Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Day 1 8:35 PM

8:35 PM
Ok, at this point, I've pretty much gotten through my first day. I started off with something that I knew would be a problem, dog poop.

Biscuit, who I happen to think is the greatest dog in the world, starts off every morning by doing her business on a short walk, and I realized way back when I started this that this would be one of my first problems. We have been using BioBags for her for quite some time now and they are compostable and biodegradable. Having said that, I started off day one by depositing the aforementioned bag in the trash bin. Like I said in the rules, certain things for health reasons right? That said, I vaguely recall some sort of dog poop composting system out there so I'll have to look into that. I won't mention this again, but suffice it to say, one of these a day (at least) will be part of my waste footprint.

As for the rest of the day, here's what I accumulated.

  • 1 dead 15 watt fridge light bulb - Not much to do with this so in the basement it goes.
  • 1 package from new 15 watt light bulb - Cut up the cardboard for the composter and I'm going to see what can be done with the plastic front and what it's made out of. More to come on this.
  • 7 paper towels- We went to the beach and my three year old and five year old had to use the bathroom several times (amazing how that happens). I instinctively went to throw the paper towels away, realized I couldn't and packed em home. Now before everyone emails me, these were hand towels that simply dried clean hands. Tore them up and put them in the composter.
  • 1 plastic orange juice bottle - my wife bought me this as a New Years breakfast surprise, so down to the recycling pile it goes.
  • 1 paper table covering - we ate out and they had one of those white paper thingies on the table. Too much in the composter today, but I'll add this down the line.
  • 1 plasticy band-aid wrapper and the two plasticy adhesive covers (I have no idea what these things are made of but will have to find out)
  • 1 plastic produce bag and 1 pound of granola - apparently the best dog in the world found the granola and decided to help herself. The granola will go into the composter over time, and the bag to the recycle bin in the basement as I fear it is not salvageable.
  • 1 receipt - it'll end up in the composter
Foodwise, my wife made an amazing veggie frittata this AM so we popped about 3/4 lb of food waste (mostly veggie skins etc.) into the composter. MMMMM yummmy.

As a side note, my 5 year old asked me why I was taking the table covering and I explained what I was doing. She asked me why I didn't want to throw anything away and I explained to her that when we do that, it gets taken to a large hole in the ground so we can forget about it, but it still causes all sorts of problems. She pointed out that that didn't sound too smart.

If only kids rules the world.

See ya tomorrow.



Bio-fool said...


Shouldn't you flush the dog poop down the toilet so that it is treated correctly. Leaving it in the garbage can spread disease, no?

Sandra Hamlett said...

Hi Dave,

I think what you're doing is quite inspiring. I'm definitely reaching the point where I'm terribly ashamed of the waste we produce and have been gradually eliminating our waste. So I'm along for the ride.

Check out the Gaiam catalog at gaiam.com; they have a product called Doggie Dooley which I've been considering for our dog. It's a doggie septic system which allows you to give up the plastic bags.

Sandra Hamlett

here I am! said...

I have seen a very clever dog composter that you use by digging a hole in the ground and depositing the doggy bon bons in it. The earth eventually compostes it and it is far enough into the earth that there is no smell. It also came with a cover.
PS: I am intersted in your journey and will be reading your blog. Best of Luck!

gwen said...

Hello Dave,

Man Good Luck to you. I'll be stopping back for sure and check to see your progress. Just amazing. Happy News Years to you and you family.


Dave said...

We had one of those in ground doggie dump dealios a ways back and it didn't really work. Now I'm fine with saying that it was operator error and not a problem with the system, but since I had to dig the thing out after it was way full, i think I'll steer clear of this one for the future.

Gaiam is cool. I'll have to check them.

As for disease, it's a really good question that i honestly never considered much (duh). I'll be contacting the folks at sanitation with a bunch of questions over the next week or so (hoping to start a relationship as it were) and I will check on that and post back. Great question.

Anonymous said...

Could you post a picture/description of your compost system? Just curious.

Anonymous said...

Dave, first -- you rule for trying this! Please stay strong for the next 360+ days (and tackling this on a LEAP year, at that).
Second, does your area offer good curbside recycling? Mine in L.A. takes all of the P.E.T. plastics from 1-7(?), from the lids on fast food drinks to the little plastic packaging on light bulbs, etc.
I myself have since given up on fast foods and other 'instant throw-aways' and I wish you all the best on this path!

FlashGordon said...

Wow, you da-man!
Good luck on such an exciting adventure dude.
Whoa, leap-year dude . . . Rats!
Peace to you.

Anonymous said...

We started to reduce our waste at home (we live in an apartment) for some time and it is not easy but do-able.

- Let your hands air dry when you wash it in a public restroom.

- Re-use the plastic produce bags, by saving it and taking it with you next time you buy produce. And some produce you can just put into your canvas bag without having to "extra-bag" it.

- Have your own mug and camping silver ware with you at all time (some coffee shops offer 25c discount on their drinks if you bring your own mug.)

- Ride your bike everywhere or take public transportation.

Check out the movie www.garbagerevolution.com . This might give you some ideas as well!

What you are doing is fantastic! I know you will inspire a lot of people...

Anonymous said...

A ahh moment acouple summers ago while eating in an organic resturant I used the restroom, the towels in the rest room were pieces of tee shirts tossed into a basket.

Anonymous said...

The doggie composters DO work, but should not be overloaded and do need time to work. In your warm climate, and with only 1 dog, it's a great solution! Keep up the great work.

Dave said...

Marc, what doggie composter do you use? Could you describe it a bit for us and tell us what is necessary to maintain it correctly and what you do?