After the windmill failure (for which I’m paying happy penance with beginner’s electronics classes), I could not find the enthusiasm to make a triumphant announcement at the beginning of the month. This is why I waited until mid-month to explain my “trash free” project—to have some sense of how successfully I was approaching my goals.
For this, I can say with confidence: This project is a failure. I have not given up on it, but without growing out my beard and heading off into the woods, it has proved unexpectedly difficult to go trash free. A large part of this is a lack of planning on my part—one of the downsides of taking no breaks in between each 30-day project.
By far the biggest difficulty has been food. Everything comes with packaging, even fruit now bears a sticker when certified organic, which if you’re trying to go trash free for the sake of the environment leaves one in somewhat of a pickle.
Which brings me nicely to my next point: Pickles are delicious! Especially late at night, but not for breakfast, which is weird if you go to bed late and get up early.
No, my real point is this: Recycling should be last on your list of ways to “save the environment.” This trash free experiment is more about consciousness about disposability then it is about taking any grand stand—and if you claim to care about the environment and hold up recycling as your only salvaged medal then you are one shitty Colonel Custer. Don’t use it as your excuse to not think about anything else related to sustainability.
I have been not nearly as able to avoid trash as I expected, and it makes each moment of disposability even more cringing. Disposable items are ubiquitous—which is not surprising—but I’m amazed that it is so littered throughout our lives that we can’t even avoid it if we are trying.
Though I have nothing surprising to say on the subject, the change in awareness is certainly fascinating to me, and well this is my blog, so don’t complain if you show up here later and I’m talking about what I’ve discovered.