Thursday, June 30, 2011

Reflections on month two

I still can't get over the initial reaction that most people have to my no-trash diet, “Wow, that must be so hard!” I can't stress enough how easy it is. It's a little weird how we're predisposed to think that we need waste to live our lives. It's crazy how quickly we reach for a disposable item without thinking if we really need it, or if we can use something else.

I was at the grocery store with a friend the other day. I had brought my own bags for produce, but not enough. He hadn't brought any. I quietly got what I needed and when I ran out of bags, I simply loaded the rest of the produce (things that were large and not fragile, like potatoes and bananas) into my basket without bags. The checkout people don't care. We met up a few minutes later and he commented on my free-floating produce, “Oh, I hadn't thought of that.” I'm not judgmental. I know how automatic certain things are, because it's taken me effort to program myself to think “do I need this?” before I use anything. I told him I do this all the time, and when the checkout person showed no signs of interest in the lack of bag, he accepted this practice as something to use in the future.

The same thing happens when I take my container to the bagel place. It starts a lot of conversations. Even the ladies at the local health food store have said my containers have made them think about their own disposable habits. As with everything, I'm happy to answer questions that are asked of me, but I almost never bring the issue up unless I need to.

I must make a small confession though. That rule about not eating out twice a week... hasn't really been super accurate. I like to grab a bagel before work sometimes. Not more than once a week, but it happens. I also like to eat at the farmers market. And I like to go out to the bar with my friends after work. So sometimes I go out more often. However, I have my container in hand at the bagel place, don't order bottled cider at the bar, and the farmer's market, well, I don't think I need to explain that there's not really a lot of waste involved with anything there, as compared with a restaurant or grocery store. I don't feel guilty, I just think it was not a very useful rule.

The trek continues.

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