when we first moved into our new apartment, one of the things that bothered me the most was that there were no recycling programs. i am an avid recycler, and preach the benefits of it to anyone who'll listen. this was going to be bad, really bad.
turns out, i'm doing pretty well with it. i put all food waste down the disposal (ultimately, i'd like to compost), i compress anything i can down to the smallest size possible before throwing it away (our big cardboard boxes we used for moving, we flattened and gave away on craigslist) i take the bottles and cans (just clap your hands) to the local crv recycling center and plastic that i don't have a secondary use for i take to my in-laws to recycle, thanks mama Jeanne! now, i need to figure out what to do with those pesky keurig cups, grrr.
but, really, it has made me use everything differently. i guess i used to think, it's ok to use more, i recycle! but now, i use a lot less in general. for instance, ziplock bags have never been recyclable so my usage of them wouldn't be affected anyway, right? wrong! i use tupperware-type containers for everything and when i must use a ziplock, it gets washed out and reused until it's falling apart. i must admit, i'm guilty of never doing that before. i did use tupperware-type containers, but i also used a plethora of ziplocks without feeling too badly about it. recently, i used a milk jug to make a watering can to administer my homemade, organic pesticide for the garden and today i used the empty bottle from my hair dye to put bleach in to clean the grout in the shower. before, i would have recycled these items and bought other plastic bottles to put these products in, why?
oddly enough, another thing i've realized i've improved greatly with is not wasting food. i used to make dinner and if it didn't get eaten that night we'd wrap it up and pretend we'd eat it another day, but never did. now, we finish everything! if there's left over dinner, it's now lunch the next day. i still may throw a heel or 2 from bread away, but everything else in our home gets eaten. granted, i know this is not a new idea, but one i didn't have much use or time for before.
really, i think it all has to do with what we've gone through in the last 6 months. when you go from having everything to having nothing, you really start to appreciate things more. i know it sounds cliche, but it's true. if today, someone came up to us and offered us our "old" life back, we wouldn't take it. life is what you make of it and for us, we choose to make it happy.