4.23.2010

a little project--trash inventory...

a year or so ago on this blog, jeremy and i did a "trash watch," where we kept all of our trash for one month to see just how much we made. it was a good learning experience, though not surprisingly we make a lot less trash than the average american family. i'm sometimes shocked at how trash bins in my neighborhood are routinely overflowing with garbage. we have an insert in our can, which cuts down the amount it will hold by over half (check to see if your garbage company will do this--it saves a bit of money). even with the reduced capacity of our can, more often than not it's closer to empty than full at the weekly pickup. small changes certainly add up over time.

still, i believe that in the world of reducing, reusing and recycling, there's always room for improvement. so jeremy and i have committed to logging our trash for a week--each and every bit of it. the hope is that overall we'll see where the bulk of our trash is coming from, and from there learn how to further reduce our waste.

i'll log each day's output here on the blog, breaking it down into the following sections: compost, curbside recycling (#1 & #2 plastics only, plus all mixed paper and aluminum), #5 plastics (which i collect and take to whole foods to be turned into toothbrushes) and actual landfill trash. feel free to play along if you're so inclined!

here's how today shaped up:

compost: unbleached coffee filter & coffee grounds
a burned hash brown (oops)
4 eggshells
5 tangerine peels
an old apple
2 old oranges (can you tell i was cleaning out the fruit bowl?)
broccoli stalks
3 dried up artichokes
3 moldy strawberries (and then the fridge?)
dinner scraps: trimmings and peelings of zucchini, onion and sweet potato

curbside recycling:

1 aluminum yogurt top
farm notes letter from our csa box
2 pieces of junk mail
a glass jam jar
a plastic bottle top
2 beer bottles
cardboard box

#5's:

strawberry carton
yogurt carton
salad container

headed to the landfill:

butter wrapper
bag inside of a box of annie's organic snack crackers
7 stickers peeled off of lucy's carseat
dryer lint
plastic wrapper from a stick of applegate salami
a dustpan's worth of dirt (normally i compost this, but there were non-compostables that i didn't feel like picking out--a couple of twist ties, a rubber band and a few produce stickers)
plastic from a package of bacon
plastic from a brick of cheese
3 bite-size candy wrappers (jeremy's after-lunch snack)
a strand of floss


there you have it, people. a day's worth of waste from the valleygirl home. see you again tomorrow.



2 comments:

domesticsimplicity.com said...

You can compost the dryer lint, too! Thanks for the tip on the insert for the trash - that's great to know:)

The Silly Canner said...

I came across your blog recently while looking for different "healthy living" blogs, and really enjoy yours! It's funny b/c I just posted something similar a few days ago. I love reading about the journey of other like-minded people! Oh, and I think you can compost some dryer lint - as long as it doesn't include synthetic fibers which I don't think will decompose.