On the second day of my No Impact Experiment, the focus is on Trash.
Step 1 is to take the trash I collected yesterday, divide it into two piles: stuff that I used for more than ten minutes and stuff I used for less than ten minutes.
In my more than ten minutes pile is the egg carton, toilet paper roll, and mushroom container/plastic wrap. In my less than ten minutes pile is a whip cream carton, two sheets of paper towel, a frozen veggie bag, and a cotton pad (for putting toner on my face).
As I go through this, I think about how I could have made less trash:
- I could have bought mushrooms in bulk using my reusable produce bag.
- I could have used a washcloth to put the toner on my face.
- I could have used a cloth to wipe down the counters in the kitchen instead of paper towels.
Over the course of the day, I thought of a few other ways to avoid using paper towels:
- At the gym, bring an extra towel to wipe down machines and bring it home once a week for washing.
- For cleaning the mirrors in the bathrooms, I remembered that I had bought a special cloth a couple of years ago in Sweden. It supposedly cleans mirrors with just water. I found it and will be using it next time I clean!
- For work, bring a cloth napkin to use for messy lunches.
Food containers are definitely going to be the biggest challenge. Today, I ended up with an empty soy milk carton (is there any way to buy soy milk without a carton?), chicken breast packaging, and the plastic seal around a box of raisins I opened. No paper towels though!
But what about stuff that comes in the mail? There are ways to reduce that as well. More and more companies have realized that going green is also good for the bottom line. See if you can switch to electronic bills/statements. I still have a few lingering accounts to take care of. Today, I ended up with about four envelopes.
Step 3 is pretty straightforward: Stop making trash.
This will be a fun challenge.