Would You Like to Waste Less?

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Tom Watson

Tom Watson

I am so delighted to be a part of the Glad Waste Less Program! A group of bloggers in King County has the opportunity to try out some new Glad products and work on ways to reduce waste. Part of the program is a visit with Tom Watson, who runs the eco-consumer division of King County, in Washington State.  He writes columns for Seattle Times and also has appearances on KOMO 4 News.

Before I met Tom, I was nervous. I’m a mother of two. I work full time. Life is hectic. Was he going to tell me I needed to eat from bamboo plates when away from home? That I should always drink Starbucks from an aluminum thermos with a crocheted cozy made from organic, up-cycled wool? These ideas come from a relative of mine who does these things and would rather die than drink Starbucks. I don’t ever think he’ll read my blog, but just in case…Hi There, Uncle Cousin Guy!

Meeting Tom was a relief. He talked about Green Guilt and some of the marital problems that arise when couples have different eco-ideals. I love this guy!!! His basic message is that we can all reduce our waste, but it needs to fit in our lifestyle.

The Mouthy Family already recycles, but we need to help our children learn what can be recycled and what is just garbage. Tom printed off a handy list from my city about what can and cannot be recycled. While not nearly as extensive as Seattle, it had been updated and I was surprised about what can now be recycled. Tom also suggested we get our girls involved in recycling. Perhaps they can draw a recycle symbol to remind them to recycle when possible. I might even have my oldest daughter make a poster to remind us ALL of what can be recycled!

As for Green Guilt, which I think Tom should trademark, he said you can only do what you can do. If each of us picked up a few new habits each year, waste would be reduced dramatically. For example, in our neighborhood, all of us dump our grass in the open field across the street and take our limbs to the end of the road. Because of this, we don’t have a yard waste container. Lots of our family waste could be put in yard waste. However, Tom noted we have chickens and worm bins, which can take care of a fair amount of our waste. You do what you can do.

Tom and I also discussed composting. Every time I’ve looked into composting, I have two concerns. The bins are expensive and composting itself seems very complicated…a certain percentage of brown to green, high heat to kill everything bad, turning it all the time…too much work! Tom pointed out that he only turns his compost 3 or 4 times per year! That doesn’t sound too hard. He also suggested using pallets tied together (well, a bit more difficult, but pretty darn easy and cheap) to create a compost bin. He even pointed out a nice out-of-the-way corner to put it! I’m really excited to try this out. I even know a place to pick up free pallets!

I’m excited to see how my family and I can work on reducing our waste. A huge thank you to Tom Watson and the Glad Waste Less program. Be on the lookout for future posts about our progress and about the cool Glad products we’re using.

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PS-This post might contain affiliate links, meaning if click on one and actually buy something, I might earn 2-10% back. I am planning to buy a latte with my monthly earnings!

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