Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Walk of Shame

I've been dreading  a post like this for a while because it will show how much plastic stuff I really have been throwing away. Also, since this is the first time i've ever done this, I probably didn't keep as track as well as I should've. However, at least this is a start.  So from 3/16 to now, in almost 2 weeks, I've thrown away:

- 2 styrofoam takeout containers
- 2 popsicle wrappers
- 3-4 straws (though I've started not getting straws if I can help it)
- 2 shopping bags for cat/dog waste (bio ones hadn't come in yet)
- countless plastic food bags while cleaning out my Honey's pantry
- 3-4 plastic tea bag cases
- 2 plastic spoons
- plastic fork (I'm not counting the ones from Mad Greens b/c they're recycled...more on that later).
- plastic wrap on box of tea
- togo plastic cup (ouch! Still haven't remembered to tote mine around!)
- 8-12 bits of plastic from 2 boxes of easter egg dye. (I couldn't believe how much waste came from coloring 12 eggs!)
- broken mechanical pencil

Ok, this list does not include the countless Kleenexes and paper towels I've thrown away in the last two weeks. I try to recycle all paper products, but those things are not recyclable. And since I don't have the ability to compost yet, then I will just have to wait on those. At least they'll biodegrade faster...I guess.  But that, overall, doesn't look SO bad considering that I could've done much, much worse. However, that's not good enough for me and I want to do better. Some of these things above could be avoided, like the plastic utensilware (keep my own fork and spoon in my desk b/c I know that we run out of reusable stuff every day.) and togo cups (BRING. MY. OWN. TOGO. CUP!). And some of the stuff cannot be avoided quite yet - like some of the food packaging.  Hopefully thing's'll calm down and I'll be able to do more research.
So for the next two week summary, I hope to have an even more detailed list.

Now that I've gotten that out of the way, let me list a few things that I have done:

- I did bring my own cup to the smoothie place, though it was not my reusable one, it was a cornstarch one I had saved from Lark Burger. It also was smaller than their smallest smoothie, so I kinda got the short end of the stick that time.
- I continue to use my own bags at the grocery and other stores.
- I've even started being more insistent on clerks that I don't need a bag (even when they've put stuff in it).
- I've been trying to avoid straws and plasticware.

But most of all:
- I've become more aware of things I do that lead to waste.  Two weeks ago, I didn't think of what was happening when I was given a straw at a restaurant. I'd become so lazy that I'd use two-three disposable dishes/utensils in just one day w/o it even occurring to me what was happening.  But now I'm thinking about it every day (and probably annoying my Honey and my Mom. :-P). And that is the biggest impact of all, I think.

I'm going to New Orleans (or as they say N'awlins) this weekend, but I hope to get another post off before I leave.  I have been asked several times about why I'm doing this  blog.  And apparently the "why" in my first post isn't good enough. Apparently I appear to be somewhat of a capitalistic consumer. Well, that appearance will be discussed in the next post. So stay tuned!
We need to tell this little guy that what he's eating is not food!

1 comment:

  1. I just want to say I admire and appreciate what you are doing. It's fantastic. My family and I created just one rubbish bin / trash can of waste for 2009, the rest was reused, recycled or composted.
    This year we plan to send zero to landfill; but we started as you have - writing down everything we threw out each week; it's really helpful to see what you are throwing away and helps to raise your own awareness about where you can cut back with more sustainable choices.
    Keep up the great work!