Well, here it is! The total contents of my trash contains...
1. Fruit and vegetable stickers
2. An empty coffee package
3. A panera wrapper
4. An empty deodorant cartridge
5. 2 fudgesicle wrappers
6. 1 Ben and Jerry's miniture chocolate fudge brownie ice cream
7. 1 chocolate foil wrapper (one gourmet candybar usually lasts about 2 weeks, but we had dinner guest help me to finish it)
8. 1 empty miniture bag of lowfat microwave popcorn (I gave in on day 11!)
9. a Wurthers candy wrapper (day 14 at my husband's parents house)
10. 1 package of gum, containing all of it's chewed contents- ooh gross! (Day 13 on a 9 hour road trip to San Francisco!)
11. 3 cumbersome deflated and busted bicycle tubes
Some interesting happenings... Day 10- grocery shopping... I am already in the swing of quickly choosing my recycled packaged food and remembered to bring my tupperware for the meat dept. The guy behind the counter made me feel totally normal and even quite good for asking him to place my meat in tupperware. He simply wrapped it in a plastic clear vegetable baggie, placed the pricing sticker on this and handed it to me with a huge smile! I of course placed it in my tupperware for safe travel. I haven't used up the meat yet, thus there is no pricing sticker in my trash :)
Day 12- my husband started to complain about my "speal" when we went out for sushi. I believe this started b/c the waitress was looking at me funny like "what is wrong with you girl!" Anyway, it made me feel uncomfortable and less motivated. But, these moments are important in life to help you to remember to stick with what you value and hold more true- to those who judge with sarcasm- too bad- you could be having a lot more fun by not waisting energy on judging and negativity...
Cheats and Confessions- I know there were probably three or four dining out experiences where I may have forgotten something small- the waitress served my tea with a doily and took it away before I could grab the doily etc. I did try cleaning out my ears with just a wash cloth, but by day 4 I decided that q-tips were a part of my bathroom routine. I flushed them down the toilet. Sometimes, I forgot to carry my bag with me :(. I bike to work 3 times a week and on weekends. I did not take my trash with me on these occassions, although I did take my accumulated trash and recycables home with me in a backpack. I decided that if trash had been accumulated before the 2 weeks started or by my husband, dog or anyone else that is not me :), that this was not included as part of my trash burden. Thus, these trash items became eligible to be disposed of when cleaning my house and classroom :). I left the dryer sheets in the bottom of the laundry basket :)
Lessons to Carry with me- I can refill a coffee/tea cup, bottle. Carrying a cloth napkin or towel with me can drastically reduce waste. I can take things home to be composted. It is important to consider packaging before purchasing something. And, most importantly, it is OK to make mistakes and accumulate REAL trash every now and again. Self-forgiveness is a wonderful thing. However, being aware of how your actions to minimize waste is affecting the earth and influencing those around you only results in you feeling really good about being a human being on this lovely planet. I intend to keep up the practice :)
Now... good luck to Eric and Kristina!!! My brother and his lovely girlfriend shared a meal with me as I completed my last day and they began theirs :) And to Max, thank you for passing this exercise on to me! I loved the opportunity! Now, how about that Cystic Fibrosis Fundraiser... no more t-shirt posing!
See the torch passed to Eric: Eric's Blog.