First, I removed all the household wastebaskets. This meant the one under the kitchen sink, the ones in each bedroom, the bathroom, etc. If there is nowhere to put trash, you think twice about generating it in the first place. You certainly don't want to carry around a slimy plastic wrapper all day in your hands!
Second, I put out not one, but *two* Mason jars on the kitchen window sill: one for me and one for guests. I don't expect my guests to follow my rules to the letter, although by having the two jars visible, I can visually show what I do. It is certainly a conversation starter!
My progress so far:
**Also, I was in England the entire month of October and did not attempt this particular project traveling in a foreign country. :-)
Giving up things I love, like turkey-on-rosemary-bread sandwiches from Seattle's Ken's Market (they come wrapped in single-use plastic) are hard enough. But what is REALLY hard is having to figure how any given thing you buy might be packaged.
I have done a lot of investigating and asking ahead, but have STILL gotten foiled when something arrives MOSTLY in a recyclable/compost-able paper or cardboard, only to find that the item within has a plastic strip or shrink wrap around it.
Produce stickers are another pet peeve. Why must companies put a non-recyclable sticker on an apple? Are they really afraid I might mistake an apple for a zucchini?
Plastic bottle caps less than three inches are not accepted by Seattle Public Utilities for recycling. The good news is that Aveda has program that accepts small plastic bottle caps.
Other non-recyclable, non-compostable items that have wound up in my jars:
- broken rubber bands
- cut up credit cards
- Scotch tape
- adhesive backing strip for stamps, menstrual sanitary pads, etc.
- the plastic thingys that come on clothing tags
- plastic tape off of packing boxes
- Mylar packing from the cat food, crackers, etc.
- used prescription bottles (Aveda will take the caps
This is becoming true for me! After five months of doing this this, I am finding it weird and unsightly when I see trash cans everywhere in people's houses. I find myself biting my tongue not to blurt "why so many wastebaskets? Eeeww!" I LOVE not having to drag a heavy trash can to the curb every week.
And while my two-quart Mason jar a month is far from Bea's single quart Mason jar a year, I can definitely say "I've slashed my trash!"