There are certain things that you really don’t consider when beginning your homestead. For us, it was garbage.
Before Berry Man came home to work on the homestead full-time, we took the easy way out. Sure, we burned paper every week in a burn barrel like most country folk, but we gathered the rest of our garbage in a huge black trash bag. Berry Man performed his weekly trash duty by hauling our big black trash bags to the dumpster at work. Out of sight, out of mind.
We knew that once he transitioned to our full-time homestead man, we would need to figure out something to do with our trash. There was a dumpster at my work, but hauling there wasn’t an option. We really just figured we would add trash service…until we made the call to check prices. WOWSERS!
We knew that we would have to reevaluate our sanitation situation in order to meet our homesteading goals.
So we decided to take it back to the basics with a new plan.
5 Ways We Reduced Waste On Our Homestead
- Use real plates.
- Paper plates really are quite a convenience. After spending my day herding cats, I mean teaching children, I would often want to use paper plates for supper just because it was easy. While paper plates can be burned, they don’t burn well and would fill our burn barrel more quickly than we would like. Washing four more plates really isn’t that big of a deal. Plus, you get the bonus of money saved from purchasing paper plates.
- Compost your scraps or let the animals compost it for your.
- Sometimes we would just haul off scraps because we didn’t want to take them outside to the compost pile. We need all the compost we can get for our gardens, so we needed to come up with a more convenient process. At this point, we have a container with a lid that we fill. Once it is full, we take it out to compost. We keep the compost bucket on our porch and bring it in each day when I cook. Sometimes we take it directly to compost, but the rabbits and chickens also help us with our veggie scraps. It is a nice supplement for them, especially in the winter months.
- Find a place to recycle.
- Much of what we were throwing away each week could actually be recycled. Once we started paying attention, we realized that instead of hauling trash to town, we could begin hauling recyclables to town. Most cities, and even many small towns now, have a place to take recycling at no cost to you. Reduce waste and reduce cost…It’s a win-win.
- Consider what you purchase.
- I have been a label reader for years. Searching for strange-sounding ingredients is second nature for me, so looking for recycling symbols was something easy to add to my shopping routine. When choosing an item to purchase, consider what you will do with the waste. I’m looking for waste I can burn or recycle. Since I make most of our meals from scratch, there isn’t much that I purchase that produces much waste that we cannot recycle, burn, or compost.
- Reuse or repurpose.
- Berry Man is the king of repurposing. Not only does he like to keep every item we can’t dispose of, but he remembers where he puts it, and is able to find it at a moments notice when we need it for a project. Boy, did I pick a good one!
Not only have these steps helped us figure out what to do with our waste, but it has helped us reduce our waste, increase our compost, feed our chickens and rabbits, and save money. We went from having at least one large black bag of waste per week to having a small grocery sack of waste once in a while, which is very easy to dispose of at no cost.
Convenience is nice, but sustainability secures our homestead for the future.
What steps have you taken to reduce your waste? Leave your comments below.