Friday, July 31, 2009

Green Living with Janet Marchant: Your Wonderful Green Bin!

Every Monday evening, my hubby has gone through the chore of dragging our family's Gray Bin, Blue Bin, and Green Bin to the sidewalk. I am thankful that I have him to do this onerous task because they are too big and heavy for me to pull!

As I watched him out the window last week, I thought to myself how nice it was to have a green bin, but that we've got to do something about those other ones. Yes, I'm always thinking about how to be more green!

And then it struck me — Let's just stop using the Blue and Gray bins!
If we put all of our weekly "output" into the green bin, we'll be a greener family for it!

I called up ACI the next morning and I explained my idea. The nice man who answered the phone didn't really understand what I was saying, but he finally caught on when I told him that I wanted to cancel the service for our Gray and Blue bins, and upgrade our Green bin to the EXTRA large size. I think then he finally got what I was talking about, and was glad to help adjust our service. A truck came just a couple of days later to do the exchange.

So now our family is doing Green-only waste management, and it feels great! I encourage all other Alamedans to do the same.

Just to give you a sense of what it's like, I've kept track of what we put into our green bin for the last few days since we started. Here is a list:

- Kitchen scraps: banana peels, egg shells, coffee grounds, orange peels, moldy fruit, chicken bones, pork chops that we left in the refrigerator too long, and so on. I double-bagged these in some heavy- weight "Hefty Bags" so that it wouldn't stink up the bin while it waited to be picked up.

- 3 or 4 hefty-bag-fulls of styrofoam packing peanuts that came with all the stuff we ordered from, our favorite online store! (No need to double-bag these; they don't smell bad at all!)

- Our daughter's old bicycle. (Now that she's going to be a kindergartner, she's getting too old to be riding a bike; I don't think she'll miss it since I've been driving her to all her "summer camp" activities.) Fortunately the bike is small enough to fit into the XL-size bin!

- A couple of hefty bags full of empty containers like juice boxes, cereal boxes/bags, milk cartons, coke cans, and so on.

- Our last old-style "tube" TV. (Yipee! We've finally finished the transition to flat-screen now!)

- A big box of books and magazines that I'm done reading

- A whole bunch of mystery junk that I found under Chad's bed when I finally got around to hauling out his room.

Anyhoo, all of this went into the Green Bin. It's almost full and we have a few more days until pick-up, so I might have to order a second one. That's OK - the more we put into the Green Bin, the more we are helping our Planet!


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