Days Seven and Eight: Lord of the Waste: Return of the Waste

Okay….I know the above pun uses “waste” as a substitute for two different words.

My Official Reduced Waste Experiment drew to a close unexpectedly this morning.  But good news first:

Yesterday during the day I had a mixed-success day.  I had a scone wrapped in paper for breakfast, I took my cup and went to Chipotle for lunch.  I had the vegetarian burrito.

Last night, my bff stayed the night and we made dinner.  We also shopped for dinner, which involved a trip to Sunflower.  I brought four Bonne Maman jars, which we had weighed at the register before filling with bulk chocolates.  We did run into trouble at check-out; the jars had a heavier tare than the register automatically allows, but the cashier figured out the manual entry on her new system after a minimally embarrassing time. On the menu was this recipe for ratatouille from Smitten Kitchen.  I served it over roasted spaghetti squash.  It was a little bit of squash overload.

Waste-wise, we had the plastic seals on our Talenti Gelato jars (what’s a slumber party without ice cream?), and the parchment paper.  I also opened a package of goat cheese.  So I started waste, but we didn’t finish it off.  Somewhere in my mind, I think it counts less because it was Haystack Mountain cheese, which comes from Boulder, CO, a mere twenty-minute drive from where I am now (although it appears you can no longer go directly to the source).  Of course, plastic is plastic.

This was pretty successful and I am happy.

Then, this morning, she and I went out for coffee at my favorite local place, where we got for-here coffee and pastries (no wrapping or cups).  I took her home and came back home.  I was gone for a total of two hours, unlike the eight I usually spend at work.  And my dog had taken a huge dump on the floor in my absence.  Granted, it’s a tile floor for easy clean-up.  But I took one look at that dog shit and decided that I was going to crack and use a paper towel to clean it up.  So that was the sudden end—thwarted by dog shit.

Things I want to continue to do:

  • Try to use handkerchiefs instead of Kleenex.
  • Bring my own cup to places for soda (may involve buying a more durable cup).
  • Buy in bulk.  It’s really not scary!!
  • Try to research companies and restaurants before patronizing them.  For example, one of my favorite restaurants from my time in Portland has opened a location in North Denver AND is committed to sustainability.
  • Using my own bags.
  • Bringing my own doggie bags and develop a system so I have them with me.
  • Cut down on meat.

Things I should have done better and can continue to work on:

  • Cut down on gas.  This might actually involve moving out of where I live now (except my commute to work would be longer than 10 minutes).  I have to drive everywhere: work, errands, entertainment.
  • Composted before it started raining. I have a Tupperware full of scraps still in the fridge.  Long-term idea would be to get my mother to use her composter properly.  Especially since my dad grows some vegetables in the summer.  I will probably just give in and throw the compost in the trash to save time and headache.  I am not proud, but I DID save my biodegradable frozen fruit bags!  THAT COMPOST WILL ROT SOMEWHERE, SOMEHOW.
  • I need to get my parents to use biodegradable garbage bags.
  • Maybe TMI, but I never got around to ordering any reusable menstrual products and my period is going to start like any day now.

I would also like to thank everybody who has taken the time to read and comment on these posts and provide inspiration, link me to articles, tell me what you’re already doing to reduce your own amount of waste.  From time to time, I will continue to make posts on this account and probably try a more radical approach whenever in the future I strike out on my own and have total control over my own environment.

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