While I was bitterly cleaning up the mess, I wondered why we have so much extra garbage at family dinners? I starting take note of what was in the garbage bag (or on the floor, rather).
Paper plates, paper napkins, plastic cutlery, wrapping etc.—and a bunch of recyclables, because the recycling bin had already overflowed so people had just started chucking it in the garbage.
I thought to myself: “Don’t we all have a set of reusable napkins?” You know . . . the fancy ones that you bought just for occasions like this? And “can’t we use our own cutlery and plates and just wash them?”
The answer is: Yes, we do. And yes, we can. So why don’t we? And why are we spending money on things just to throw away?”
“But it’s easy,” we say. And it is paper, so it will biodegrade. And we can recycle the plastic.
But did you know it takes a lot of resources and energy to produce and ship and recycle these throw-away items?
I’d never thought about it that way until this very messy day.
So bust out those fancy napkins, pull out that box of extra plates (or grab some at the thrift store for $5), and save some money and the environment.
I also invested in an extra recycling bin to hold all the extra recycling that having company produces ($5 at your local service centre).
And if you are feeling extra green, try your hand at back-yard composting and reduce your waste by half.
Now that is something our environment would be thankful for.