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April 2008: Think Green!

I was so excited when I got home the other day and saw the GreenCart in my driveway! For those of you who live in Burlington and Oakville you know what I am talking about! I know other communities have started this already and I am excited to join you! I was anxious to get started but a little apprehensive because I saw no instructions! When I took a closer look, I saw a sticker on the top of the cart that said “Look inside”. I opened it up with the anticipation of a new mother and retrieved a smaller beige bin. I went running into the house to show my teenage daughter and said, “Look it gave birth and it must take after the father because it looks nothing like the mother!” With it were the instructions on how to use it along with some sample biodegradable bags. We sat there and read the do and don’ts so we would know what we were doing as we wanted to start right away.

Every time I had something to add, I got excited and said look I have a tea bag – that can go in there! Now I know some of you are thinking – get a life and others are saying hasn’t this woman heard of composting before? Well yes I have composted during the spring and summer for my garden and I was very excited about that as well. But this was different because this was the whole town working on this initiative to reduce garbage. Here I was with my teenage daughter who was starting to care more about recycling. When garbage day did roll around I had about half the usual amount! I am going to strive for a third next week!

I know some of you are thinking, I already recycle and I don’t want to bother with this! Let me tell you about a call I received last week. It was a distress call from an 85 year old woman who felt overwhelmed by this new initiative and wanted my help. I went to see her to help make sense of this. She is already recycling but had a hard time keeping straight what went into the new GreenCart. She didn’t want the beige kitchen bin on her counter and having it under the sink was too much trouble. I suggested installing the bin on the inside of her cupboard door. So on one side she has the compost bin and on the other cupboard door she has the garbage. We wrote on the top of the bin what goes in (i.e. paper, food scraps etc.)We worked out a system for her that she could live with. She now feels much less overwhelmed by the whole ordeal. I really admire her for being so environmentally aware! She really inspired me! I see people half her age that can’t be bothered to recycle a bottle! Their argument is that it will wreck the look of their designer kitchen or that they don’t have time!

I truly believe that we are borrowing this planet and I want to return it in good condition – how about you?