It’s day 1 of tracking my trash. I feel like shit. All of the food I eat is packaged in plastic or paper, and sealed with stickers. I wipe myself down after yoga practice with 2 baby wipes. I wear one-a-day contacts. I see where I can do better: Eat a banana instead of a KIND bar then compost the peel, wet a towel and use that as my post workout cleanser instead, wear my glasses. At work, we have lunch catered every day, and all of that comes wrapped in paper or plastic, oftentimes both.
Do I start bringing my lunch every day? Sure, that solves the problem of creating waste but then isolates me from the people I would be sharing these meals with. I’m realizing that our society likes garbage. Why else would we give out plastic bags for free at grocery stores? They claim to reduce costs but how does the price of 1000 polyethylene bags compare to 1 reusable bag, over a lifetime? How did we get here? Restaurants give out extra plastic silverware, napkins in excess, enough straws to swim to the bottom of the ocean and still catch your breath. 50 years ago, giving out goods beyond what was needed would seem counterproductive to the running of a business. Why spend money on materials only to watch them blow down the street like urban tumbleweeds. Somewhere there is money being made, right? All of these bags are made from petroleum. Does the oil industry make money from this? Like the Native American in this commercial from the 70’s when he sees a bag of trash thrown out of a car window, I want to cry. What can I possibly do?
Update Day 1: Trash is everywhere!
I washed my hands and absentmindedly grabbed a paper towel to dry off. I was throwing it into the garbage before I even realized I was producing trash. Then my coworkers offered to get me a delicious matcha tea latte and how could I say no?! Here I sit now with this frothy green drink, resenting how much I enjoy every sip. I need my reusable coffee mug!