Organising to favorise waste reduction

As a complement to my last post about how much (or how little?) waste we generated in the last 6 months, I wanted to show you how  we organised our disposal areas, as it helps us being more aware of our trash.

Our flat has two attendant balconies: one big in the living room and one tiny small in the kitchen. At first I thought it was silly that the balconies were split in two, but it turns out it is perfect to help us with our waste reduction goals. We have put all the bins (compost, recycling, and general waste) out on the tiny small balcony. The only disposal facilities we have inside are the paper and cardboard crate as humidity could be a problem, a glass jar for hairs and nail clips in the bathroom that get regularly emptied in the compost and a compost bowl on the kitchen’s counter top to store food scraps before it gets emptied once or twice a day.

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My mum gave me this bowl she made to store the food scraps before they land in the compost bin.

Having the bins on the balcony is great because it frees a lot of space in the flat. But mostly, the fact that each time we need to get rid of something we have to go all the way out to the balcony forces us to be more aware of the things we throw away and give us time to think whether we could avoid this waste in the future. Making it somewhat annoying to trash things is a good motivation to generate less waste. You will tell me not everybody has the chance to have a special balcony to install their waste centre. It is true, but there are other alternatives like a garage, a remote storage closet… The point is that as a society we have been making it too easy to throw things away (where is this ‘away’ anyway?), like it is a natural thing to do. Do you know many species apart from humans that generate waste that cannot be absorbed by nature?

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3 thoughts on “Organising to favorise waste reduction”

  1. That’s the thing – there is no away! But this is a great idea. Just to add that “inconvenience” to taking out the garbage will make you want to produce less. I did a project with my class a few weeks ago for Waste Reduction Week and I turned our classroom garbage can over with a sign that said “Sorry! I’m on vacation!” It really made them think about where to put their garbage and how much they were producing. Garbage cans seem to be such a normal part of a house. I’m just thinking now… I should just get rid of mine! It’s ugly, takes up space, and my husband is mainly who uses it. Glad this is working for you!

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    1. I love the bin vacation idea! It is definitely nice not to have the bin in the middle of the kitchen anymore. I was always in the way in our previous flat. Exiling it feels good. I not sure we would be ready to get ride of it completely though.

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