Days Five and Six: Waste-ton Abbey

So pretty much every day has felt like a failure.  Mostly, I have not changed anything about how I’m doing this, which is in a disorganized way.  I have been watching TV in complete darkness, not cooking for myself and instead eating Cheerios for sustenance.

Yesterday I had a really stressful day at work but I forced myself to go grocery shopping.  I did have my own bags.  I went to Sunflower and realized that having your own bags gets you nowhere if you don’t have bulk containers.  (Sunflower does have both spinach and mushrooms in bulk.)  I drew a blank when thinking about how Zero Waste Home family gets around plastic produce bags.  I hadn’t planned any meals.  I almost bought an eggplant but I hadn’t read how to tell if an eggplant is good and one was squishy and one was firm.  I ate breakfast before nine and left work at four without having taken a lunch break and I was starving.

I walked around the store more than once trying to find anything without packaging.  (I did locate the baking supplies I mistakenly said didn’t exist and felt like an idiot.)  Not a lot of choices, especially if you lack the proper containers to put them in.  I almost bought plain couscous (box-only, no bag, no cellophane window, no flavor packet).

This is what I purchased:

  • One spaghetti squash
  • One sweet potato
  • Three bags of frozen berries in biodegradable bags.
  • And then I freaked out and bought a plastic jar of gelato.  Both the container and the lid are recyclable, the company is committed to being green.  However, this plastic jar does have a ring of cellophane plastic around the lid that acts as a seal.  So I lost garbage points after all.

Today, I could have kicked myself for not having a container to take home leftovers in at lunch.  I also forgot to breakfast at home, which meant I got a pastry from my coffee shop, which meant it was a pastry in a paper wrapper.  I did make an effort to bring a bandana as a handkerchief.  I sniffled from about 9-3 and bit the bullet and used the thing to blow my nose.  I’m not going to lie, I was a little grossed out by it, but it could have been worse.  Mostly I’m grossed out about my future as a handkerchief user….I hate laundry more than anything. Hatred of laundry + literal snot rag = bad combination.

I often get gung-ho about things and then half-ass them.  As I said earlier, I’m bad at planning.  I’m also lazy and excited to have the house to myself.  So I’m considering this week to be a failure.  Perhaps a bit pre-maturely, but it’s more important for me to be honest about my lack of success.  From other standpoints, I was going to use this week to clean my room thoroughly, try to plan a trip this summer, have people over and throw waste-free dinner parties.  I’m a bit of a hermit at heart, and when I have unlimited access to a television and silence, I will savor those things above all else.  I’ve never been great at taking care of myself and i realize now when I was in college I learned that cooking for one really isn’t worth the trouble.  I also hate cooking.  Ergo: Cheerios.

I still have one full day left.  I’m sorry that I didn’t work more diligently on this project before I threw myself into it.  I have figured out some things that I believe I can do in my own life to cut down on the amount of energy that I use.  Taking my own cup to places was not scary.  Handkerchiefs seem doable—and I can probably find some cute ones on Etsy.  I do need to order some re-usable menstrual products still…

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One thought on “Days Five and Six: Waste-ton Abbey

  1. Nope. Not a failure. If you’ve picked up just one new habit from this experiment, like bringing your own coffee cup places, then I’d declare it a huge success. Changing a single habit is really hard, and trying to permanently change a couple hundred habits in a week is damn near impossible.

    Here’s my strategy for cooking vegetables like a lazy pro: roast them suckers. Cut the spaghetti squash in half, poke holes in the sweet potato, and roast them at 375 degrees for about an hour. Then you can keep them in the fridge and nuke them whenever you get hungry. Spaghetti squash is pretty good tossed with bottled pesto and cheese, and I’m really fond of sweet potatoes with canned or homemade chili on top.

    As for bulk spinach and mushrooms, I usually try to remember to take some reusable tupperware with me to the grocery store. You can tare it at the register before filling it up, and then reuse the same container the next time you need more spinach. I’m really bad about remembering to bring my bulk spinach container to the store, though, so I try to go for brown paper bulk bags if that’s an option.

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