Thursday, January 3, 2008

Thanks for all the feedback

How psyched am I that so many people checked in yesterday. Thank you so much for all your kind words and support. I truly hope that you check in often and add as we go. I'm going to try to tackle a lot of things in this one post that will touch on some of the comments as I don't have enough time to comment back to each comment (although I'd truly like to). But seriously, thank you.

While I am totally thankful to NPR for their coverage (and there will hopefully be more installments throughout the year), for time reasons a lot of things were truncated/cut. To that end, one of the things that I mentioned that got cut was that this is an experiment, not a contest. At the end of the year, I don't win, I'll just be able to look at all the stuff I have accumulated and understand how truly wasteful I've become. This is also about building a community, and hopefully this blog will add to that community. We as a society are faced with HUGE problems and to fix them we in the industrialized world need to create a massive shift in thinking and the way we live our lives. For me, the first step is about reconnecting and figuring out what our part in all of this is. My main goal however is to be able to be an example and for folks to take from it what they will.

Great comments from all over the place. A lot of people seem to be interested in the worm composting system so I will be putting info up on that in the next few days. My friend Augie and I have a sort of East Coast/West Coast worm feud going (I really have no life do I?) and I've asked him to write something up about his composting system that I can include, as he has a very different way of going about it. For the record, the NPR interview cut a bit out about the composting. I am only into a month of the compost system (not an expert yet but learning fats) so it is not up to full speed. That said, when it is a little farther along, it should handle 1-1.5 lbs of food scraps a day.

Someone asked why I'm saving my recycling when it is something that is so readily available and a good alternative to chucking it in a landfill. Good question and at first I was not going to save recycling but then I realized if the whole thing is to figure out what my waste impact is, than that must be accounted for. I know this will fill a fair amount of space, so I'll see what happens as I go. Now as for the hunch of two months, I'll bet you I can if you'll put up not using a single plastic bag for the rest of the year (kidding...unless you'd like to in which case I'm game). Seriously though, a big part of all this is I just don't know how much it'll be. We'll see as I go along.

Sorry about the laptop lunches link, I'm new to blogging so bear with me.

Leap year? I didn't realize that. Yikes. Oh well, in for a penny....

I like the idea of the GE trash compacter. Now if only I could hook that up to my bicycle. Anyone have any ideas on that one.

Finally, I urge everyone to check out the comment posted by Smitter which really sums up what I hope comes from all of this. Smitter lives on a farm (I'm jealous) and so is a bit different than most of us, but the point of the comment that I like is that due to packaging and our need for certain necessities, many of us have little choice but to add to"the big pile". Perhaps if en masse, we all stood up and told the companies that make this stuff that we weren't going to buy their plastic enshrined goodies, they'd change. Smitter doesn't save their stuff like I am, but hauls it out so is cognizant of the amount, something which most of us, myself included, aren't. Thanks for the post Smitter and please keep in touch, yours is a great example to follow.



Anonymous said...

keep up the good work, you are to be commended for this.
? about paper recycling...I've read if the print is soy based, you can compost it. Most mags, ads, used paper, envelopes...etc I just put in recycle bin (even though i'm not sure they are actually recycled). How do I know if/what I can compost as far as paper products go?
Look forward to following your journey and learning.

Kate said...

I heard the NPR program as well and think that it is great what you are doing! My mind goes numb when I think of the trace I am leaving on the world.
The only part of the NPR program that made me slightly cringe was when you said you were trying to compromise with your wife... something about trying to decide what was your trash and what was hers. I hope that you decide if it is in your house it is yours. I also hope if you use it outside your house you bring it home (i.e. at work or on the road). It would make it more enjoyable for me to check in on!
Also, I gathered you don’t want to recycle, but you seem open to repurposing (using a glass jar that once held food for nails, etc.). Any creative ideas that you come up with to repurpose your trash would be great.

Anonymous said...

great work! heard the NPR story and loved it. will be following along. can't wait to hear about the worm thing, too.

btw, you should change the header to "one man's journey" -- with the apostrophe.

Anonymous said...

So, if I lose, I can't use a plastic bag for one calendar year, which, for the purposes of this bet, would begin at the end of the second month - i.e. March 1? Count me in. If you lose, well, just keep blogging and we'll call it even.

Dave said...

You're on Anonymous.

K, I hear ya cringe and I thought long and hard on this one. The thing about it is I can control what is mine as I obviously am in constant contact with what i am using. That said, i can't ask my wife to take this project on as well. I made the decision to not include her and the kids stuff because I think it's much more effective to keep everything and be able to say "this was all mine" as opposed to saying "this was all mine and some of theirs, etc." Seems more definitive that way. Anyway, rest assured, i am erring on the side of overcompensation. I actually came up with a good method last night. One of the problems that i run into is that if I start something (say a bag of pasta) I may not use it all up and then down the road how does my wife Know to save it. So i am putting my initials with a pen I keep by the fridge on all packaging and then she'll know. I'll keep working on it, but i reallly am trying to be vigilant.