhelming. The best litter we've been able to find/afford (there's some corn-based stuff that we haven't tried) is wood-based, seemingly industrial scraps.
Do you compost the soggy litter as well or put that in the bin? Do you compost the rest in your main compost or have you created a separate compost bin/area for this? I see you said that you use it for ornamentals only- is this because of possible fecal contamination or another reason? Thank you!
 
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got water filter, yippy yahoo, good water
no more plastic bottles to buy or show away
 
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Does buying a lathe count?  Before having a lathe, I had a lot of wood that went out the door. Okay, it still goes out the door, but, now, it looks different.  On that, I confess to being a litterer. That is, I throw small turnings out along foot paths and places kids wait for the bus.  I know they are good about caring for earth and pick up all that litter for me (because they never leave any behind).

The foregoing question and admissions aside, I'd say investing in a good water filter can go a long way to reducing the problem of trying to get away from nasty community water.  It may take years to pay for itself, but the taste improvements are instant.  (So what Bruce said)

 
pollinator
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Brandi Lee, Composting Pet Waste:  In Canada you can actually purchase purpose made pet waste composters, I not sure something similar is available in the UK.  https://store.bokashicycle.com/bpcfs
"Disposing of pet waste is a problem.  You can now reduce the risk of contaminating ground water, turn pet waste into something useful, and feel good about keeping the waste out of the landfill and garbage can.

Fill the fermenter about 1/2 full with water.  Add a cup of accelerant and a sprinkle of powder to the fermenter.  Then scoop the waste into the fermenter and close it up.  The microbes will kill pathogens, break down the waste, and eliminate most of the odors efficiently.  Pour the end product into a trench, mix it with soil and cover over the top and leave it alone for a week.  You will have rich soil for your ornamental garden plants.

Contents include:

2 - 3.5 gallon Bokashi Pet Cycle fermenters (completely assembled)
2 - anaerobic locking lids to exclude oxygen while the waste is processing
3 - 400 gram Bokashi culture mix bags
1 - Bokashi dispenser
1 - gallon Bokashi Accelerant Concentrate
1 - Spritz bottle for diluted accelerant
1 - Flyer booklet Complete instructions"


The key is to use compostable litter such as one made from sawdust pellets, old newspaper or plain old garden soil.  Composted cat litter/feces ABSOLUTELY CANNOT BE SAFELY USED IN AN EDIBLE GARDEN this says unless composted for 18 mths, but in my opinion, it is not worth the risk.

"How to compost cat litter?

Below, you can find some simple steps to help you get started. Bear in mind that not all cat litters are compostable. However, all litters in our Go Natural! product line can be composted.

1) Add a layer of sawdust, soil or leaves at the bottom of your compost bin.
2) Add a layer of used cat litter
3) Cover the cat litter with a one-inch layer of sawdust, soil, or leaves.
4) Repeat this process and feel free to add other compostable materials such as fruit or vegetable waste.
5) Make sure to aerate your compost regularly.
6) After about 6 months to a year, your compost is ready for use on non-edible plants.

IMPORTANT: If you want to use your composted cat litter as a fertilizer for edible crops, leave cat waste to compost for at least 18 months to eliminate the risk of E. coli, tapeworm and toxoplasmosis contaminating your crops."
  https://catit.co.uk/how-do-i-compost-cat-litter/

"Choose a kitty litter made of natural materials that break down and return to the earth. Look for ingredients such as recycled compressed paper, wood shavings, corn, grass seed, pine, wheat, and sawdust. Most biodegradable cat litter is made of various plant-based products and can be more expensive than grocery store litter. Keep in mind that many of those mainstream cat litters contain silica dust, which has been found to cause upper respiratory infections in humans. Also, avoid litters that contain sodium bentonite (clay) or fragrances. These materials are harmful to both cats and the environment due to their extraction methods and use of chemicals. "  https://www.treehugger.com/dispose-of-cat-litter-the-green-way-5025649  

"D. Hill and J. P. Dubey in a Wiley Online Library paper on  "Toxoplasma gondi transmission, diagnosis and prevention" make the point that the socio-economic impact of toxoplasmosis in human suffering and the cost of care of sick children, especially those with mental retardation and blindness, are enormous.  Do not dismiss these risks just because you have a kept cats for years.

