Recycling Made Easy
Shauna and I both have done a terrible job at taking advantage of the recycling bin provided by the county. Most of it boiled down to laziness. It seemed like a real chore to take a few small items out to the bin on the side of the house. Moving it to the backyard also proved troublesome given the problems we've had with our garage door. It looked like we were destined to keep filling our main garbage can with perfectly good recyclables just because of some relatively small hassles.
Shauna's mom Shauna had a flash of genius. For some time, we've been asking for paper bags instead of plastic from the supermarket. My rationale has always been that the paper will break down whereas the plastic will likely not. Both bag types are recyclable, but the paper ones have a nice, flat bottom that makes the bag stand up on its own. Presto, instant second trash can for recycling. Since the bag is paper, we can just toss the whole thing into the bin.
Amazingly, we've managed to cut our volume of household trash in half once we started doing this. It's not a big deal in the winter, but trash space is at a premium when there are raked leaves and lawn clippings to dispose of. And all it took was using some paper bags.