**DISCLAIMER - I WROTE THIS JUST BEFORE I WENT TO SEE A PLASTIC OCEAN. I DIDN'T WANT TO CHANGE MY THOUGHTS BECAUSE THEY REFLECTED HOW I JUST GAVE UP! AFTER WATCHING THE MOVIE, I KNOW I HAVE TO DO BETTER, CAN'T JUST THROW MY HANDS UP AND SAY THERE IS NO OTHER OPTION. SO POST MOVIE IDEAS ARE IN BLUE, JUST LIKE OUR OCEANS (even with micro-plastics floating in them!).***
The best way I've found to understand how much waste we were producing as a family was to look in our trash can + recycling bin. About maybe a year or two ago, I swapped out our larger trash can that was sitting next to our kitchen counter for a smaller one that I could put under the sink. I did this because I hated the look of the trash can, I just didn’t want to see it.
Out of that gesture, I became very observant of what I was putting in the trash. I had to take it out more frequently because it was so small. I found myself looking at the items I was putting in there and not wanting to actually put it in, because it would fill up and I didn’t want to have to take it out...again. This small trash can really made me think about what part of each thing I bought would end up there.
The recycling bin has always been under our sink and it would fill up so quickly and I was used to taking that out frequently and felt really good about myself cause heck yeah I am keeping things out of the trash! Yeah…..but....NO...not really. Recycling is not the answer. (More on this on another post.)
For the audit, I basically laid out some paper and emptied out each bin and separated like items together and evaluated! I asked myself which of these items doesn’t have to be in here?
This was in my Trash Can for 1 week
I separated them into groups so I could “bulk edit”. It wasn’t gross because there were no wet items, we compost so no food waste in there.
Which of these items doesn’t have to be in here? Red I can think twice about, Black no option. Blue post watching A Plastic Ocean.1. Plastic bags- All from food items.
5. Paper towels + napkins - We usually don’t use either, I keep them around cause my mom and mother in law cannot get on board with cloth. We tend to still reach for them in some cases. I need to purchase the un-paper towels and put them on the paper towel holder. And cut up old clothes into rags for messy oily cleanups.
6. Misc - random things that has to go in trash?
This was in my Recycle Bin for 1 week
I separated them into groups so I could “bulk edit” again.
Which of these items doesn’t have to be in here? Red I can think twice about, Black no option. Blue post watching A Plastic Ocean.
1. Glass - I love my wine.
2. Aluminum - I have significantly reduced my aluminum intake by buying in bulk. These tomato cans though were to make a big batch of pasta sauce, the only pasta sauce my kids will eat. I can use fresh tomatoes!!! I can!! I will take longer to make, but I can make a lot at one time right?
I am not going to prevent everything from ending up in the landfill, but I can make better choices, learn from my actions and make changes. It doesn’t hurt to clearly see what you are throwing out right? I am not buying anything in plastic unless I can reuse it or recycle it. I will not send plastic to the landfill!
Q: Will you do a trash audit?
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