I’ve seen and read about a zero-waste family who live in Marin County, CA (just north of our SF home) highlighted in TV and print. They have a blog. The entire idea is to eliminate garbage…completely, including the need to recycle. That’s a tall order in our society. I’ve eliminated some trash in our household in San Francisco by buying in bulk (which also saves money) and composting. But completely? She says it’s doable, and I have decided to slowly make changes to reduce our waste and garbage here in SF. I doubt I’ll get to zero, but maybe 50%? Her motto… refuse, reduce, reuse, recycle (in that order).
But wouldn’t this make perfect sense on the Big Island? Given Hawaii’s perennial problems with trash (a limited land mass surrounded by sensitive ocean) and limited solutions. Well, the county of Hawaii (big island) is ahead of me with hawaiizerowaste.org.
But frankly, it makes sense in a selfish way too. At our hilo home we need to haul all our trash a mile away to a trash collection stop. It’s a pain loading stinky trash in your car and driving it to the site. (don’t worry if you are a guest in our home, we do it so you don’t have to .
In the summers we’ll make some changes, and when and if we move to Hawaii for a long period, I’m going build a composter and a vegetable garden, buy in bulk, etc. It will be nice not to have to carry all that trash to the collection site so often.
But as a visitor and tourist to the island what can you do to help us (us as in our house so we don’t have so much trash and us as in the island of Hawaii, its people and environment)?
*Use reusable bags when you go shopping. These little things fit perfectly into backpacks and purses. Bring one with you to Hawaii (they even have Hawaiian themes!) and use it to shop. At least, don’t throw away your bags from shopping, take them when you shop again. (We’ll have a few canvas bags in the rooms)
*Don’t buy single use water or juice bottles, or even soda. Bring along a reusable water bottle and fill it from larger containers or the tap.
*Go to the farmers market! (with your reusable bag). The food will be fresher, often cheaper and local. And you won’t have all that packaging from the grocery store.