Sunday, July 29, 2007

Days 7 & 8- 2 Weeks/No Trash

I had a pretty normal day on Friday (day 7). I have definetly gotten better about carrying my little pink beach/trash bag around with me. Friday night we went to sushi and movie. Must say, I cheated with the sushi. Basically, I refused to order any of it. Thus, everything I ate, I considered shared food amongst the three of us dining. I didn't consume anything at the movie. So, day well accomplished. Although, I did leave behind something at the sushi place that I needed to take home and recycle (can't remember exactly what. I did recycle the chopstick wrapper :).
Saturday was a different experience! We had lunch with friends, and I took home my leftover flour tortilla shell and salad to compost. The server at the mexican restaurant was very good about giving everyone else straws, lime wedges, napkins etc (as have most servers been throughout my experience- except for Panera!). Later that day, three of us went out for wine tasting. I ate 2 olives and left buzzed, forgetting to take my olive pits home. Then, we went out for pizza, where I got to use my plastic plate- instead of the paper being offered!!! So excited! Unfortunately, I left one plastic fork, again forgetting to take it home and recycle. Afterwards, I got the late night drunk muchies (my apologies to any relatives reading this who may disapprove of the fact that I had some drinks!). I totally lost consciousness of this exercise. So, now I am carrying around 2 fudgescicle wrappers and a 1/2 cup container of Ben and Jerry's Chocolate Fudge Brownie Ice Cream- yum! So, I accumulated some trash that was totally mindless and within my control. Ah well, at least the treats were delicious- although honestly probably not worth it!

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Day 5 & 6- 2 Weeks/No Trash

So far, so good. Only a few more fruit stickers added... I am on a roll! I did run out of deodorant this morning- So I will probably be carrying the empty dispenser around with me for the next 8 days :) Can I recycle deodorant???

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Day 4- 2 Weeks/No Trash

OK. So, I am pissed at Panera... my favorite chain sandwich place. I admittedly left my bag of goodies in the car. James and I thought that we would run into one store and then get back in the car to drive to dinner. I neglected to take my bag in the store with me. Immediately after leaving, we decided to just walk over to Panera and get dinner. About 1/2 way there, I realized that I didn't have my bag. Admittedly, I was dizzy with hunger and wanted food as soon as possible. Walking back to the car, seemed ardorous! So, I decided I could survive the meal as I have done with restaurants and simply explain how to serve my food. After having this converstaion with our cashier, I watched him walk back to the kitchen and explain it to the food prep. We sat down, and I enjoyed some water, knowing that I would have to take the recycable cup home with me. The kitchen guy comes out with toothpicks, napkins, the wax paper under my food and all! Man, I am going to look back at this incident 10 days from now with bitterness. At the rate I am going, I am pretty sure that I will only have fruit and vegetable stickers and maybe a milk carton or another empty coffee package. Then, I will have this stupid piece of wax paper. It does really make you more aware of how much wasted extra stuff goes into any dining out experience. 2 lessons learned from today- never forget my bag of goodies (towel, plastic plate, bowl, utensil, drinking and coffee cups, and tupperware) and after this whole thing is done, continue to ask servers to minimize the amount of extra stuff they put on my plate. I can easily keep a pretty cloth napkin on me, refrain from using a straw and ask that no garnish be put on my plate. I actually like using the tupperware to put things in that I can take home and compost or to put my leftovers in so that I don't have to take home a styrofoam container. But, who knows, I may be getting carried away...:)

Day 3- 2 Weeks/No Trash

Well, I used the last of my coffee grinds. So, I am carrying its packaging around with me. James and I went out to eat and a baseball game. I explained my story to our waitress, who expressed a kind interest in it. She did deliver my plate with a plastic container full of ketchup- into the tupperware it went to be brought home, washed out and recycled! I also paid for dinner, so I had to recycle the receipt, as well, when I got home. I also went to a coffee shop to buy a chocolate chip cookie. As I was explaining it to the guy behind the counter, he was putting my cookie in a little baggie. I asked him to take it out and reuse it. He agreed to this. So, I came away trash free! At the game, I drank wine and James surprised me with a chocolate milkshake. Both came in clear plastic cups, so I simply carried them home and recycled. So far, I only have a couple of fruit stickers and an empty coffee bag in my trash :)

On a side note, it is really great having a partner who is not doing the project. We had to buy some stuff for our dog that did not come in recycable packaging (well it did at another store- but I confess that I am no angel- not about to drive around searching for recycled packaging). James decided that this would be his purchase. Also, when we eat out, he decides on appetizers. I can nibble at them without having to finish the whole plate!

Day 2- 2 Weeks/No Trash

Sunday, I needed to go grocery shopping! This was actually a really cool experience. It took me a long time to examine all of the various packaged items, searching for that recycle symbol. I did by milk, so if/when I finish the carton, I will be carrying it around. But, I did opt out of buying- well nothing! Everything I eat comes in a recycable option- except microwave popcorn, which I have quit eating during the project. I also had to quit chewing gum. And, after looking up ways to recycle gum and instead reading about all of the nasty things it does to your insides- I happily quit! I also had to buy spinach in bulk instead of the prewashed stuff. The packaging had the three arrows, but said "recycle other". That sounded to complicated to me! I also forgot my tupperware. I planned to ask the meat dept. person to put my meat in there, instead of wrapping it. So, I opted for canned meat- gross, but it's only for this week. At the end of the day, I ended up with stickers from an apple and a tomato lining the inside of my trash bag :) Another good day!

Day 1

So, I work up this morning, slightly hungover from a dinner with friends the night before. As I routinely went to prepare my coffee, I breathed in a quick sigh of panic when I realized that I had just opened up the trash can lid and threw the coffee grounds from the day before in the trash! How could I do such a horrible thing? Ah well, it was then that I realized my two weeks were in session. I quickly forgave myself. If anymore coffee grinds wind up in the trash- I will fetch them out and carry them with me for the remainder of my sentence!
Unlike Max, I decided that I wasn't going to change too much of my daily personal care and eating routines. I think it would be better to learn how to minimize the waste that I regularly create on a day to day basis. Given that I eat mostly fruits, vegetables, yogurt/frozen yogurt, bread and meat; I figured that I could really succeed at minimizing my trash consumption. So, started a compost and decided that I wouldn't eat anything unless it came in a recycable package. James and I had lunch out, and I explained the speal to our server. Miraculously, I only walked away with a tupperware full of one lemon wedge, that came with my water before I had a chance to explain my speal, and and some unfinished salad. I composted all of it when I returned home. That night, we went to a BBQ. I explained my little adventure to the host and hostess. The host provided me with a real plate and silverware, offerred me a bite of her cherry so that I wouldn't have to carry the pit around with me and even expressed interest in trying the project. Her husband on the otherhand, found another person to join in harrassing me. Together, they attempted to get me to consume cherries, corn on the cob, open the sausage packaging, eat of a paper plate etc. Successfully, I came him with a corn on the cob to compost, which I consciously chose to consume! A day well done!

The project originated here: