Sunday, January 10, 2010

How Much Trash?

The first day of the No-Impact challenge asks you to keep all the trash that you make in a day. While I didn't put it in one bag throughout the day like it requested, I did keep a mental tally. Unfortunately, the whole family is not participating, just me, so the trash was pretty minimal. In fact, I was able to recycle or compost all of it. While this looks pretty impressive (to me!), it isn't reality, it just happens to be the day I had. I think this challenge is better demonstrated over a few days. I just happened to have a day where I didn't use much. To me, Sunday is a pretty easy day to keep garbage to a minimum. I will have to try this mid-week when there is a lot more going on.

In reading over the materials for today, something really struck me. It asked you to look at your trash and take note of what was only used for 10 minutes or less. This is something I hadn't really thought about. I read this on a night (before Sunday), that we had gotten take-out. While we were able to recycle the containers that the food had come in, the containers themselves were only needed for the car ride home. Far less then ten minutes. Sure we could recycle them, but what about all the energy used in the manufacturing? This is what I am taking away from today's challenge. Just because you can recycle an item, doesn't make it OK to mindlessly waste it. There is a reason that "reduce" is the first word in reduce, reuse & recycle.

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