Monday’s task was to tackle trash. What do we throw away and how can we decrease or eliminate our trash? All while still sticking to the no consumption task from Sunday as well.
As hard as it was (and will be throughout the week) to watch our trash accumulate, it was really illuminating to spread out exactly what we throw away so we can think about ways to reduce it. Especially when taking into consideration the many things in there that were used for less than 10 minutes. The biggest one that stood out for me were candy wrappers from Christmas candy. We’re candy junkies at certain times of the year, and it really struck me that not only do they all come in a bag, but they’re all individually wrapped as well. Definitely going to cut out unnecessary packaging like that in the future.
As far as trash that accumulates on the go, we’ve been conscious of this for a long time, always making sure to pack lunches in reusable containers with cloth bags for work, using handkerchiefs instead of disposable tissues, and taking water bottles and reusable shopping bags with us. And we’re not coffee drinkers, so the morning coffee cup trash has never been a problem for us.
But gathering trash outside our home did help us think about other kinds of trash we normally forget about. Husband came home with the paper towels he used in the bathroom at work to dry his hands, and promptly went into our dishtowel drawer to take some reusable towels to work. And now, in addition to carrying a handkerchief, I’ll be carrying an drying rag as well. Or maybe I’ll just dry my hands on my pants 🙂
Also, as I looked at a toilet paper roll and disposable razors of mine and husbands, those are two other things we can work on keeping out of our trash. I’ve already experimented once with homemade sugar wax (didn’t go so well), but I think I’m going to give it another try and see if I can figure it out. And phasing out toilet paper is a goal of mine for this year anyway.
This hasn’t been an issue this week, but if I’m really going to be committed to making less trash, I need to start traveling with my own reusable tableware when we go out to eat. That means silverware, cloth napkin, and declining a straw.
The hardest part about not making any trash is that all our food products come at least in some kind of packaging. Juice, almond milk, eggs, bagels, even with the granola we make ourselves, there’s no way to buy the ingredients in bulk, they come in packaging. Just gives us more things to think about as we move forward though, right? It is disappointing to see all that trash, but I also came away with some good ideas on how to cut back even more. And that was only day 2.