Friday, November 16, 2007


This blog gap is indicative of what has been happening for me lately... not a whole lot as far as those events that would be particularly interesting to other folks. Home life is demanding and work is busy. In balancing those things, other dimensions like fishing, travel, etc. are edged out. I'm struggling greatly with this... trying to do my job as a parent but maintain some sort of identity as an individual. You want to give yourself over to your kids, but it's not healthy to abandon yourself. Enough of that... it's called Fishing and Thinking after all - not "personal journal." I just figured I should explain the dropoff to the four people who might read this (if they're bored). Since there's no fishing, here's the most thinking-related item I can come up with:

Waste management at our place is becoming more and more fine tuned (an at-home project that fits well now). We have kicked our garbage pickup to the curb... too expensive and it took us weeks to fill up a garbage can. I found a guy who sells castoff 55 gallon barrels... bought four for $5 each and made one into a garbage can - had to use a skill saw to cut out a hinged lid because the tops are not removable. It makes a good air-tight container. It's been 2+ weeks and I can still see the bottom of the can. We sort all of our recycling into bins too... when we get enough, we'll take a car load to the waste facility in town. It'll cost either $5 or $10 depending on how full the barrel is (recycling is free). This will be a major savings over curbside ($25 per month), and it will make us use even less and be more aware of our waste. All food and much paper goes to compost, which is churning away wonderfully. I'm telling you - we are a family of four, and this stuff is easy to do - we are not put out or inconvenienced by it. Let's stop filling up our garbage cans to peeking-caddis state! The garbage can should not be a catch all, it should be a last resort.

Here is some interesting related art work that is also very cool:
Depicts two million plastic beverage bottles, the number used in the US every five minutes.

See this person's art here


Blogger spilseth said...

I need to do a better job with my recycling, I don't have tons of room to store various boxes of sorted items and my apt. building doesn't do much to help.

Here's a video for you:

12:08 AM  
Blogger Wendy Berrell said...

I would have guessed that out in CA they'd have pretty good curbside pickup... maybe not even require you to sort it.

Are you penalized for not recycling? Some counties/cities fine folks.

8:56 PM  
Blogger amanda said...

I understand all too well where you're coming from, gripping to hold on to your own identity. I think I may have slipped and let go long ago and it's something I struggle with greatly from time to time. Being Mom to amazing children is an extraordinary role to play, and a huge part of my life's work & pleasure... but who am I to me? Some days I feel like I'm just the girl who lives here.
Anyway, enough with that - but do remember to seek that balance and catch time to do what you love and makes you you. As you mentioned in a previous post - it makes you better at your other roles in life.

Great job with the new waste plan!
I like how you summed it up - the garbage can should be the last resort.
We try our best to follow that rule here,
and to pay attention to the fact that it all starts with how much we bring in, not just how we get rid of it. Something we've been keeping in mind with 3 recent birthdays & the upcoming holidays.

See you all in a few days.

11:23 AM  
Blogger Wendy Berrell said...

I think you have it pegged there - watching the inputs in addition to managing/limiting outputs. I'm impressed with your system there - you guys have a great recycling setup... nice to have such handy guys around to build those things.

It's been 3+ week and the garbage can is approx 1/4 full without any foot stomping.

We've also enrolled a neighbor to compost food scraps and wet paper in our pile.

4:57 PM  
Blogger Wendy Berrell said...

Month anniversary of ejecting garbage service is today... can is approx half full, but recycling bins are near capacity.

12:31 PM  
Blogger Wendy Berrell said...

Ted - this is what I got when I tried to view that video:

This video is no longer available due to a copyright claim by Universal Music Group

12:32 PM  
Blogger Marcus & Aanna said...

is that an empty 40 malt or is that the wine bottle that the three ladies downed last weekend?

12:44 PM  
Blogger Marcus & Aanna said...

We are doing our small part now by recycling militantly and not using the grocery story plastic/paper bags by bringing our own. We usually get spring water or refill rather than get individual plastic water bottles. We are trying more organic food and most importantly we are thinking about all of these issues. When we are out of the townhome complex (and you can relate to wanting to be out too) we will up our game. But we are still using our garbage disposal and eating AS MUCH CORN AS WE CAN. just kidding me-boy.

12:48 PM  
Blogger Wendy Berrell said...

Good to hear it Marcus. Moving from a townhome to a home opens up all kinds of possibilities re lawn care, local water management, waste management, etc.

It sounds like you are thinking about these issues, which is more than the "seven out of ten" are doing... copyright Dan Cole!

7:49 AM  
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