Tuesday, December 20, 2011

An interesting excercise, on a dirty subject.

Before I start,
 I want to say to anyone reading today's post...

It's possible that today's topic might inadvertently push some buttons.

That is not my intention.

I am simply sharing what I am learning.
I am not here to pass judgement or tell anyone what to do!

About a month ago, I left a job that I loved.
As much as I loved it, it was taking more from my personal life than I could afford to give.
So, for the time being, I am among the ranks of the unemployed.
I will have to go back to work at some point but my intention is to have a job that more closely matches my husband's schedule and gives me a little more time to pay attention to the things in my life that matter.

I believe that while I am not working it is important for me to do everything I possibly can to pinch my pennies.  Its my "new job" if you will.

In addition, I am increasingly concerned about the state of affairs in "my America".
 I get really overwhelmed when I try to think about it. 
I feel paralyzed. 
I vote, but it seems to make no difference. 
Things just happen.  I can object and complain all I want but, it doesn't help.
 I am left with the question...
Is there really anything I can do?
  I am so small.
 I am one woman.
 I live a small life, in a rural community. 
I am only one among seven billion people on the planet.
 What possible difference...

 can I make?
That got me thinking. 

I am the most average, of average Americans...

America is a consumer driven society...
Much of what we consume drives the decisions that are being made in Washington.
In the world!
All of that just feels too big and makes me feel too small. 
As much as I object to many of the things that are happening in this country, if  I break it down to its simplest form...   It is all the "stuff" I am consuming that is driving it.
So it only makes sense to me,
to look at what I consume.
What am I spending my money on?

So one thing at a time... I am taking a look.

I am starting with the things that bother me.
I am asking... what can I change?  What am I willing to change?
What am I not willing to change?
I figure, if I change only a few things maybe that will make a small difference.
 At a minimum... I feel a little less paralyzed,
and I am saving a few pennies along the way.

So after that long winded prelude...

on to today's post.

Today, I am taking a look at my trash.
I pay for my trash disposal by the pound.  Every time my hubby takes a trip to the dump I inflict some  serious damage on a twenty dollar bill. 

We have been recycling bottles and cans for years so I have been fairly confident that I was doing all I could to spare the landfills and save my money.

  I wanted to see.

  Is that true?

A few days ago I took a trip to the dump and had a chat with the people who were working there that day. 
I wanted to take some pictures...but they wouldn't let me. Hmmmm???  that's a whole different subject!
They were very nice though and gave me plenty of information to chew on.

Turns out,  I am not doing as well as I thought
 I decided to pull my trash can apart and see whats in there.
Ugh, yuck! I cannot believe I'm doing this!
I am paying roughly ten cents per pound to dump at my local transfer station.
Is there anything I am throwing in that trash can in that I could recycle?
I have a garden and a little piece of land.  What am I throwing away that I should and can compost?

So...prepare you eyes...here is what I found!
The bag of trash all together, weighed twenty pounds.


Real Trash that I can not recycle or compost.
Mostly plastic food wrapping.
Different types of paper and cardboard that I could have been recycling all along.
I just need to sort it properly.

is the worst shame of all.
15.5 pounds of CAT LITTER.

2.5 pounds of compost.

.5 pounds of recyclable paper and cardboard.

and from all that,
1.5 pounds of real garbage.

 I can tell you,
that was NOT a pleasant experience!!

I will not soon forget it!!

Now, let's sit down with a pencil and a calculator and put it into dollars.

20 lbs of trash at 10 cents a pound is $2.00
By removing the compost at 2.5 pounds I save in this bag alone .25 cents.
 by recycling the paper and cardboard at .5 pounds in this bag I saved 5 cents.

Here is the whopper!
By changing from this CHEMICAL FILLED, NON-COMPOSTABLE cat litter.

to this COMPOSTABLE cat litter
(Price appears to be less.  I will know better when I see how much of it I use)

I would save $1.55 on this bag of garbage alone!

On average I would say I fill two bags of trash per week.
And lets just say that each bag weighs about the same.

in 1 week I would save $3.90

In one year I would prevent 2040 lbs of trash from going into a land fill.
I will save $192.40
I don't know about you, but for me, up here in "Potato Country"...
that's not far from a weeks pay!!

You know, maybe it is a small thing.
Maybe in the scope of the worlds problems... this is nothing.
Maybe I am..a little off my rocker!

this feels more effective,

Then my VOTE.

Take it for what its worth to you.

Thanks for taking the time to visit.

I am grateful to have had you here.


P.S.  Of course I will keep voting!
P.P.S.S  Have any ideas of your own?  I would love to hear them.

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