While with the use of the right method and the correct  precautions  cat faeces and litter can be  hot  composted, I would strongly advise against putting cat faeces in a wormery as  it has been shown that  earthworms can transmit T. gondii infection to birds. At this stage it appears that oocysts present in the alimentary tracts of the worms are responsible for these infections when the worms are eaten by birds so there is a possibility that the parasite may be excreted in the worm casts.

Please do not skip the hazard and precaution sections as there are risks involved with all faeces and suitable control measures are necessary.

Under normal conditions the  sporulated oocysts can survive a year or more  in the soil or sand (cats like to deposit samples in sand pits).

However hot composting at 60°C will reduce  most pathogens  to  safe levels within an  hour and will kill T. gondi  which means that  the faeces from cats who use a litter tray can be composted provided the compostable  cat litter is used   together with Hot composting where 60C is maintained for a sufficient period to kill the parasite."
 http://www.carryoncomposting.com/142941462

Here is another link:  https://www.the-compost-gardener.com/composting-pet-waste.html

Hope this helps.
 
Brandi Lee Lough Dennell
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Lorinne Anderson wrote:Brandi Lee, Composting Pet Waste:  In Canada you can actually purchase purpose made pet waste composters, I not sure something similar is available in the UK.  https://store.bokashicycle.com/bpcfs
"Disposing of pet waste is a problem.  You can now reduce the risk of contaminating ground water, turn pet waste into something useful, and feel good about keeping the waste out of the landfill and garbage can.

Fill the fermenter about 1/2 full with water.  Add a cup of accelerant and a sprinkle of powder to the fermenter.  Then scoop the waste into the fermenter and close it up.  The microbes will kill pathogens, break down the waste, and eliminate most of the odors efficiently.  Pour the end product into a trench, mix it with soil and cover over the top and leave it alone for a week.  You will have rich soil for your ornamental garden plants.

Contents include:

2 - 3.5 gallon Bokashi Pet Cycle fermenters (completely assembled)
2 - anaerobic locking lids to exclude oxygen while the waste is processing
3 - 400 gram Bokashi culture mix bags
1 - Bokashi dispenser
1 - gallon Bokashi Accelerant Concentrate
1 - Spritz bottle for diluted accelerant
1 - Flyer booklet Complete instructions"


The key is to use compostable litter such as one made from sawdust pellets, old newspaper or plain old garden soil.  Composted cat litter/feces ABSOLUTELY CANNOT BE SAFELY USED IN AN EDIBLE GARDEN this says unless composted for 18 mths, but in my opinion, it is not worth the risk.

"How to compost cat litter?

Below, you can find some simple steps to help you get started. Bear in mind that not all cat litters are compostable. However, all litters in our Go Natural! product line can be composted.

1) Add a layer of sawdust, soil or leaves at the bottom of your compost bin.
2) Add a layer of used cat litter
3) Cover the cat litter with a one-inch layer of sawdust, soil, or leaves.
4) Repeat this process and feel free to add other compostable materials such as fruit or vegetable waste.
5) Make sure to aerate your compost regularly.
6) After about 6 months to a year, your compost is ready for use on non-edible plants.

IMPORTANT: If you want to use your composted cat litter as a fertilizer for edible crops, leave cat waste to compost for at least 18 months to eliminate the risk of E. coli, tapeworm and toxoplasmosis contaminating your crops."
  https://catit.co.uk/how-do-i-compost-cat-litter/

"Choose a kitty litter made of natural materials that break down and return to the earth. Look for ingredients such as recycled compressed paper, wood shavings, corn, grass seed, pine, wheat, and sawdust. Most biodegradable cat litter is made of various plant-based products and can be more expensive than grocery store litter. Keep in mind that many of those mainstream cat litters contain silica dust, which has been found to cause upper respiratory infections in humans. Also, avoid litters that contain sodium bentonite (clay) or fragrances. These materials are harmful to both cats and the environment due to their extraction methods and use of chemicals. "  https://www.treehugger.com/dispose-of-cat-litter-the-green-way-5025649  

"D. Hill and J. P. Dubey in a Wiley Online Library paper on  "Toxoplasma gondi transmission, diagnosis and prevention" make the point that the socio-economic impact of toxoplasmosis in human suffering and the cost of care of sick children, especially those with mental retardation and blindness, are enormous.  Do not dismiss these risks just because you have a kept cats for years.

