Thursday, August 28, 2008


As some may have noticed I just back posted about two weeks of garbage after being silent for a bit.  I was on vacation back east with my family and didn't have a ton of internet access (very frustrating) but did manage to save everything i could and bring it back with me.  A lot of stuff that I'll hopefully be able to post on in the next few days, but here now are a few tidbits I can think of.

  • It was very interesting for me to look back and see what waste I (and the girls) generated over the past two weeks and why.  It was concrete evidence that limiting waste is relatively easy once you get the hang of it and are in your routine, but the second you step out of that environment, it's a whole new ballgame.  For instance, as a guest in my inlaws and parents house, I can't really tell them what to buy and what not to buy and therefore i had a bunch of things I'd never buy - bags of celery, egg white cartons, 2 coffee bean bags, etc.  Kind of fascinating to be thrown back into how bad things can be (not that they are that bad, but it's just different).
  • We flew on a red eye and when i got in I bought a cup of coffee as i had a drive ahead of me.  The lady behind the counter refused to take my coffee mug saying it was against airport policy.  Since I needed the jolt for the drive, I accepted, poured the coffee into my mug, and put the cup in the side mesh pocket of my bag - what a waste.  As i was exiting the airport, I asked another vendor if they could fill my mug up and she had no problem with it.  Just goes to show you huh!
  • As far as the worms and food scraps, i thought long and hard what to do and finally came up with a good solution.  Part of the time we were out in the woods (went camping one night with the girls and I bet you can guess which night by the waste we generated) so while we were there, i took each days worm scraps and walked into the woods where I dug a small hole and buried the compostables.  Sort of using nature for natures sake.  The second half of our trip which was a little more suburban was handled the same way except I spread the stuff out under bushes (burying it still) in my moms garden.
  • As for garbage and recycling, well I had a bag full and almost had to pay extra (oh the irony) but figured out how to fit the bag it was all in into another bag.
More to come on recycling back east and the Museum of Trash!


GoSustaino said...

I applaude your effort! Not an easy task given the different behaviors between in-laws and other relatives. Have you inspired them in anyway to change their behavior? Perhaps waste only one coffee bean bag?

I'm curious as I'm often in similiar situations observing how much waste is generated at our business offices and at friends homes. Too often the mindset simply needs to change and become aware of how taking a different approach can actually make quite a big difference.


Dave said...

Hey Sustaino,
My parents have taken a fair bit to heart, my inlaws on the other hand, not so much. To be fair, they are all of a different generation and are a bit set in their ways. Sometimes change comes slowly. I should also point out that the only reasons that there are two coffee bags is because both sets drink instant and both know we like fresh ground if it's around, so both bought bags of coffee, which we then brought home. Such is life. Can't blame people for meaning well.

That said, they have all embraced certain things I've tried to impress on them and I have to applaud them for that. Everyone has their limit and speed and while we need extreme changes now, that may be accomplishable by everyone doing a small amount, which most are not even doing. Best thing i find is to lead by example and that's what i've tried to do and will continue to do.

Consume Less, Conserve More!!!