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Sunday, June 27, 2010

One man's trash is another man's treasure

My Mother is a pack rat and I married a pack rat. I, am NOT a pack rat. Over the last few weeks it has finally dawned on me that being a pack rat is not the worst thing in the world as long as you keep recycling the hoarded items for new use. You are actually doing the earth a service by not disposing of what might be deemed by others as RUBBISH . This is where my husband and Mother are shining stars.

If you are planning on opening your home up to a few extra kids be it biologically or via any other (legal) ways, the one thing your should prepare yourself for is the onslaught of MORE WASTE. Here are Chez Wise when it was just the 'fantastic four' of us I had the weekly shopping down to a science and had plenty of time to browse around the markets and buy package free foodstuffs. 

In case you did not get the memo I HATE PACKAGING. You know what I am talking about - the plastic trays that most chickens are packed in, or the excessive amount of plastic packaging used for berries and other fruits. Buying loose produce, bringing my own bags to the shops and markets helps a lot and even the friendly butchers have started wrapping the meat in butcher paper only and holding back on suffocating it all in plastic.

You have to pay to have your waste removed in Ireland. Here in Galway the annual fee (depending on where you live) for waste removal is €288.00. That is a twice monthly removal of what we call general rubbish and all recyclables (plastic/aluminium/paper/cardboard) with the exception of glass. which we have to haul that the the bottle banks ourselves.  

You do have the option however of just buying the right colour bag (blue €2.50 for plastic/green €5.00 for rubbish) and literally pay as you 'dump'. Last year we spent less than €115.00 in waste removal fees thanks to careful shopping and the fact that my thrifty husband knows his TRASH.

Enter into the picture several little kiddies that do not know anything about the systems in place at our house and before you know it there are banana peels festering in the rubbish bags, and soiled nappies and glass bottles outside in the compost pile. Aaaaaaaaaaaaarrrrrrrggggghhhhh! 

I can't be mad with the children. It is not there fault that they were not taught the difference between organic waste and aluminium cans. I get that. What I do not get (and will not tolerate) is that littering seems to be a well practiced trend with the newbies - that is until the litter patrol twins pipe up.

Although we appear to always blather on (ok, just me with the blathering on) about eating healthy food etc. it is not unheard of for a child to have the occasional bag of Tayto or chocolate bar around here. Only a day or two into our time with all these lassies running loose in our house Jack declared (in horror) that one of the ladies had just 'littered' in our back garden. Sure enough the offender had just tossed aside a wrapper from her treat as if a litter fairy would swoop in later and place it in the rubbish bin for her.

It was more like the Trash Troll that made an appearance. I can state, at this time, that it may be a little confusing for the newbies to try to figure out where each item should go. I mean, lets face it, we have organic waste going out to the compost pile, plastic and aluminium going into a blue bag, general rubbish going into the trash can - and somewhere around all this we squeeze in paper and cardboard. So, now they just stand in the general area and ask where it should go.

I caught a glimpse of one of the younger ones munching on a banana yesterday and toddling over to the compost pile where a hungry hen was waiting to feast on whatever she was willing to share. 

It has only been a  few weeks and the two and a half year old gets it. Not so difficult methinks then, for the rest of the world to get on board. 

Now, back to being a busy Mum and plan a little better so I can keep our waste at a minimum.

Enjoy what is left of your weekend!

Those are all the WiseWords I have for today,


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