Living Lightly

Susan Vogt on living more simply but abundantly

Browsing Posts tagged Recycling

April 22 is Earth Day. This reminds me of the importance of decreasing our carbon footprint by the familiar formula: reduce, reuse, recycle. Many families, including us: Typical recycling: Put paper, cans, glass, plastic bottles, anything with a triangle (Δ), into our city’s curbside recycling service Compost vegetables and yard waste Take reusable cloth bags to the […]

It doesn’t happen often, but when it does, we take advantage of it – Community Sponsored Hazardous Waste collection. Once or twice a year my county provides a place to take items like pesticides, paint, medications, old electronics, etc. Jim and I save these items throughout the year and take them to the collection place […]

Occasionally the heavens align and other people help me lighten my mood and my stuff. That’s what happened recently when I was in a conversation with a friend, her daughter, and her fiancé. As the wedding day approached the bride and groom said they were trying to plan a tasteful but simple celebration. One step was […]

About a year ago our electric lawnmower died. I agreed to find a fitting home for its final resting place. We bought a new mower and I procrastinated about researching how to recycle old lawnmowers. Well, it’s grass mowing season again and Jim reminded me of my promise. Spurred on by the recent grim reports […]

NOTE: This week’s blog is longer than usual. Skip to the end, LESSONS LEARNED, if you just want the bottom line – though this means you may miss my humor too. 🙂 Lent is a penitential season so I have a confession to make. I haven’t been cleaning out A-Drawer-A-Day. In the interest of saving […]

Rejoice! Easter is here and I no longer have to measure trash. Of course Easter is first and foremost about the resurrection of Jesus and the hope that gives the world. I don’t want to in any way trivialize this holiest of days. Still, my practical Lenten sacrifice side reminds me that I no longer […]

Wait, wait, let me explain. I know it looks like I’m really back sliding this week but here’s the back story. We had 12 guests stay with us over the weekend for the Pig Town Fling contradance. Actually our friends are very conscientious about the environment and make very little waste. But 12 extra people […]

As I mentioned in Week #1, much of what a person can put out for curbside recycling varies from town to town. We found that our city (Covington, KY) takes all plastics labeled #1 – #7. Cincinnati, OH (15 minutes away) does not take #5 and #7. BUT, they do have a school that does […]

Bottled water is my nemesis. I avoid it unless I’m in a 3rd world country or camping without access to clean water. Thus I was discouraged to attend a recent non-profit dinner that only had bottled water. I decided to put water from the water fountain in the Styrofoam cup meant for coffee. I then […]

Oh oh. I got worried this week when Jim replaced his 3’x4’ chair mat. The old one had a hole in it and would never fit into my 1’x4” red capped container. After a bit of research I found that the chair pad was 100% vinyl PVC recycling number 3 and the manufacturer said it […]

Perhaps it is wishful thinking but I do believe that we created less waste this second week of Lent than we did the first week. This may be due to us learning more about what we can recycle, the fact that Jim was away for 3 days, or maybe we’re just wasting less. My photo […]

Although Jim usually does the grocery shopping we both went this time to make joint decisions and so I could take some photos. 10 NEW THINGS I LEARNED ABOUT PACKAGING & GROCERIES Girl Scout Cookies: Upon entering the store we were met by several Girl Scout cookie sellers. The packaging around the cookies couldn’t be […]

Well, it’s been one week of watching my waste. The biggest challenge was grocery shopping since we need food and often the packaging can’t be avoided.  I’ll chronicle what we learned from grocery shopping tomorrow. Today, I’m focusing on measuring our garbage and learning a lot about what we can and cannot recycle/compost in my […]

I interrupt this story of giving-away “S’s” because Lent has just started again and I have a new plan. In 2010 and 2011, I was giving things away. In 2012, I ate on $4.50/day. This Lent I’ve decided to waste less. It’s my attempt to create less trash as a way to honor God’s creation […]

…But being used in a good way. As my reputation grows for being a “go to person” for where to take used but usable clothes, toys, kitchen supplies, etc., I’ve found that people are starting to drop things off at my house. One reason is that my parish has an in-house thrift store and since […]

Jim and I try to take a daily walk around our neighborhood. It’s partly for exercise and partly for reconnecting. On these walks we often see trash. In the spirit of both ecology and multi-tasking I figured why not pick up the cans, bottles, and paper we passed. It didn’t take long to realize that […]

Recently we were visiting our son and his wife in Washington, DC. It was trash day and I looked out at the street lined with identical green garbage cans issued by the city. It was a strange sight to me. They all seemed so tiny by Midwest standards. I checked and each can was 32 […]

One of the things I’ve learned about letting go of stuff over the past 1½ years is that choosing what to give away is easier than figuring out how to give it away. Knowing who or where to take it to, carting it there or waiting for someone to pick it up, or repairing/recycling is […]

I’ve been saving this give-away for last because of weather, I couldn’t get anyone to take it, and I had moral qualms about giving it away anyway. You may recognize that the object in the photo was once a baby crib. I have now re-purposed it as a couch. Here’s the story. All four of […]

So let’s talk about recycling. Now that I’ve faced the demon of recycling electronics, what about all the more normal recycling we do. You know – the paper, glass, plastic, and cans. Recycling these things doesn’t feel as virtuous as giving a needy family clothes, dishes, or toys. Technically, it’s not really giving something away […]