I wanted to stop buying fabric conditioner sheets, because I rarely used them. After some thought, I bought a bottle of liquid fabric softener, which lives in my laundry room. When I want such a thing, about 1x a year or so, I soak a washcloth with the fabric conditioner and throw it into the dryer with the damp, clean whatever. Works. No waste, except the bottle -- but they last a long, long time at this rate.
Melissa Bee wrote:I've done so many of the reduce-reuse-recycle-refuse things others here have mentioned, so I won't repeat them. And I got to the point where I was producing only one small bag of household trash every week--like a plastic grocery bag, with plenty of space left to tie the handles together.
But the one major trash issue that remained was cat litter. I'm a cat lady, and I also foster, so even though my 33-gallon garbage can was only half- to two-thirds full every week, most of that was litter.
I had already shifted over to pine pellet litter, and had, through trial and error, figured out the minimum amount I could put in each box. There is no need to put 2" of litter in a box; a regular-sized box in my household gets one repurposed Starbucks Venti cup of litter, and the extra-large boxes made from huge storage bins get 1-1/2. Pine pellet litter expands as soon as it gets wet, and before long the cats have plenty of fluffy sawdust to absorb pee and cover their poop. I scoop poop every day, remove any saturated sawdust, and add a handful or two of new pellets to "top off" the box.
So while I had done my best to reduce the amount of outgoing litter, there was still a lot of it, and I was still putting it out with the trash. But this year, I decided to start composting the sawdust (I'm still throwing away the poop) for use on the ornamental plantings out front--and now I have practically no trash. It would now take me over a month to fill my 33-gallon can, and about half of that is cat poop.
With my current setup, I can't get a compost pile hot enough, and I don't have space to let humanure-type bins sit for a couple of years, so I can't safely compost the poop. But in my next place I'll have more space, and come up with something better. And with no stinky cat waste in my garbage, I'll be able to forego curbside collection altogether, instead holding my mostly-clean garbage in cans and making semiannual trips to the dump (where I can also offload recycling).
I know this is an old post, but I'm really interested in hearing more about how you composted the cat litter. We've just moved our 10 year old cat who was allowed to go outside and dig his own toilet to a home where he's now an indoor cat. The volume of waste from the litter is overwhelming. The best litter we've been able to find/afford (there's some corn-based stuff that we haven't tried) is wood-based, seemingly industrial scraps.
Do you compost the soggy litter as well or put that in the bin? Do you compost the rest in your main compost or have you created a separate compost bin/area for this? I see you said that you use it for ornamentals only- is this because of possible fecal contamination or another reason? Thank you!