Thursday, September 13, 2012

Trash Impact

Last weekend, Nate and I were in the car headed somewhere and there was an NPR show on about how much trash every person generates a year. And the person speaking had such a powerful way of describing this giant landfill--with plastic bags flying around and the stench of garbage rising up, and trucks constantly burying, digging, burying and digging.

And I guess I can't get the image out of my  mind, and have been thinking about it all week. The show talked about good America is at getting rid of garbage so that you don't realize how much it is piling up. And as I thought about that, and if we had to keep all the garbage we generated in our house for an entire week, I started to get a little appalled.

So here is the thing:
I am not going to quit shopping at Costco because the packaging of the tomatoes is plastic.

But, I am an offender of a few basic garbage no-no's that I am vowing to get better about:

1) Bowl and spoon:
        - Every morning I have either a bowl of dry cheerios with yogrut on it OR oatmeal. In either case, I am using a disposable bowl and spoon every day that gets chucked in the garbage. Think of how many that is a year. Yuck. So I need to just simply bring in my own bowl and spoon.

2) Plastic Baggies
    - I pack my lunch almost every day, and so that means lots of plastic baggies. I have tried teh fabric ones, and they work for some things but I don't love them. So I am committing to bringing home the bags and reusing them as much as possible.

3) Paper or plastic
    - Rededication to paper over plastic bags. It's simple.

I figured that in a week that was quite hectic with family, email, school, presentations, work, and more--if this was still sticking with me--I should do something about it. And so I will start with those 3 things. My *very small* part...but it's something.


Paul and Sara Schulz said...

not sure what you bring in your lunch but i have gotten a few things from Tupperware that work great for lunches... sandwich keepers, salad bowls with dressing container, soup cups and a divided to go dish. it is a little more but worth it in the end! plus it comes in fun colors :)

Marna said...

I've been having the same thoughts so I have really cut back on the baggies and have gone to tupperware or rubbermaid. Same with the paper plates. I also use mesh/fabric shopping bags. Got my first one in Marinette - almost 15 years ago! Now have 13 bags. I still get funny looks at the store - like their insulted that I don't want one of theirs!

Anonymous said...

The reusable grocery bags is such an easy thing to do. I just keep them in the back of the car. I pick up recycled bags at the store for cleaning the litter box. I would challenge you Gert to find a place to recycle the #1 plastic from Costco. Do some investigation. Even little old Viroqua takes #1 and #2 plastic. I'm not ready to give up my baggies just yet. Sorry, Momatreho n3