Day One: Wasters of the Lost Ark

First of all, I’m about to start Raiders of the Lost Ark on Bravo so I think every post is going to be some sort of crappy pun on a title that includes “waste” in some way, shape, or form.

It’s about 6pm and I would call my first day a mixed success at best.  Most of all, I woke up at 5:30 to take my parents to the airport.  I’ve been really tired all day and didn’t get stuff done from the standpoint of my Reduced Waste Experiment as well as My Possessions Are Still Scattered ABout the House that I should have.

Areas I didn’t do as well in:

  • Gas consumption.  First, I went to the airport and back.  The Denver International Airport, scourge of Metro Area travelers, is way in the boonies.  I thought about staying closer to the Farmers’ Market until it opened at nine, but I was on my way back from the airport at seven o’clock and I didn’t have a book or even a pen.  I just went home.  I drove down to Denver to go to the Denver Urban Homestead market, but it wasn’t what I expected, so I left after only about twenty minutes.  Going at all was a waste of gas.
  • The Denver Urban Homestead (or “DUH” in one of the best acronyms ever) indoor farmers’ market was honestly kind of a bust for me.  I haven’t been to a farmer’s market in a long time.  And for some reason, I always picture Pike Place Market on the Seattle waterfront when I think “farmers’ market.”  Pike Place is an embarrassment of produce riches (and other riches) compared to anything I’ve ever seen because of its size and also because the Pacific Northwest has amazing produce.  (Mmm, Rainier cherries.)  It didn’t help that I put off going to DUH for most of the afternoon and hit some slow traffic on the way there.  I didn’t plan what meals I wanted to eat this week carefully enough, so I threw together a vague list with the idea of getting whatever fresh produce I could fine.  Based on the list of attending vendors, I expected a much larger turnout.  I got there an hour before it closed, to be fair, but there was very little produce.  Most of what I found were one-time goods (empanadas and latkes), dairy products (but no half-and-half, which I’d been hoping for), packaged stuff (delicious looking sweet potato gnocchi), plants, or jarred goods.  I left after twenty minutes with nothing.  I might try the Boulder Farmers’ Market on Wednesday, but Boulder traffic is a nightmare.  (Starting June 3, my town will have its own farmers’ market.)

Things I have mixed feelings about:

  • I sat in my car not knowing what to do after the farmers’ market misadventure.  I realized I was starving and that even if shopping hungry weren’t a bad idea, I didn’t have enough energy to shop without eating.  I went to Tocabe: An American Indian Eatery, which serves these amazing Indian tacos.  I felt bad for eating meat, but I can’t resist their ground bison.  I couldn’t find the information on their meat source (usually there’s a card describing the bison meat they use), but if memory serves me, the bison are organically ranched and grass-fed.  I felt guilty for getting a Diet Coke, but Tocabe also uses cups and cutlery made by Cedar Grove Packaging, which is all compostable.
  • Electricity.  I have kept my computer on and plugged in all day because my power cord has been acting up.  Whenever I shift the cord even slightly, the light goes out.  I’ve become accustomed to the idea that I’ll probably have to shell out $80 for a new one soon, but by god it will only be when no amount of re-plugging works.  I’ve also been watching TV more or less all day.  I didn’t want to do this type of idle watching.  That being said, it’s 6pm on a rainy day and I have not turned the lights on in the whole house for more than fifteen minutes in the past 12 hours.

Things I should feel good about:

  • I shopped at Sunflower, a regional-ish grocery store that places a pretty big emphasis on organic and bulk foods—there’s no way to buy sacked flour at all.  So it cuts down on packaging, but it also means that if you’re not a bulk buyer, you have to go to two separate stores.  I would like to venture into bulk foods if possible this week—my mother thinks the possibility of their contamination is too risky.  Given last summer’s listeria outbreak, which incidentally came from Colorado cantaloupes (although NOT Rocky Ford, whose reputation has been ruined), I don’t think anyone is truly safe.  I trust the people in my community not to—to use a hypothetical example—dip their wangs into bulk quinoa as much as I trust farmers not to put fruit in the same truck where cattle have been.   Sunflower also has each produce item’s country of origin listed.
  • But I digress: Sunflower has re-usable milk containers.  You use the milk, rinse them out, bring the jug back to the market.  It’s plastic, but supposedly it’s a heavy-duty, re-usable plastic that can be sanitized.  I probably couldn’t deform it by squeezing.  I also found frozen fruit that comes in a 100% biodegradable bag.  (I may use them as poop bags for my dog, but I’d have to buy a lot of damn frozen blackberries.)
  • I have barely generated any garbage today—just the plastic tab around the milk container top.  I will have some recyclables by the time I’m done with dinner, but not a bad day.  I’m going to have to do some work when it comes to figuring out our composter, which is full of mulch that I need to transfer out at the moment.  (Also, there are coffee grounds still in the coffee maker from this morning and I need to figure out what to do about them.)

So….better luck tomorrow?  Honestly, what I have the most anxiety about is the garbage bags.  There’s one in my trash can right now.  What do others use when it comes to “wet trash” or stuff that can’t be composted like meat, bones, cooked vegetables, etc.?


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