Welcome to Second Ferment! Wine pairs well with life ... and food, travel, people, work and play. Grab a glass and join me as I explore the wine scene in Ottawa, Canada, and beyond. Love hearing from my readers, so please leave a comment. Cheers! - Bethany

Thursday, April 22, 2010

There's something rotting under my sink ... cool!

Happy Earth Day, folks. (Seriously, though, do we have to limit it to just one day? Come on.)

I'm proud to say our household has always been pretty committed to being green. We recycle, we reuse (just LOOK at all the Doodle's clothes that are going to be outfitting Baby 2.0), we reduce. Our trunk is full of cloth bags for shopping. All our wine and beer bottles are diligently returned for refund. No pesticides on the lawn. Cold-water wash only.

Despite all that, we were still sending a bunch of garbage to the landfill every week, a lot of which could have been composted. Unfortunately, living in a condo stratus as we were, composting was rather frowned upon. Then along came the Green Bin.

I have been stoked about this project since the City started mulling it over a few years ago. Curb-side service to pick up your organics, without having to mess around with worms, tacky fluorescent cones or hungry wildlife? A super-easy way to cut back on garbage? Where do I sign up?

After much debate and delay (cuz gawd forbid the City should ever do anything without a little bit of both), the green bins arrived in January of this year, and I've been in love with them since. The little pail under the sink, lined with its special, leak-proof coating (that's debateable), eats up all manner of organics: veggie scraps, bones, meaty bits, mouldy leftovers, spent corks, eggshells. Used Kleenex, dryer lint, swept-up kitchen floor debris, pizza boxes, paper towel. Yard waste, spent flowers, raked leaves. Hair, dust bunnies, nail clippings. I can't get over how much can be crammed into that nifty gadget, and find myself positively giddy as I fill bag after bag.

Of course, the naysayers (those crusty types who shake their fists at kids running on their lawns - you know who you are) have complained. It's too expensive. The bags cost too much. It's too much work. It smells bad. It attracts animals. I don't want The Man telling me what to do. My tax money shouldn't be going into something I don't even use.

Given that logic, if we don't take the bus, we shouldn't have to pay for public transportation either, should we? Or if you don't have kids, why pay school taxes? If you don't own a car, why pay for road maintenance? And so on, and so forth.

I think the City should arrange some sort of tour for the public to see, first-hand, how much is diverted away from our landfill through composting. Expensive? Possibly, depending on your circumstances. To low-income households that need to focus on rent and food, buying the little liner bags is not a priority. There are ways around that, though, like wrapping stuff in newspaper. Hard work? Hardly. Do you put the garbage out on garbage day? Do you put out your recycle bins? This is no different.

There are lots of excuses for not using the green bins ... and for not saving water, or turning the lights off when you're not using them, or bringing old clothes to the Sally Ann instead of pitching them. It really comes down to a matter of laziness, and the way the world's going, we just don't have the luxury of being slackers anymore.

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