My Obsession with Trash

Memorial Day, and Shane and I had a very rare day off together. That meant cleaning out the garage. We have a ton of crap to give away (a lot of baby stuff) and attempt to sell on craigslist (nice futon). Shane turned to me and said, “you do realize, anything we aren’t able to donate goes in the landfill, right?”

I am pretty obsessed with trash. I maniacally recycle everything I can, and refuse to throw away any perfectly good plastic bag. Lately I have been trying to decrease how much I NEED to recycle – I have my nifty chico bags on me at all times, and I am looking for the perfect reusable produce/bulk bags. I think I may try these out. Any suggestions out there? I always thought it was weird to have 5 different plastic bags filled with various beans and grains. It’s not any cheaper really to buy in bulk (at least at Whole Foods), so the least I can do is decrease the amount of trash to throw away or recycle.

I pack lunch for Maddy every day. I think twice before I pack something in a plastic sandwich bag, and do it very rarely. Everything else is reusable. I use a variety of bento boxes, and a sigg bottle or one of Alice’s sippy cups for her drink.

Several weeks ago, I decided to come by the school during lunchtime. Sounded like a hoot. Most of Maddy’s class eats the school lunch, and on this day it didn’t look so bad. The meat was not identifiable, but there was rice with chopped veggies (peas and carrots, I think) along with half an orange and a carton of milk. All the food was wrapped in plastic, with the orange in it’s own little square cup of covered plastic. I understand the need to make everything easy and sanitary and all that, but it made me sad. Huge garbage cans were set out between the lunch tables to be filled with all this garbage. Every day.

One of the dads was there, and he frequently helps preside over the the class lunch table. When I reminded him that I was Maddy’s mom, he smiled. “Oh, she always has the cute little lunches!”

It could be SO MUCH EASIER to just throw shit away, have Shane drive to work so he can take Maddy to school (instead of a no-makeup dash to the school with Alice along), use paper towels instead of washing gross dish cloths, and buy new things at Target instead of pawing through thrift stores. And I am guilty of disposable diapers, and driving 3 towns away to go the the “special” library (see below), and not composting (I can’t wait to have a use for it though!), among other horrible crimes. But anything is better than nothing.

My to-do’s (of what I can think of right now):

  • make yogurt – I am starting to bug out about the cost and recycling build up of the little yogurt cups I buy for Maddy. It’s one of her favorite snacks, I usually only get the ones on sale, and they are “all natural,” but I would like to give homemade a go. Who knows if she’ll eat it without all the sugar.
  • decide what to do about the plastic bento boxes. They freak me out. They are reusable, but plastic, which is becoming a boogie monster of mine. I don’t even know if they are THE BAD KIND of plastics, but I do put them in the dishwasher, which I guess is a no-no.
  • I’ve already made my first loaf of bread in forever, now the trick is to try some other recipes and get them incorporated into our family’s diet more. Maddy and Alice like it, but tend to leave the crust. Benefits: less cost, maybe? Can buy many ingredients in bulk. And fun family time! Right?
  • get some washable “feminine products,” which I seriously have been wanting forever, but can’t decide which ones on etsy I want to spring for. Suggestions?
  • manage to clean out our garage with a limited increase of our landfill. It’s hard, because I am not lazy enough just to throw it all away, but just lazy enough not to do anything but let it sit there. Let’s GET IT DONE!

One response to “My Obsession with Trash

  1. I feel like the things I do (pack no-waste lunches, use recycled t.p., grow veggies, do homemade whenever possible, recycle everything, reusable bags, shop local, thrift, etc., etc.) sort of balance out the things I don’t do (drive a hybrid, air-dry clothes, conserve water & electricity, etc., etc.). That’s the best I can do for now, and I think that thinking about ways in which to cut back on consumer goods and resources is a HUGE first step. So, go you!

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