Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Reducing Rubbish

The strikes in Athens show no sign of letting up. In fact, they seem to be getting worse. I am more concerned with the building mountains of rubbish than the power cuts and have been taking measures to reduce the amount I throw out that will sit festering in the sun.

Athens accommodation consists almost exclusively of apartments. There is not much of a garden culture in this city. However, most apartment blocks do have access to a patch of land in their vicinity which is supposed to pass as a garden.

If you too have access to a piece of garden that you are allowed to use, keep a plastic container on your kitchen work top and save up all the organic waste you can. This means potato peels, orange skins, banana skins, onion peels, bland leftovers like boiled potato or rice etc. Dig a hole in the ground and bury this waste. It's fantastic for nourishing the soil and will help towards reducing the amount you throw out. Tea leaves and coffee grounds are supposed to be very good for roses, so save those up and sprinkle them around the base of your rose trees.

Things like oily waste, chicken skins, sugary, or salty food will still need to be thrown out as they will harm your soil rather than help it.

If you bury your organic waste and separate your recycling, the amount of actual garbage that gets thrown out is not all that much.

**This tip comes to you approved by my grandmother and Mr Zeus's authentic Greek yiayia.**


itelli said...

That's true. But honestly, what r the chances of this winning over the greek mentality ("put it in a bag and throw it away - from the balcony even, so u won't have to go down the whole flight of stairs")?

Rositta said...

Sadly Greeks are not very good at either recycling or composting. I recycle and compost as part of my daily life and produce only one bag of real garbage every two weeks. For residents of Athens composting will be a real challenge, recycling not so much if they really want to...ciao

Anonymous said...

I've been keeping my garbage on my balcony in a shadowy corner ever since the strikes started. I think its ten days now. It has piled up to be something like 5 big green bags full of it, plus 2-3 boxes (my cat finds it interesting hiding in them, I hope I wont put her out accidentaly with the rest of the garbage when the time comes). For the fellow Greeks that are too braindamaged to put out garbage when theres noone picking them up, I assure you, that no plague has yet come upon my house, nor have I rotten alongside my garbage.
On the other hand, my local garbage can has now 5 less green litter bags and 2-3 less boxes to smell for the pedestrians that are unlucky enough to be forced to walk past them.
And all this, while my neighbours think it is a great idea to throw away matresses or old toys exactly now, when they know for sure that noone will pick them up for them.
Honestly, there are times I am really disappointed by my people. There is an offchance we are not that brilliant cunning people everyone claims we are...