Monday, January 3, 2011

No Impact Week- Monday

"Empty your special trash bag from yesterday. Separate the items into two piles: stuff that you used for more than ten minutes, and stuff you used for less than ten minutes. How does this make you feel?"

The disposable diapers we put on Girl 2 (because I am once again behind on the laundry) were the only things in the bag that were used for more than 10 minutes. And the damn thing was full of plastic bags. I loathe plastic bags, but for some reason I can't seem to remember to bring to the store my old produce bags or the awesome reusable produce bags my mom made. Nor can I remember to bring my reusable shopping bags from the trunk into the store half of the time. My feelings? Angry. Frustrated. Disgusted. 

"Consider all trash bins off-limits."

The thing I like about today's challenge is how it forces me to think about the waste a decision will create before using anything. If I know that I am not allowed to throw anything away, I'm going to make my choices much more carefully. It's like having a calorie allowance and suddenly having to really choose what to put in my mouth...or like considering how much I'm going to drink when we're about to embark on a barren bathroom-less stretch of road trip. People (myself included) need to live a lifestyle of thrift and thoughtfulness. I felt that strongly today.

However, even though I am sticking diligently to the life plan I created, and even though I'm working to intentionally avoid creating waste, as the delightful Ian Malcolm would say, "Life finds a way."

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Girl 2 has a tummy bug. Or ate something that didn't agree with her. Or wants to kill Mother Earth. Whatevs. She has diarrhea and is a unhappy, super crappy, baby. Minimalism does not apply to diaper covers apparently, because the 3 covers we own are not enough to cover today's poo-splosion. So we're back (again!) to the stupid disposables. I need to search craigslist & the secondhand shops for more covers. When you have to purchase, purchase secondhand. It reduces on manufacturing waste. *sigh*

I'm lucky to work from home, and all online, so I don't generate much paper waste for my job. The Man does though, and his office doesn't recycle (Yet. I'm looking your way people...and I have plans...*devilish eyebrow wiggle*). He took a brown paper bag to work to put all his waste paper in to bring home for recycling. Apparently it wasn't very full by the end of the day, because it only contained the waste he would normally trash. He's the creator of the paper trail at the office, but it goes through several more employees before hitting the trash. So while he made a bunch of waste, it won't go to the trash for days/weeks.

Which brings me to the another frustration: timing.

As far as what I threw away today:
  • 1 sticker off my breakfast apple
  • a crapload (hyuck, hyuck!) of diapers and wipes
  • the baggie the last of the deli ham came in 
  • small baggie the baking powder was in (neither of these bags was in good enough shape to keep)
  • two chip bags that the kids finished the remnants of today.
  • the plastic rings from around several cans of Christmas Play-Doh 
  • the tag that was holding a bunch of kale together
The frustrating part of the timing is, the chip bags and the Play-Doh were purchased a while ago, and I didn't do it. :) Wassnt me. 

The exercise is really enlightening though, because if I carry it into next week, I can preempt the waste by being more careful in my purchasing. And this week's purchases were significantly less packaging intense than normal. So it does work, even though today's waste was less than stellar.

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