Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Take The Challenge!

OK, I've officially made it six months now and I'd like to celebrate by sharing the love.  I'm putting this out there to see who wants to join the insanity and hang on to your garbage like I do. That's right, alienate your friends, confound your neighbors and scare your spouse just like me (OK, that hasn't really happened). Now I'm not talking about six months, just a week, and I'm perfectly happy to tailor it to whatever you feel comfortable doing (like I'd have any idea anyway).

If you want to go whole hog and fill the basement, have at it, and let us hear how it goes. How about just saving all of your recycling, or maybe just your plastic bottles? Or, if you don't feel like actually hoarding, keep a running tally for a week and let us know in the comments what you came up with. 

Everyone is going to be different in how they do things, but for me, I keep a bag on the basement door and everything goes in there.  When I get a chance (hopefully every night but not always), I pull it all out, note it and where it goes, and pop it in the basement.  If you're keeping a list, maybe just keep a pad with you, and note down what you threw out and when, and where it will end up (recycling, landfill, re-purpose).

The main thing is to remember that this is about understanding your consumption habits and nothing else.  Whether you keep everything or not is not what's important, but recognizing the footprint you are leaving behind is.  Hopefully, it'll change your thinking a bit and you'll start making better and smarter choices from here on in.

So who's with me?



Sarah said...

I am a six month lurker and fan. I will stick to living vicariously through you. You are inspiring to me to make small steps towards improving the environment. Maybe some day years down the road I will venture into a year long effort like you...

Ashley said...

Hey -
I'm not up for the year-long challenge yet, but you may be interested in the 30-day No Trash Challenge my friend started last month and which I'm now continuing with. You can check out our blog at http://notrashchallenge.blogspot.com/
We are only hanging on to the bits of trash that can't be recycled, composted or reused in a good way.

we'd love it if you'd link to us!


might I add...? said...

Darn it! I just went to the dump/transfer station/whatever it's called today. I can kind of reconstruct, though. (I've actually been paying more attention to our consumption/footprint since I've been reading your blog, but I'd say we're better than most--at least around here.)

In general, we go to the dump once a week, sometimes less often. Last weekend, it didn't happen, so today's haul was for about a week and a half.

I took:
-one bag of garbage (kitchen garbage bag sized)
-2 bags of paper/cardboard
-4 bags of other recycling (plastic, metal)
-2 half-full bags of glass

Some of the recycling had been piling up for a while. We don't take glass every time. The other stuff, we usually take whatever we can lasso up.

Honestly, I don't know how you have such a small amount of stuff in the basement. I'm seriously impressed, and keep pushing myself.

Anonymous said...

I can't think of a better way to instill a little more "mindfulness" in our family.

We'll take the challenge - but only for a week. I'm not nearly as adventurous as you. Our trash and recycling goes out Friday - I'll give you the report a week from them.

Dave said...

Hey Sarah,
Lurk away. Glad you are finding things that help. If you ever head down the hoarding path, let me know.

Conserve More, Consume Less!!!


Dave said...

Might I add,
It's all about choices as I'm sure you know. Do I need it or do I want it? Can i buy it without having to buy packaging? Can i compost it? Can i recycle it?

Good on ya for being above (well maybe below) the fray

Conserve More, Consume Less!!!!


Dave said...

You and your family rock. I'd love to offer you the option of writing up a post at the end of the week and I can post it as a guest poster. Would be great to see how things go and more importantly what you all learn from it.

Conserve More, Consume Less!!!


Anonymous said...

Hiya :)
We;d love to join in for a week. We're already doing a 'zero waste' challenge over here in the UK and we're gearing up for our first real week of total zero waste during the first week of September.

At the moment we're increasing the amount of recycling we're doing and changing our shopping habits. But I feel that a true 'zero waste' lifestyle wouldn't create any recycling either.....

Joining in your challenge will make me take more of a look at the things I'm recycling and will help me figure out some better choices in the long term.

I wrote about you in a recent post about garbloggers across the world. Inspiring Rubbish Champions. We've added you to our links, so if you feel like reciprocating the link love, we'd be most obliged.

Congrats on your six month birthday - that really is awesome :)

Mrs Green

Lacey said...

I'm taking the challenge :)


So far I'm amazed at how hard it is really.

Julie P. (babyofmine) said...

I don't have a basement, so I can't keep the trash, but I accept the challenge to track what we throw away. :)

Dave said...

That's great. Will you check back in 7 days and let us know what your experience was?


Anonymous said...

Hi Dave,

My 3 year challenge is to use 1 binbag instead of 78 fortnightly bags. After 15 weeks I have about 10oz. So far so good. The idea is to compost all food waste, minimise plastic use, finding alternatives where possible and using Zero packaging.
Good to see others doing their bit.



Dave said...

That's awesome John. Congrats. Have you found it to be a challenge or something you have just adapted to?