Thursday, April 14, 2011

The list of trash so far

Time to 'fess up I guess. As promised, I've been keeping track of all of my food waste. So far the list goes something like this:

April 1: An empty bag of frozen broccoli
April 2: Paper wrapping from a bagel I picked up for breakfast, THREE stickers on an avocado (apparently one wasn't enough?), Empty bag of frozen mixed veggies.
April 3: none
April 4: Empty can of chili, 2 stickers from eggplants, a teabag
April 5: Tea bag wrapper, a pair of chopsticks, 2 empty soy sauce packets, sushi take-out box, empty can of diced tomatoes, empty wine bottle
April 6: none
April 7: Empty Tortilla chip bag (in my defense, I didn't buy these, I found an almost empty bag at work and finished them off)
April 8: Hard cider bottle
April 9: Tissue paper wrapper from bulk carob bar
April 10: Empty tempeh package, empty bag of frozen broccoli
April 11: None
April 12: None
April 13: Straw and wrapper, napkin
April 14: Empty tempeh package

I imagine there will be a few things during my year of no food trash. I have decided that I'm going to keep using what I already have, even if it is packaged. I don't want to waste the food along with the packaging by letting it go bad. The product has already been purchased, so it's getting used. The point is not just to remove the trash from my life, but to remove myself from the entire trash-making system as a whole. In the case of what's already in my kitchen, I've cast my monetary vote and it's too late to undo it now. So the packaged food in my fridge stays. And there's not much of it.

Here's the fun part though: for every packaged food I consume because it's already in my kitchen, I will try to find a way to make it or get it without a package. Apparently I'm crazy for thinking about making miso.

May 1st, I'm getting ready for you.


  1. you produce so little trash i think its goofy for you not to try and extend past food trash.

    I was thinking, do things made of 100% recycled material that you then recycle count?

    If you need stuff without packaging, and you can't find them at co-ops, you could try restaurants. They always get stuff in bulk, and if you explained yourself i'm sure you could get stuff without stickers and put stuff in your own bottles and so on.

  2. Recycling is not acceptable for this challenge. Re-using is though. For example, I have a friend who brews beer and cider so I can give him empty glass bottles. If I buy something that comes in a glass jar that jar will get used for years as food storage.

    I already don't produce other kinds of trash. Toilet paper. Bulk bags of cat food. Empty boxes of Borax. Empty envelopes from my bills that can't be set up as paperless. Dental floss. That's pretty much it. I make almost all of my bath and household products myself.

    The point of this challenge is that I had given myself a free pass on food trash and I don't think that's acceptable. If I push myself as far as I can, when the year is over, my food trash will be as infrequent as the other trash in my life.