Segregation and Conservation- the things I do

Reading the comments from the previous post, I figured that it makes sense to put together a post with whatever I do, and I could add to them based on everything you guys do. It would be wonderful, wouldn’t it, if even one person started segregating by our efforts?

So here goes.

I segregate my waste into four categories

– Paper – All paper, newspapers, fliers, old notebooks. My domestic help takes the newspapers – I figure that if she makes some money of it- why not? To save space, I either crush empty cartons or stuff them with paper, so that less of my space is used up by the waste.
– Plastics – Plastic containers, bags, shampoo bottles, washed milk packets
– Wet Waste – Vegetable peelings, fruit cores, peels, left over food, egg shells, tissues soiled with food. Both veg and non-veg waste is supposed to go in here.
– Reject – Diapers, hair, sanitary napkins, soiled clothes

Medical Waste – ScribbleHappy was asking about Medical waste. According to BBMP guidelines, they will collect it on a quarterly basis. Do check out this link for more information. There is a lot of detailed information in there. In our apartment complex, we do have separate bins for e-waste, and the others that I have already mentioned, but none for medical waste so far.

I have found that the easiest way to segregate is to have the right number of bins to put things in. If we can’t find the right bin, the waste is most likely to go into the wrong one. I keep one bin for the wet waste handy, in the kitchen/utility area, so that all of it goes right into it, without having to hunt around for it.

Since most of the reject waste is from the bathrooms, it makes sense for the reject bins to be there. I have two bags – one for paper, and another for plastic. So it’s easy once you have it all handy and know where what goes.

I don’t use plastic liners at all, these days. Both my bins are lined with newspaper. The wet waste, unless you put waste with lots of water in it, stays dry and clean, if lined with newspapers. Apparently newspaper works for composting. And even in the landfills, paper would be better than plastic, wouldn’t it? I just clean the bins after they have been emptied.

I would love to have my own compost bin, although how feasible it is in an apartment, I have not idea. Have any of you given it a shot yet? While on composting, do check out this link. Reading this makes me want to try it out. But one step at a time, I guess 🙂 I should worry about furnishing my house first 🙂 My parents have a compost bin too -but they have more space and it’s not an apartment.

Conservation of Water

As I mentioned in my previous post, I try to reuse the RO waste water always. I also try to reuse the water I use to wash vegetables , rice, dals etc. All this goes only into water plants. It helps that I have plenty of plants to water. Of course, I do end up not saving this water sometimes, especially when I am in a hurry, but I do try to do it whenever I can. Sometimes, I end up with too much waste water, when the rains lash down at my balconies, but it still gets used. My neighbour has lots more RO water wasted as she has a larger family. She uses the water to clean bathrooms and the toilets. It’s not easy for her to lug the water everyday, but she does it because she feels strongly enough about it.

In the UK, the motto was ‘Reduce, Reuse, Recycle’. Makes so much sense, doesn’t it? Reduce what we use, so that we don’t waste as much, Reuse what we can, and Recycle what we can’t reuse.

So that’s it from me. Tell me, what else do you do? It would be wonderful to pick up more effective techniques to segregate waste and reduce waste as far as possible. And I would love some tips on re-using stuff.

Edited to add : I used to love having long relaxing tub baths, and long showers -but have now completely stopped them – makes me feel too guilty- just the thought of using up so much water. That one, goes in my list of personal sacrifices 🙂

Edited to Add:

Resources – I’ve decided to list all the related links/sites here – Thanks Nameeta and Seema. This seems like a great resource!