Friday, October 24, 2008
Yay for hippie California
One of the things I liked about living in Switzerland was that it felt like simply being there made us more ecological. Recycling was decent, our village had a community compost center, all electricity came from renewable/sustainable sources, etc. I worried about having guilt when we moved back to the US, where some of these things aren't as easy to do on your own.
But being in California, we have lucked out. Our house gets one medium-sized trash container, and a humongous recycling container. Once the trash can is full, that's it-- it costs $6 per bag to get extra trash picked up. With recycling, however, it's unlimited. Our area recycles EVERYTHING it seems-- plastics 1-7, paper, cardboard, aluminum and scrap metal, even styrofoam and textiles (cloth). And everything goes into the same container. How ridiculously easy is that?? I've had to stop myself when throwing things into the trash, remembering that it can actually be recycled, instead.
We're also planning on starting up a compost pile. I don't know how it will go, I haven't even gotten around to doing research on what it takes, etc. But we both feel bad throwing compostables in the trash when there's an alternative. This way we can also compost at least some of D's gdiaper inserts, since I'm not sure I trust our current toilet enough to flush them. We don't really need the soil that will (hopefully) come out of it, but that's what freecycle is for, right?
When we lived here before the electric company gave an option to buy all your power from renewable sources, so we also need to still look into doing that again. There's actually a lot of overhead lighting in this house, all with 3-4 lightbulbs in the fixture, and all are incandescent, so I'm debating leaving them be till they burn out (in, what, a year?) or replacing them already with energy-efficient bulbs.
Mind you, I still drive a CR-V on a nearly-daily basis. But it's nice to do even small things that feel like they help somewhat.