We’ve got two identical trashcans right around the corner from the kitchen in the laundry room. One is for trash, one is for recycling (we have single-stream recycling here in Baton Rouge so we don’t have to sort). I love this setup except for two minor issues: 1) guests never know which is which and, 2) Nick hates Mother Earth and throws everything in the trash. Just kidding, he just can’t remember what’s recyclable.
I’ve made labels for them before, but they always got gross and dirty, even when I covered them with clear plastic tape. I thought about buying a recycling symbol sticker to slap on there, or even trying my hand at some pretty lettering with a sharpie, but something was holding me back. Then last weekend I went to a coffee shop that had swatches of chalkboard paint brushed kind of haphazardly onto the walls (it was Brew HaHa for you local folks). Instead of neatly taped edges there were brush marks. I made a mental note to give that a try sometime and when I came home and saw Nick had thrown away something recyclable for the billionth time I felt inspired. So last night while dinner was cooking I gave each lid a few coats of chalkboard paint. And this morning I broke out my trusty piece of chalk to do some completely non-permanent labeling.
Now there won’t be any confusion about what goes where.
Not bad for something that took maybe five minutes and cost absolutely nothing, right? Sometimes it’s the smallest, simplest projects that bring me the most joy. Nick hasn’t seen them yet, so it’ll be interesting to see if he notices or changes his habits. Now, if only I could motivate myself to pull all the weeds out of my compost pile maybe I could score some extra points with Mother Earth by sorting out compostables again.