Early this week my wife and I loaded up our VW Camper Van with bagged garbage to take it to the Lumpkin County landfill/transfer station. Since our middle son moved to Gainesville we have not been able to borrow his pickup truck for trash hauling so the van had to do. We try to create less garbage for the Earth and to reduce trips to the dump.
We placed tarps inside the van to catch any spills from leaky trash bags, loaded the van and went on our way to the dump. My wife commented that there we no odors caused by the garbage. We check our guest trash for food at check outs and also take all of our unused food and use it for composting. That explained the lack of odor.
We were also surprised that we had not made the dump trip in over 3 months and marvelled at the small amount of trash we accumulated in the last 3 months. The trash were were taking to the dump were items we could not recycle or compost. Less garbage was not only possible but easy.
When my wife goes grocery shopping she tries to purchase items in recyclable packaging. By recycling the packaging versus disposing we keep it out of the landfill which helps the environment by creating less garbage.
Here in the county we can recycle some plastics (mainly the water bottles guests leave us), cans and paper. We also use shredded paper/junk mail in our composter. Glass has to be taken to another county for recycling. Many wine bottles are bottle trees in the yard. See bottle trees for more information.
Being mindful about what you purchase and the packaging it comes in is very green. So is composting food to keep it out of the landfill. Start today and help the environment. Please do your part by creating less garbage and everyone will benefit.
To learn more about how we help the environment visit our inn page being green.
Michael Pollan wrote a book titled The Omnivores Dilemma that discusses the commercial food industry and the popularity of processed foods and high fructose corn syrup. The book had a major impact on our thoughts about healthy food versus unhealthy food. My wife and I seldom ingest food or drinks with high fructose corn syrup or food that has been highly processed.
He is shown on the Democracy Now TV show in two videos that are linked below.
In the first video he talks about the relationship to confinement pork farming in Mexico to the recent swine flu outbreak. As a past college professor who taught consumer behavior I also found his comments on large food companies making unhealthy food additives live sugar appear healthy to the consumer. Another example of this is eating Cheerios to lower cholesterol.
In Video 2 he talks about how our school lunch program creates addicts of highly processed foods since that is what they serve to children. For example chicken nuggets. Why aren’t they serving healthy food to our children?
In conclusion he makes a logical assumption that we cannot address climate change without first addressing our food since our food system contributed to global warming.
I believe they will have an influence on how you think about food and show you the importance of eating healthy food.
We serve healthy food at our inn using mainly organic ingredients. we do not use any GMO’s, factory farmed meat or eggs and no high fructose corn syrup. For breakfast sample dishes visit organic breakfast.
Here at Cedar House Inn and Yurts we have recycling bins in all guest areas to recycle paper, certain plastics and glass. Most guests are good about not throwing recycled items in the garbage can.
We also compost all uncooked and cooked leftover foods for the gardens and to keep the trash cans from odors.
Our trips to the local landfill happen about every 3-4 months since we throw away very little.
Our county offers a recycling station but is very limited in what it takes. We haul certain plastics and all glass to another center in a nearby county.
I recently read an article about how much recycling varies across the country. It included a map of the USA showing recycling usage. I was shocked but not surprised that the southern states do not have recycling programs as much as other parts of the country. It appears to be a blue versus red state issue. Blue is more advanced in recycling. I often think this is true in most green practices.
I hope the south one day sees the importance of recycling on the Earth and environment.
While twittering I had a follower ask me in a tweet if I wanted to try some soapnuts. They mentioned it was an eco friendly substitute for laundry detergent. We always use environmentally friendly laundry soap but I was intrigued and agreed to try a sample.
They arrived promptly by mail.
For those of you that have never heard about soapnuts they are berries that grow on trees in India and Indonesia. Their shells contain a natural detergent called saponin. They are gentle on clothes and skin so they are great for people with skin allergies and babies. The nuts are also biodegradable so they are great for the Earth.
The nuts come with a little cloth bag with drawstring. all we had to do was place 3-5 soapnut shells in the bag and throw it in the washer instead of detergent. We tried it on a load of personal clothing with great results. The clothes came out clean and fresh smelling (the nuts have no smell).
For more information on soapnuts and how to order some for yourself visit Laundry Tree.
We ran out of nuts and are back to using a standard eco friendly laundry soap.
For other eco friendly features we have at our inn visit conservation.
TripAdvisor®, the world’s most popular and largest travel community, today announced the results of its environmentally-friendly travel survey of more than 1,200 U.S. respondents.
Seventy-six percent of travelers sometimes incorporate green choices in their travel plans and 27 percent of respondents intentionally made environmentally-friendly travel choices in the past year.
Fifty-two percent regularly find it challenging to incorporate “green” choices into their travel plans and 44 percent of travelers find that environmentally-friendly options are not readily available when traveling.
Guests visiting the North Georgia mountains and the Dahlonega area have a green choice in lodging at Cedar House Inn and Yurts. We opened in 2003 as a green lodging establishment and have always used green sustainable practices in our daily operations which are outlined on our web site.