Zero Waste

frustratedearthmother

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Speaking of grease in the pipes, I found my husband pouring grease down the sink one time and fussed at him about it. His answer? "It's ok because I run hot water down the sink after that." :th My answer? "Well don't 'cha think that all that hot water will might, just maybe COOL OFF between here and the septic tank and clog up the pipes?" :barnie
Had that same conversation with my city boy DH when he first moved here....and continued to have it for quite some time afterwards....and then we spent in excess of 10K on a new septic system. :( (wasn't all his fault - it was old)

I do buy the paper towels that you can pick a size and I always use the one I just dried my hands on to wipe up the water splashes around the sink. Double duty I guess - at least it makes me feel better, lol.
 

Hinotori

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My ex-husband dumped fish tank gravel down Mom's kitchen sink. This was after she showed him where to dump it outside. I'm sure you can imagine how angry she was. The pipes had to be removed and cleaned out.

Of course this is the same idiot who decided to help my parents when they were trying to find where the loose wire was to the brake lights on their International Scout. He had literally shoved me out of the way from climbing under to check. I stormed off into the house fed up. Not 5 minutes later I hear Mom yelling and she storms into the house. His method to "help" was to grab a bundle of wires and start yanking as hard as he could. Mom ended up having to rewire the entire thing because he damaged so many wires.


As for paper towels, I also use quite a few of them to keep grease out of the septic and greywater. And cleaning up after sick dogs.
 

tortoise

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I wouldnt stress about paper towel @frustratedearthmother . They will decompose and theyre renewable resource. If you want to level-up, you could look for a source that doesnt wrap paper towel rolls in plastic. Who Gives a Crap brand has that but their prices seem very high to me at first glance. I will have to do some math to see if its reasonable. Old school bathroom paper towel refills are wrapped in paper. I think bulk janitorial supplies would be more economical way to buy (minus plastic packaging) without paying extra.

I dont use much paper towel. I cut up old clothes for disposable rags for dog puke, greasy messes, etc. (I have rags I wash and reuse that are made from old towels.) I doubt that would make much difference for you, but I'll mention in case it helps others.
 

tortoise

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I use hand towels and change / wash them frequently, at least once per day. Usually 2 bathroom hand towels and 4 kitchen dish towels per day. If someone is sick, I'll put them in the wash after one use. When I am filling the washing machine, I go through the house and grab all the small towels and put them in.

We wash bath towels once a week (color coded towels so no sharing). We wear clothes a few times until theyre dirty or smelly. But the hand towels - I wash them constantly.
 

Hinotori

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Greasy paper towels are good for starting fires.

If we have to shop Costco, we get a whole pizza sometimes. I have a couple pizza boxes waiting for their new home as garden weed suppression.

I have to nag my husband to get his jeans sometimes. We tend to wear them until dirty or I can smell them. I have a very sensitive nose, but it's usually dirt or work grease that gets them. Shirts usually only get worn for a full day's worth of sweating. So if it's only worn a few hours, it's hung for the next day.

It helps that I have outdoor clothes and town clothes. Those jeans get washed maybe once a month as they probably only get 4 full days of wear during that time if that. My sweats I wear in the chicken pens and garden are a different story as those get mud and other stuff on them.
 

flowerbug

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this is all longer than it should be, but i'm in a rambly mood to write a bit more. :) ...

i've never liked or understood paper towels and we don't buy them for our own use at all here, but i have a package of single fold paper towels for use in the garage when i do oil changes on the lawn mower, that's about the only use i have for those. we do use other towels when we cook and those get washed pretty frequently, the same for dish clothes. we change those about once a day. we hardly ever get sick.

as for grease down the sink. i don't have any problem rinsing a hot pan of grease off down the sink knowing i'm going to do the rest of the dishes anyways so that won't cause any clogs in the pipes, having done that here for 15yrs since i've been living here, no clog, if there is more grease than that i will use hot water mixed with extra dish soap to liquify the grease and mix it with the soap and then dump it down the drain (then do the rest of the dishes). the bacteria/etc in the septic tank deal with it. we don't eat a lot of meat or grease fry things that often anyways so this might happen all of once a month, if that. not much like that goes on. we don't cook bacon any longer, sausage hasn't had that much fat in it most of the time, butter gets soaked up by bread. we get the septic tank pumped every 3-5yrs now. i think we're due for it this year but i'll check my records.

Mom is super sensitive to smells from the sink drain so in recent months we've found some narrow strips from the store which smell slightly of lemon which are supposedly enzymes to digest and make the sink drains smell better. Mom has said they work, i can't smell what bugs her (which is amazing to me because i also have a sensitive nose but not to whatever it is she's smelling). the strips are long and narrow so they fit through the top sink drain strainer/trap and go down into the S trap. put a new one in once a a month and she's happy. my own nose i'm sensitive to things like raw eggs and bowls used for baking that have batter left on them that has eggs in it or any pans that have had meat cooked in them. they smell like rancid grease, i have to wash them two or three times before i can't smell it any longer. this is common thing to happen if you've ever been vegetarian for long and no longer cook meats in the house that often. to remove odors from some plastic items we soak them in water with a little bleach added. i don't have to do that with glass containers at all, just wash them as normal.

as for what children might put down the toilet i think the strangest item would be the toothbrush that got wedged at the old house many years ago. kept causing plugs until it got pulled out of there.

about the house indoor clothes i'll wear until they smell and i do have a sensitve nose. same for my towel i use to dry off after a shower, hang it up to dry and use it probably four or five times before it gets washed again. my dress clothes, like the jeans i wear when we go out shopping, i may wash those once every six months or so. they don't get dirty. the dressier t-shirts i wear for shopping get washed after being used once or twice. undies and socks, no, i'm not giving details about those other than the undies get washed often enough and they're worn until i can see through them before i get rid of them, they're more comfy the more they get worn. :)

garden clothes it depends upon what i get into as to how often i wash them, but i have enough extras that it doesn't matter too much. a friend of ours had some very good quality work clothes that they needed to get rid of because the company changed their name after getting merged with another so i have five pairs of work pants for gardening that i'll likely never wear out before i croak.

i don't really throw away much at all here in my room i can go several months or a year before i have to empty my small waste basket because all that goes in there are bits of plastic, dust bunnies and the bits of plastic windows from envelopes from mail and even then it is rarely full beyond 1/3rd, i just change it to get rid of the dust bunnies after i clean (once or twice a year when i dust the floors under the futons). i'm trying to get this round of recent cleaning done so i've just emptied that basket and now it has parts of the edges/ends of some books in there that will stick around for a while longer until i empty it again. i use an outer plastic bag layer to cover up the wicker of the basket so it doesn't catch on the inner bag i put in there, that's just one of those grocery store t-shirt bags.

Mom can fill up a bag a day with her quilting scraps.

the kitchen waste is about half or less of a t-shirt bag a day, almost all of that is plastic wrappings that won't go in recycling. if it was just me here that would be a lot less as Mom throws away egg shells (if i'm peeling eggs i recycle them, Mom won't) from baking, when i buy eggs i won't buy styrofoam packaged eggs, she doesn't care, we can't recycle those, but the paper cartons can be recycled (i've also just buried them in the gardens or torn them into smaller pieces and fed them through the worm farm).
 

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