Tuesday, 2 June 2009

The Waste Challenge - update 1

A little while ago I rather rashly made a commitment to myself, here on this site, to spend a whole month collecting my rubbish rather than throwing it away.

And now the month is upon me, so I have had to honour my word and start really thinking about waste. This is how things are going so far:

Day 1
- I realise it's the 1st June and hence the first day of the challenge as I am eating my lunch - with a disposable fork - it's made of wood and has got a bit soggy and broken so I can't put it in the cutlery drawer to take to work as I do with the few plastic spoons I pick up. I put it in my bag.

Later I'm working through my receipts (I record all my expenditure - slightly obsessive but there we go) and realise I have unthinkingly tossed them in the bin. I realise why I am doing this challenge - because it is that unthinkingness that I - and most others - have become accustomed to. But once out of my hand this stuff doesn't disappear into thin air, so I really should be thinking about just what I am throwing out.

By evening I'm quite impressed at my small haul for the day, until I realise I'm too late to go to my usual shop and have to buy dinner at Tesco Metro. EVERYTHING is in packaging. There is literally nothing I can buy loose apart from an unripe avocado. Some plastic and netting gets added to my stash.

Day 2.

This regime is pretty good if you're on a diet because if you're looking at food in terms of waste, there is not much there you can go for apart from fruit (this is at least the case in our canteen). I go out for lunch with a colleague though and get a sandwich wrapped in paper and then put in a paper bag stuffed with paper napkins. The bag and napkin I can save and re-use, but the paper is all oily so it has to be chucked (things with food on that might go mouldy over the course of a month are not coming in the bag). So I kind of cheated today, but still pretty good going with nothing so far. However, I am pretty thirsty because my only options for water here are plastic cups or buying a plastic bottle, as I forgot to bring my normal tea mug. Damn! And another dinner needs to be bought and I'm not sure I'll make my shop opening hours. I had better go and try do that!!!

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