The title to this tip wavered between: Thinking in Terms of Longevity and the alternate title: Never Throw Anything Away (unless it's truly trash).
Brick wall Made with Trash
Springfield Ohio Learning to Live Autonomously
When seeking to live off-grid, garbage is a problem turned into a solution.
Q: So if I don't have a regular garbage pickup, where's my garbage?
A: Glad you asked. As it turns out, it's easy to make less garbage!
Firstly, let's define garbage in an on-grid situation vs garbage in an off-grid application.
In an on-grid situation, your trash is trash that could be recycled, however the difficulty in finding the means to purpose it are limited (especially if you live in the cities or apartments).
And furthermore, even if you were able to recycle your trash within the cities, it is for another entity that you toil. The term recycle is defined as re-using a commodity or other material for another purpose. Recycle is NOT defined as making some other entity fat with your donation (that will later turn around and raise their prices for their product with no thought to your donations).
Typically though, trash in an on-grid situation cannot be separated for recycling, and therefore becomes trash.
However, in an off-grid setting, your trash is a commodity.
Recycling is automatic, unless you are cash-flush.
Explained further, garbage basically consists of plant and animal by-products, glass, metals, and styros.
So Let's talk trash.
1.) Paper or cardboard.
Since I heat and cook with wood, that garbage is kindling and a necessary commodity.
The stove generally stays on day and night in the winter time, but even in the warmer months kindling is vital during the times when cooking is necessary.
So with the elimination of paper, wood, and cardboard from the garbage, instantly transforms my garbage to be less garbage than the next person.
2.) Table scraps.
Vegetable and fruit processing scrap, etc., ends up in a sealed compost container (recycled kitty-litter container), and ultimately incorporated into the garden. Any meat products go to the neighbor's dog.
As it turns out the soil is starving for nutrition (so likewise when I die, I'd prefer NOT to be simply burned up so that you have to breathe that crap, but I also would prefer NOT to be buried in a box. It gets no more selfish even unto death when your body has all the nutrients that could replenish your dying planet...just a thought).
So that eliminates table scraps and other animal and plant-matter from my garbage, which is usually where garbage odors originate from.
3.) Steel and other metals are re-used in all sorts of varied projects.
When there is too much accumulated metals, one phone call makes it all go away (search location: craigslist; search term: metal scrapper).
Donating also helps the community by giving the excess to the starving scrappers.
4.) Glass products are reused in canning, storage, or used as drinking glasses.
Very little glass ends up in the garbage until it results in breakage.
5.) Plastics and styros.
You found MY GARBAGE!!
So the useless plastics are garbage, and bagged up.
On average, I'd say there's one bag per month that is carried out to the sealed dumpster (a 40-foot bus).
However, even styrofoams have come in handy during the winter. Temporarily insulating the 3-car garage openings shielded me from the bitter cold that is outside during the winter time. One winter it was recorded as being 12degrees outside; 84 degrees inside! ";-)
There are no odors because there's no food-matter left in the garbage. No critters will find sustenance from my garbage.
I state the long-winded aforementioned to curtail the more judgmental among us, that might just assume something incorrectly, and lose the message for the wrongful assumption. Hello Codes Department.
In short, Think long-term in more than just your garbage, cables, sustenance, energy, etc. Remember you are going to get old; You are going to get forgetful; You are going to get error-prone, it's inevitable (if you even live that long).
I have not lived in the house since 2014, and it's now 2018. There have been two occurrences when outside help has been needed in dealing with the residual trash (plastics and Styrofoams), and on those two occasions a trash guy was called for the minimum 3-month contract. I actually did not even require the assistance of an outside source to remove the build-up of the trash on the bus the second time. However, with the arrival of my mother during a summer visit, she insisted in having the Refuse Collection Company for the three months while she visited and I jumped on the bandwagon to clean out the bus though it was not even 1/3 full.
The Refuse Collection Company that was utilized for two three-month stints is H.W. MannSons Hauling Service.
I'd like to take the time to mention this Trash Company due to a number of reasons, least of all the reasons are their incredible amount of consideration which the Company has shown.
For example, unlike other trash companies of my past, these guys make absolutely certain the trash is picked up, even when a raccoon tore through all our bags and made quite a mess! That would be mom's fault. Her garbage smelled good to me too.
The fine American Hauling Company had the above-and-beyond consideration to send a letter after we concluded our service with them. Before I tell you the contents of the letter, I first would like to point out a few items of character that I find outstanding and reminiscent of how good non-monopoly companies USED to treat us Americans before monopolies took over.
