Sunday, October 3, 2010

"Green" Northwest

I haven't really been thinking about or writing about my "green" efforts lately. I think it's because it's so much easier here in the Pacific Northwest to be green that you really don't need to think about it. It's rare that you see a trash can that doesn't also have a recycling can next to it when you are out and about and it's a given that everybody recycles here. You are weird if you don't do it unlike the Northeast where you are weird if you do recycle.

Our lovely neighborhood trash company gave us this huge (same size as our trash can!) compost bin that they pick up with the trash and recycling. It's great - I can compost all kinds of things that I can't really compost in a home compost setting (commercial composters can compost things like meat and greasy pizza boxes because they get so much hotter than a small home compost pile can). I did have a home compost pile in NY which I will miss when it's time to plant some herbs and veggies in the garden in the spring but this is much nicer in the long run since I have to do nothing other than take an extra can to the curb every week. It's nice to not have to remember to turn the pile every other week and save yard trimmings and leaves in the garage so that I can add enough "brown" matter to the pile through out the year. And, it's great to be able to compost things like used paper towels, food contaminated pizza boxes (which can't be recycled because of the food and grease on them), and meat scraps. And, the recycling here is so wonderful and amazing compared to NY. I can recycle so many things here that I couldn't there - like the canned cat food cans!

Composting here is really socially accepted too! At Microsoft they use only compostable items in the cafeteria and their coffee rooms so the plates, cups, napkins, and utensils are ALL put in a compost bin and not the trash. And, one of the greatest finds in my opinion, was at a Mariner's game I went to in August with some friends (go Seattle - they won!). Everything there was also compostable - the chip bags, the plates, the cups, everything! In fact, we had to hunt around and finally ask for the location of a trash can to throw away the wrapper of a bag that we had brought into the stadium with us. How fantastic is that? People here are so welcome to and accepting of helping the environment that they don't even have trash cans at a professional baseball game! I love it. =)

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