While with the use of the right method and the correct  precautions  cat faeces and litter can be  hot  composted, I would strongly advise against putting cat faeces in a wormery as  it has been shown that  earthworms can transmit T. gondii infection to birds. At this stage it appears that oocysts present in the alimentary tracts of the worms are responsible for these infections when the worms are eaten by birds so there is a possibility that the parasite may be excreted in the worm casts.

Please do not skip the hazard and precaution sections as there are risks involved with all faeces and suitable control measures are necessary.

Under normal conditions the  sporulated oocysts can survive a year or more  in the soil or sand (cats like to deposit samples in sand pits).

However hot composting at 60°C will reduce  most pathogens  to  safe levels within an  hour and will kill T. gondi  which means that  the faeces from cats who use a litter tray can be composted provided the compostable  cat litter is used   together with Hot composting where 60C is maintained for a sufficient period to kill the parasite."
 http://www.carryoncomposting.com/142941462

Here is another link:  https://www.the-compost-gardener.com/composting-pet-waste.html

Hope this helps.



Thanks so much for your reply! I've done bokashi, so have the bran(though it's strangely difficult to be able to buy large containers that are properly airtight) and we use wood pellet litter, so the major things are available.
I think the sticking point might be that I don't have anywhere that's solely 'ornamental' without edibles.
Our council food & garden waste composting doesn't allow litter exactly for these bio waste reasons and our 10 year old cat will definitely be an indoor cat from now on in our new home so we have a lot of future waste to consider.
I'll check through all the links you shared and have a think about whether there's anywhere I can use it for now, or with proper planning.
Thank you.
 
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I put all paper, cardboard, bones, wood waste in above ground hugelkultures contained by pallets lined with feed sacks. It heats up in the winter and grows all of our vegetables. I put a couple of feet of goat bedding/hay waste between most of the commercial paper and compost. The top foot is local sawdust and then a couple inches of potting soil I mix myself on the top. Rabbit cages are suspended over the top of the bed for a few months to add urine and manure. https://youtu.be/iq4vFJJcttY
 
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I avoid plastic, buying juice in glass containers and try to use cans; both are easily and completely recycled.  And of course paper, cotton, lint, egg shells and food scraps goes to the worms.  Garbage is decreased by half.  I also complain nicely everywhere I go when choosing between the containers and even write to companies who wrap items in plastic which is wrapped in plastic or those idiotic hard plastic clamshells.

We consumers are far too nice and too lazy to get on their behinds.  I also buy products in larger sizes when possible.  I am new here and look forward to reading and learning from all of you, starting with this wonderful thread.  
 
pollinator
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The MOST MEANINGFUL is asked here so I not come up with an entire life story.

I love solid trousers with military style leg pockets and the left one gets threaten like my right front pocket which is only for my house keys.

In my left leg pocket I have always one of these multiple use shopping bags nicely folded, which gets used for all cases where you need a bag.

This habit goes so far that having no shopping bag in this specific pocket is like forgotten my house keys in the front pocket.
 
pollinator
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I think we have it pretty easy here in the UK. The local council will recycle most things for us, weekly, right from our front garden.

  • Cardboard
  • Paper
  • Aluminium and steel (cans, tins, trays, foil, etc.)
  • Plastic (bottles, trays and packaging)
  • Food waste, for compost


  • We compost most of our own food waste, along with low-value cardboard such as egg boxes (which are at the end of their life and, as far as I know, wont be recycled again). Anything cooked or of animal-origin goes into the municipal food waste bin for collection.

    When establishing our raised vegetable beds we bought back finished compost that, I believe, started life as municipal waste. It cost us £24/1000kg, plus haulage, and is certified organic. There is definitely more plastic in there than I would like but it is nice to have local, high-quality compost available made from a waste stream product.

    The local store will recycle batteries, water filters, light bulbs and, most-usefully, plastic bags and cellophane, which we save up and take there regularly.

    We also collect food from the local supermarket via a food-sharing app, Olio. Once a week we drive 5 minutes to the local store and they give us between one and five plastic crates of food that will expire soon. We then distribute most of that via the app, for free, to people living near us. We also keep a lot and it has reduced our food bill significantly (at the expense of food quality, sometimes).

