Here’s how much trash I generated this month – and what I intend on doing with it (if I can)
For the record – YES I washed everything before I put it in the bag and held onto it for 31 Days. I wanted to test myself to see just how much trash I generated, because it’s very easy to just recycle and throw things away without a second thought as to just HOW much you generate.
I was inspired by a man named Rob Greenfield – who wore all his trash for 30 days to make a statement about the impact Americans were making on the planet.
So with my plans of eventually being zero waste I wanted to see just how far I’ve come after a month of blogging. So here it is, in all its glory – MY TRASH
I was pretty impressed I managed to fit it all into one bag – GOALS. I indirectly did produce more than this, but for the sake of experimentation this month I set a few guidelines:
- I mostly did not include items I already had – my initial idea was to see how much trash I generated that month based on the decisions I made purchasing foods/other items. Anything I already had I of course disposed of by recycling or composting where I could
- I did not include items people bought communally – I share items like soy milk with house mates, thus it’s impossible to tell how much I actually consumed. My tofu press has just arrived though so I’m keen to start making my own milks!
- I didn’t include items people brought to my house – I have people over, I ask them to bring food. It would be fairly difficult to request they bring something that’s both vegan and ‘zero-waste’. It is their choice whether or not they follow my lead.
And of course if anybody is wondering about food waste? That all gets composted!
So here is a more detailed look at my October trash, what I did with it, and what I may do in future.
I’d guess and say most of that is Soul Burger and Lord of the Fries, mixed with paper bags from bulk-food stores. This is less of a concern for me than my other trash, because paper can be composted so most of that will go in there.
Everything else of course – recycled! In future? Maybe I’ll start planning better and taking my spice and pantry jars to the bulk-food store so I don’t have to use their bags. I’m also investing in produce bags for the supermarket so I don’t use quite so many mushroom bags
Overall? I’m pretty happy with this
This right here? A mixture of poor planning, bad organisation and a few stressful weeks – resulting in me waking up frequently with no breakfast foods or snacks. Thus a ‘run out the door’ grabbing what was on hand – an old box of protein bars and Cliff Bars. The other two pieces is a packet of vegetarian meat, and a Vego Bar.
Whilst this is probably for some people, a day’s worth of plastic – I for one want to do better. So next month? Make my own protein bars which I know how to do – and maybe ease up on the chocolate.
As for this pile? Thankfully an organisation called Redcycle is doing the good thing and allowing you to recycle your soft plastics. The only problem I see? Whatever this gets turned into may very well end up in landfill at some point in time. So yes, the goal still is NO PLASTIC.
The In Between
A lot of this were items I already had – so not too disappointed with this haul. I re-use the Gardein Packets for pre-cooked frozen batches of beans or liquids; the coffee jar I will also re-use for something (maybe my own ground beans when my machine arrives!), and the hommus jar I reuse for compost bins, or HOME MADE HOMMUS
The other packets I recycled. There are at least 3 things on this list that I will endeavour to eventually make myself – so hopefully this will be the last time I see some of these in my trash.
This? In my endeavour to get zero-plastic I in fact, ended up instead with a cardboard box lined with foil so my saucy delicious burger didn’t soak through the packet. Next time, I’ll ask for it foil free now that I know. BUT tin foil can be recycled!
I don’t even know why I put this here because I can compost it!
Thoughts from this month? Most of this trash was avoidable – so I’m very much looking forward to a potentially better organised, more zero-waste months ahead. It’s more about forming habits and un-doing others. All of which I hope to learn, grow and continue to develop.