About This Month in Trash

Every once in a while, I read about someone who prides him- or herself on producing so little trash that instead of throwing it away, they hold on to it. Maybe they carry it around in a Mason jar, maybe they store it in their basement, but it is such a negligible amount that they might as well tuck it behind their ear. I am fascinated by these stories, but I'm never sure quite how seriously to take them. Do they not ever order takeout? Does their yogurt never come in the non-recyclable sort of plastic? One woman said she actually had five R's, not three, and the first one was "Refuse." So whenever she bought shoes, she would just leave all the packaging behind at the store, which seems like cheating.

These stories stick with me. When I order something that arrives in a box with packing peanuts, I wonder if the Mason jar woman has found a way to reuse or recycle packing peanuts, or if she simply refuses to order anything that might conceivably need to be nestled in packing peanuts (it's a hard thing to predict). I wonder how she deals with her period (probably a Diva Cup). I wonder if she buys OTC pain medication or vitamins, and if so what she does with the wad of cotton they stuff in at the top.

I've made my peace with not being an A+ environmentalist. But I am trying to be more conscious of my trash, and that is where this blog comes in. For each item I throw away, I want to ask myself if I could have avoided bringing it into my life to begin with, and also to take note of the trash I am not creating in my life. A few things I'm not counting:

1 - Work trash. I have enough to do at work without blogging about possible alternatives to Post-It notes.
2 - Dirty diapers. Gross and depressing. Just take it as a given that I am destroying the Earth with disposable diapers, which basically negates everything else I do until the little one is potty trained.
3 - Things my husband throws out. This is not a joint project.

Any comments you have on reusing trash or avoiding it altogether are welcome! Thanks for checking in!

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