    The downside to all of this food collection is that we generate a lot more trash and recycling. However, we think that it is better with us, where we will recycle everything possible and compost the spoilt food, than in the bins behind the supermarket, destined for the landfill.

    Another source of waste that I struggle to reduce is packaging from parcels. We buy a lot of second hand tools and equipment from eBay (etc.) and often is comes wrapped in expanded plastic sheeting or stuffed with foam peanuts. One big parcel can half-fill a garbage bag!

    We probably generate between a half to one garbage bags each week. It would be nice to get that down further - I suspect when we move onto our land and give up Olio that will happen.
     
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    I noticed the most difference after I did a 12 week on line Introduction to Permaculture course with Milkwood here in Australia.  I already composted but not to the extent that I did after the course.  So all food scraps go in the compost.  We also have a worm farm which is an extension of our food scraps and cardboard waste recycling.  Drinking bottles go off to the bottle banks and we get 5 cents back on the elegible bottles.  All others go into the fortnightly recycle bin.  Cardboard that I can't use goes into the fortnightly recycle bin also.  All soft plastics go to Red Cycle - most supermarkets have drop off points.  I do have to get better at re using left overs - my biggest failing but am working on that one.  I have noticed for the last 6 months that the garbage/rubbish. bin is never more that half full, if that, when it goes out once a week.  It would probably last two weeks before emptying if I didn't put it out for pick up.  We are moving shortly to a new house and there is still a lot of building going on around us.  I have already started recycling building waste from other house skips and storing it in our shed for when I am ready to make bigger compost bins and chicken runs etc.
     
    gardener
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    There's seems to be a variety of garbage disposal systems. I would be interested to hear how this is dealt with at your place?

    Here in my part of Bavaria, Germany (depends on the district) we have:
    * Non-recyclable garbage every two weeks (fill up half a bin usually or less) - mandatory; no landfills, all waste will be incinerated in a thermic power plant
    * Recyclable packaging (metals and plastics) every two weeks - mandatory
    * Paper and cartons once a month - optional and free of charge
    * organic waste including food waste every two weeks - optional, we don't use it as we compost

    In addition to that I can go to the Recycling center any day and get rid of additional packaging, garden waste (obviously we don't use that), styrofoam, wood, aluminium foil, cartons etc. - free of charge for normal volumes excepting waste like rubble from a building site, a larger amount of garden waste or big appliances like a fridge.
    There are also the containers for single use glass. I go there about once a month.
    They have some categories of waste that I cannot recycle in our normal garbage system (like the mentioned aluminium and glass, also cork).

    About twice a year the mobile toxic waste vehicle comes to our village for things like left-over paint and similar - free of charge
    There is also a deposit for toxic material waste like asbestos five minutes away from us, but we never had to go there (I guess it is for contractors or similar). They charge based on material and volume.
     
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    Number one, quit going to the store.  Permies is about self-reliance and doing things in ways one reduces their reliance on stuff from the store.

    Number two, take and use your own bags; but make sure you wash them often.

    Number three, observe your surroundings.  There is nothing in nature that is wasted, nothing; and everything is recycled.

    Number four, only buy things that have multiple uses.  This is the age of disposability.  Everything is thrown away, even people.

    Number five, get rid of your storage unit if you have one.  My rule is, if I haven't touched it or used it in two years, then I don't need it.  If you have a storage unit, it is more than likely full of junk you don't even know that you don't need anymore.

    Number six, is kinda the opposite of five, or inversely related; you can't take it with you so why do you even have it around?

    Number seven, opposites do not attract.  That may only be true in the magnetic and electrical theory worlds.  Again, observe the world around you; like congregates with like. Trash attracts trash.

    This thread is really about shifting paradigms:  You have to analyze and change your thinking.  Remember, talk is cheap.  
     
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    Nicole Alderman wrote:Hmmm, biggest change recently has been finding a bread recipe that was easy to make and I could eat. Since we're grain/sugar/etc free due to auto-immune stuff, it's been hard finding a good. easu source of breakfast calories...so everyone in the family was eating 2 lara bars every morning. So. Many. Wrappers. It's a disgrace. But, it's one of the few "convenience foods" we can eat with our health issues.

