Is their trash my trash? Is my trash her trash? Is that trash across the street my trash? Individual trash and community trash blurs together when I think about where my items come from. The almonds in this bulk dispenser still came out of a bag, but it’s a single larger bag versus 50 miniature bags of almonds. I asked the barista to serve my latte in the reusable cup I brought along, but still she made it in a paper cup then transferred it to my mug. Refusing a receipt does not prevent it from printing, it just goes straight to the bin.

The weight of all the garbage in the world is crushing my spirit. 

Over the weekend I did some gardening. Having plants in the home is aesthetically lovely, as well as purifying for the air, an act that is soothing in itself. Until you have to clean up the mess and realize that you have garbage to toss.

I want to blame the society surrounding me, but nothing productive comes out of placing blame, so I ponder instead. Instead of say, a plastic bag filled with dirt, could the dirt be transported in biodegradable packaging? I realize that being hyperconscious of our waste production is not within everyone’s realm of concern, understandably. If I had 3 kids and didn’t live in an urban mecca, I doubt I would be as emboldened by the zero-waste movement as I am. The communities we live in greatly affect the resources we have at our … disposal? Having a store with bulk bins is not available in the rural towns of Texas. Getting a Wal-Mart is a sign of progress, and yet it is also the antithesis of conscious consumerism. Must disposable items become an integral piece of one’s lifestyle before moving beyond It? These paper plate items and plastic fork goods are seemingly inexpensive, cheap. Cheap to buy because it is cheap to produce, made not to last.

While pulling up deadened leaves of monkey grass the other day, I unearthed this sodden bath mat. Completely buried in leaves for at least 6 months. Uncertain of its potential to serve a purpose, I tossed it in the garbage bin. Am I doing someone a favor or self-sabotaging my own goal of creating less waste?

This mountain of garbage is bigger than me.