Wednesday, September 30, 2015

September 30

Today I threw out: this little sticker from an apple.

Could this trash have been avoided? I think in terms of supermarket shopping, these little stickers are about as unavoidable as trash gets.

I also threw out: butter paper.

We love butter. It is known.

September is over, and so is my little trash blog. I am definitely producing much less trash now that I've learned how comprehensive my city's recycling program really is. Recycling is still not ideal (I remain unconvinced that it's not just a scam to trick people into thinking they are doing something for the environment and becoming complacent), but (I hope) it's better than nothing.

What I really learned, though, is how easy and invisible trash can become, especially in a place with municipal trash pickup. It took me days to recognize dental floss and face wipes as actual trash, and there was definitely more garbage being created than got documented, like all the cupcake liners that my husband threw out because I left them on the kitchen table while I got around to snapping them. At my office, I winced a little while throwing out tea bags or wrappers, but when I arrived the next morning, everything had been spirited away and my slate seemed to have been wiped clean.

It's easy to be thoughtless, and actually, I don't want to stop. We have only a finite amount of willpower, and I would rather use mine on things like buckling down at the office and not eating a big slice of chocolate cake every day. What I want to is develop systems that make a lower-impact lifestyle as second nature as the throwaway one is now. Any suggestions?

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