    Well, I found a chestnut/almond flour recipe that actually tastes good and is pretty quick to mix up (if you discount the time washing duck eggs). It actually toasts up like bread! So, I make a double batch of it, and I have breakfast for me and snacks for the family for almost a week. It's cut our lara bar consumption in half.

    Aside from that, the other biggest things have been:

  • ordering food in bulk from nuts.com. One giant bag of raisins uses a lot less plastic than a bunch of smaller ones.  
  • composting things--of course. We've been doing this so long that I don't really think about it any more
  • Using towels/rags/napkins instead of paper versions for most everything other than soaking up grease....and the grease soaked paper towels go in the woodstove as fire starters
  • getting poultry feed in paper sacks. We've always done this, but I can only imagine just how many plastic sacks we'd have accrued by now. The paper ones our Scratch and Peck feed comes in are wonderful for sheetmulching new gardens
  • Bringing our own grocery bags and asking for paper--or going without a bag--when we forget our bags
  • Making our own yogurt helped a ton. Yogurt containers take up a lot of trash space! But, I haven't had the time to make any in a while.
  • eating from our property. This saves us from needing packaged foods. But, it requires more work, and this year has been nuts and time has been lacking. And I just have to give myself some grace. Hopefully next year will be better!



  • I sure would love to see the recipe you describe! I have had to go strictly gluten free and haven’t found anything I like yet.

     
    pollinator
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    Lots of inspiration in this thread!

    One thing I didn't really see mentioned is to do a garbage audit.  Depending on the amount of garbage you are currently generating, this can be done, by the day-week-or month. I'll use week in this example. Save all your garbage for the week, then spread it out, like on the garage floor so you can see what your garbage actually is. I found that a big block of our garbage was tetrapak containers. We will in an area where 90% of the milk available for purchase is the ultrapasteurized shelf-stable long-life milk. It was only available in 1-liter containers and we were using 1 a day. Sidebar, I noticed that there were two-liter tetra paks of juice on offer at the store, so I started emailing, texting, and Facebook posting the customer service contacts of the brand of milk I bought asking for two-liter containers of milk. A year later they launched the 1.5 liter tetrapaks of milk in our area!  a small win. We also reduced our milk consumption, mostly due to my kids growing,  We didn't produce a ton of other food container waste as we don't eat so much packaged foods as people north of the border do.

    My university also did a garbage audit. For the whole institution for a full month. Every day was garbage was collected around campus it was taken to a warehouse and sorted and at the end of the month, the university was able to see what garbage was being generated, how best to reduce it, and how to maintain the things that are actually recyclable separate from other waste so that they can be recycled.

    Anyway, everyone producing different kinds of waste--see what yours is, and then think, how can I reduce this?
     
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    1. GET LESS STUFF.... get rid of stuff, and love the less stuff I have more.
    2. Then, reduce stuff to secondhand stuff. Ask what can I reuse, repurpose or reinvent in ways that support my needs, which includes my need to be surrounded by beautiful handmade things that I have made myself.
    3. Send 75% less at supermarkets, and do most of my necessary shopping in local and owner operated businesses, farmers markets and coops.
    I get creative around this. There are no coops near where I live, but a friend travels through my town once a month, and there is a coop where she lives, so I wire her money and a list. Yaaaay, goodbye Supermarket Giants, I do not need you!!!
    4. Buy Staples in bulk, whole grains, sugar, and do all my own preserving and bread making.
    4. Forage. I forage daily on the Pacific (New Zealand). Foraging changed my mind set. It made me see that I was already being provided, for free, with the most necessary items for building a great fruit and veg garden. I even forage on recycling day and reuse my neighbours glass jars, bottles, cardboard, newspaper, lawn and hedge clippings. More free stuff that feeds my garden and keeps stuff out of landfill which craps up the environment and creates toxic wastes.
    5 Compost and worm farm.
    6. Make my own clothes, raincoats, even underwear from largely reused textiles (with some new NZ merino knits in there too). Make winter woolies from secondhand blankets (cut on the cross for great drape). Make my own window furnishings, and soft furnishings.
    ..... It is about mindset.
    What do I have? How can I use what I have?
    As an example, suddenly I had a lot of clay after digging a few short swales.
    What is clay good for? It has minerals, so about half gets remediated through, maybe 8 or so compost heaps and will become wonderful self respecting growing medium by spring.
    But I still had leftover clay.
    What ELSE is clay good for? hmmmmm.....It is good for structure, and I have garden beds that need edging, so I built very low clay "walls" around them  (maybe 20cms high). Garden beds happy, problem solved.
    I have even been able to use the neighbour's unwanted clay that they were otherwise going to have to pay to dump. Everyone's happy.
    Read more. Understand more. Embrace more of the both sides of reality, the material side, and the spiritual. Build community. We are all in this together. This is what we have learned from the past two  years.
    hugshugs from early winter New Zealand where I made kimchi today and learned about Korean preserved lemons, which are next on the list.  

