About a week ago, we decided that it was time to say goodbye. Our trash can in the kitchen was BIG. Way bigger than neccessary and reminding us of all the trash that we have created. We need a fresh start and a bit of a kick in the butt. The best way to motivate? Just FORCE it! If we have a teeny tiny trash can (the one that used to be in our bathroom about a year ago), then we will have to be more aware of the stuff we put in it. This little bin also has no lid, so no smelly stuff can go in unless we want to live in a stinky house. The average North American household has a big kitchen trash can, about 13 gallons (~50L), and a few wastebaskets around the house in bathrooms and bedrooms. With options for disposing stuff in every room, of course it's easier to not think about what we are throwing away. And depending on how many times you want to take out the trash, you might even have a bigger trash in the kitchen. Once that receptacle is gone, you really have no choice but to face your demons (demons being your garbage!).
As you can see by the photo, we already have a place for our recyclables right next to our little bin and we have a compost bucket under our sink which we dump into our green waste bin outside when it's full. It feels really good to get rid of that big stinky white bin and be able to SEE the trash we are creating. Our eyes are opened and we are aware. Now when I feel like giving in and buying a yummy snack that comes in a horrendous non-recycleable plastic package, I immediately think about the fact that I will have to look at it sitting in my kitchen for a long time, frowning at me and yelling, "HEY HEY! LOOK AT ME!" Yes, I am so crazy now that my trash frowns and yells at me.
I challenge you to consider downsizing your trash cans (in size OR quantity) and to also consider using biodegradable liners. We have opted out of a liner since our trash is no longer sticky or gooey or will leave any mess behind (thank goodness for composting all that stuff!). A great idea if you decide to do this is to find out what your city recycles and if there is an organic waste program. This will immediately cut down most of your trash.
Let me know if you are jumping on board, I would LOVE to hear it!