Tuesday, September 9, 2008
Our Rotten Garbage
The year grows late, and with November approaching, the Bush administration winds down 8 years of environmental contempt that has included, among other offenses: attempts to roll back already insufficient clean air and water standards, denying global warming, and catering to the energy and logging industries. Meanwhile, ordinary folk like you and me try to do little things to save our planet from certain doom. While the efforts of a single person may seem futile in the whole coal-and-oil-burning scheme of things, the collective actions of many can, in fact, make a huge difference. Example: the average American creates over 4 pounds of garbage per day. That's twice as much as any other developed country. Just think what a positive environmental impact it would have if everyone made a conscious effort to reduce waste by, say, a half pound per day. That would keep 150 million pounds of trash out of our overburdened landfills and oceans every single day! Here are some other highly disturbing facts about trash.
Fortunately, we are not helpless. Here are some ways Alex and I are trying to make McBone Outpost #1211 more eco-friendly.
-Switching from wasteful incandescent light bulbs to energy-efficient compact florescent bulbs.
-Taking reusable bags to the supermarket instead of using the plastic or paper ones provided by the store. Doesn't it drive you nuts when they put like 2 items in a bag, and then double bag, so that you end up with 38 plastic bags, and then you realize that plastic bags are made from petroleum and that we're at war over petroleum so that each plastic bag we use has contributed in its small way to the death of thousands. Am I ranting here? Oh yeah, and plastic is not biodegradable.
-Keeping the McBonemobile in the garage as much as possible.
-Recycling. It boggles my mind that some people still don't recycle. What the fuck?
This week Alex and I are going to continue our greening project by eliminating biodegradable matter from our curbside garbage. How, you ask? Composting! And why is composting so great? Because food, while biodegradable, does not break down properly in the low-oxygen confines of a landfill. Food in a compost bin turns into rich, fertile soil that is ideal for gardening. Food in a landfill produces methane--a notorious and totally smelly greenhouse gas that contributes to global warming.
And composting is easy! Just click here to see the 100% recycled-plastic composter that I just purchased online.
So in 3-5 days our endeavor begins. Our composting goals are to:
-create soil for gardening
-reduce landfill waste
-reduce greenhouse gas
-annoy the neighbors with the wafting smell of decay
OK, so I was just kidding on these last two. In reality a properly balanced compost pile does not smell and will not attract animals. I'm told this is done by including ample yard waste (dead leaves, grass clippings) in the bin. We'll see how it goes and I will certainly keep you, gentle McBoners, posted.
Pictured above: me looking handsome as I drop a pear into a bucket of assorted food scraps.
Posted by McBone at 7:15 PM