     
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    The only thing that we were putting in the trash were mostly plastic from supermarket items such as bread etc. but I now wash, dry and bundle them up and return them to the market each time I go. This has reduced our garbage by 90% I would guess.   I have no idea where they go after that which is sad.  Supermarkets must take them back so there is a bin set up for collection.  

    Other than that, the only thing I put in the trash are the contents of my vacuum, some styrofoam trays, and those annoying clear plastic windows I have to rip out of my junk mail.  

    When I drive down the road I'm amazed to see garbage cans so full their lids are propped open.  Why / how do people make so much trash?  

    Compost, recycle, consume wisely and one small bag to the dump a month.  

    My kids make fun of the fact that we have a bag in the freezer for non compostable food items like bones and dairy.  Those will get put into the trash maybe once ever 3 months, but still very little.  
     
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    Location: Finland, Scandinavia
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    I use only soap bars for sauna and shower, shampoo bars for hair, cleaning soap bars or baking soda for cleaning. Special dishwashing soap bars for washing up - they work great with an old-fashioned soap shaker. My dishwashing brush is wood and bristles, and gets composted when it wears out.

    Soap flakes for laundry, vinegar for rinse, gall soap for tough laundry. I actually use a washboard since we have no machines. Soaking is the key, then use a plunger to squeeze the dirt out. I only use the washing board if clothes are real dirty.

    Microfibre rags for cleaning, cotton towels for face, tea towels for drying and wiping. Old-fashioned hankies for blowing the nose. If we have a celebration, we use cotton napkins. I wash carpets with a bristle brush, which is also compostable after serving its lifecycle.

    Buy loose tea, make my own youghurt (really easy!), brew my kombucha, drink homemade herbal lemonades. So we only have glass bottles we use over and over again.

    Buy flour, sugar, salt, rice and pasta in paper wrappings. Cook with raw veggies, root vegetables and fruit - all shavings get composted. We have a riverside farm, so our fish comes fresh from there. Our own honey is stored in glass jars, used over and over again. Bake our bread from our own sourdough starter. Make my own sourkraut, pickles and jams in reusable glass jars. We make our own sausages, cure them so that they can be stored in a cool place without refridgeration.

    Our farm has no electricity, apart from an aggregate used to pump water from the river to the plantings. (We also use it to charge out mobiles and some equipment like the drill or wood cutter but not much else).

    We do use toilet paper, but that is composted with the human manure.

    We produce almost no trash.
    Soap-Shaker-Zeepklopper-6-Elenfhant-600PX_300x300.jpg
    Dishwashing soap shaker
    Dishwashing soap shaker
    saarentaikaekoharjaekotiskiharjaekojuuresharjabambutiskiharja-2332_5000x.jpg
    Washing up brush with compostable head
    Washing up brush with compostable head
    7119Oj2MseL._SL1500_.jpg
    Shampoo can also be bought in bars with cardboard wrapping
    Shampoo can also be bought in bars with cardboard wrapping
    hillervo2.jpg
    Washboard for tough stains. Soaking and using a plumber will be enough for most laundry.
    Washboard for tough stains. Soaking and using a plumber will be enough for most laundry.
    51EAOqKJc9L.jpg
    Laundry plunder is used after soaking to kick the dirt out. Also good for rinsing.
    Laundry plunder is used after soaking to kick the dirt out. Also good for rinsing.
     
    If I'd had more time, I would have written a shorter letter. -T.S. Eliot such a short, tiny ad:
    Paul will be at the Idaho Panhandle Preparedness Expo on October 1-2, 2022
    https://permies.com/t/190477/Paul-Idaho-Panhandle-Preparedness-Expo
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