It’s everything I could not refuse, reuse, repair, recycle, or rot (compost).
The major problem areas are:
- medical waste
- cat food bags,
- sticky tape from packages in the mail
- unexpected plastic packaging
- fruit stickers
- tags off products that *look* like paper but are actually coated in plastic
- unwanted straws
- plastic seals around glass bottles
- dental floss
- take out food surprises (for example Taco Bell wraps it’s burritos in paper but then throws in a plastic container full of cheese whiz even when I didn’t ask for it.
While I wish there were fewer of these jars I’m proud of myself for sticking close to my goal of one jar a month: there are 13 jars worth here.
The other thing I’m proud of myself is that I did two trips to Europe this year and still manage to make very little waste while traveling.
The April Europe trip is contained in 2/3 of the April jar. But sadly, I made more trash on my September Europe trip (threeZiploc bags worth) and unfortunately,I didn’t have enough room my suitcase to pack back all three bags.
I am going to try and slash my 2018 trash output in half-six jars. (I almost managed that in 2015!)
Who will join me in the one jar every two months challenge for 2018?
P.S.I know it’s not quite the end of the year yet but there still a little bit of room in the top of December jar, so I’m covered!
As you can see over the last nine years, the more conscious of a consumer I have become, the less of everything I have to put at the curb. You can see the shapes of the graph lines mimic each other.
The one odd peak in recycling was last year: my mom died, and I received dozens of shipments from her house to mine holding inherited furniture, books and family mementos. The understandably generated a whole lot more cardboard and packing paper recyclables.
You'll note my garbage output also went up in 2016. cleaning out after the death of a loved one is not only emotionally hard and sad, but also hard on being "zero-waste"...though if you re-frame that as using and reusing favorite family heirlooms and furniture (rather than buying new) perhaps it all cancels out.