1.) The letter was not a canned-response, it was HAND-WRITTEN by a human.
2.) The paper the hand-written letter was comprised of was not cheap capitalistic crap. In fact it was the tri-ply type of paper with two copies availed for our use.
3.) The Postage Stamp of an American Flag was licked by a human and placed on the envelope with apparent care (as opposed to the tax-breaks that the monopolies get, which enjoy lower postage and no stamp required).
4.) At the bottom of the page were the words: THANK YOU ! (also handwritten).
5.) Even the envelope was handwritten, and neatly at that.
When we terminate business with any company, whether it be for electric or a roofer's service, how many would actually take the time and expense to make us feel this pleased to have spent money with them (even if we had to anyway)
When considering the time to hand-write a letter, purchase an envelope, figure out what a stamp will cost us this year, purchase special paper, and then add the cost of labor to place it in the care of the Postal Service, we have evolved to acquiring a faithful customer (as opposed the the canned-letters we get from the monopolies which is littered with the motive to up-sell or some other non-caring capitalistic motive).
The letter specified the period of our agreement and thanked us for choosing H.W. MannSons for our hauling needs.
From the letter I can plainly see that it is truly a family-based business owned and operated by Katherine Mann, Charles Mann, Willard Mann, and Lewis Mann. This alone is amazing to me because If I had to work with anyone in my family I'm certain I'd be found stark raving mad!
Exceptional is a word that comes to mind when I think of that trash Company. So in spreading the good will, I close this pseudo-review with their address and number should anyone else in Springfield Ohio wish to try them out.
Phone: (937) 324-1324 and their address is 2614 Rocket Avenue in Springfield Ohio 45505.
If this were a canned response (not hand-written) I'd have barely given it a thought and hurled it into the kindling pile. And in all honesty the envelope and one of the tri-ply copies will indeed be used to start a fire when needed. But due to this well-placed thank-you note, if you come by my garage you'll invariably find a copy of the MannSons letter posted on the left wall as you enter the garage where I call my laboratory. ";-)
In fact, Proof of Concept in the value of trash has opened the opportunity for me to give the community of Springfield Ohio a great service.
Since I re-purpose so much around here (not entirely by choice), has created the ability for me to offer a free place for Springfield Ohio to dump
And since the neo-politico conglomerated capitalists now charge money to dump in a community landfill, this is where the contrast of something that works vs somthing that is broken and only works for the few.
The whole notion of charging your own community to dump in a already taxed community dump site wouldn't be so bad (to make those that use the dump pay for that particular service); however, like "school" taxes, we all tithe toward those services whether we use them or not.
Okay, Enough about the trash already.
Thinking long-term and beyond our myopic existence.
There's not always a clear indication when you begin to decompose while you still live. And we can't necessarily dictate to our minds that we would prefer to be the kind elderly person and not the pervert....it just happens. A little forgetfulness one day, then another day it becomes a little frustration...and bam, before you know it you're finding yourself talking to inanimate objects!
Whatsoever you do, do unto the next generation, your family tree, your neighbor (not for yourself solely...the initial investment in solar rarely sees a monetary return in an off-grid scenario. For the next generation however, your efforts equate to nothing BUT profit!
Your death should leave something of substance that will get you remembered, the artifacts of which may be used for generations to come; as opposed to the useless idols and graven images we may accumulate, commonly referred to as trinkets. In contrast, Tools of old, are commonly found usable even to this very day. Whereas the cheaper made modern-day tools will rarely survive even our own existence, let alone the next.
Buying plastic crap leaves plastic crap, the owner of whom left the following generation to pay to move the plastic crap to the dump, or have a somewhat embarrassing garage sale in the hopes that someone will buy the plastic crap.
What you choose to leave behind determines your character, your foresight, and more. Getting old is no new science. Look around. No old people? Fewer old people this year than last? Fluoride in "public" water supplies, genetically "modified" foods, nuclear plants within 30 miles of your home, and more contribute to the increase in cancers and early termination of the humans and other wild life. Unless your eyes are diminished by the "statistics" brought to you by others, It appears that death is ever-present with the increase of capitalist crap. Prepare while you still have a mind to. Perform your projects as if you will be aged and invalid tomorrow.
p.s. Ingesting fluoride will not make your teeth whiter, If my memory serves correctly, fluoride is a slag byproduct of a bomb-making industry. How does that make you feel, my expendable countrymen and women?
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