Enviro Girl tried to weigh her kitchen garbage bag this morning, but it’s still so light that her bathroom scale will not register it. It’s lighter than a gallon of milk, which weighs about 7-8 pounds, so 2 days into her Trash Study, her household is well below the daily average of producing 7 pounds of garbage per person. To recap: In her examination of the garbage issue, Enviro Girl is tracking her household’s trash for a week, which means writing down every single item before it goes into the garbage bin. Her household consists of herself, 3 sons, a husband and a large dog. Since breakfast yesterday she has thrown away:
1/4 peanut butter & jelly sandwich, 12 yogurt tubes, 3 greasy napkins, 3 candy wrappers, 2 pair latex gloves (from school cafeteria–Enviro Girl threw them away there, but still counts them as her trash), 1 pretzel package, 1 q-tip, 1 seal from peanut butter jar and lid, packaging from raw chicken breasts & thighs, 1 miscellaneous wrapper, 2 stickers from apples, 1/4 Nutella sandwich, 1 lid from jar of Nutella, 1 seal from jar of Nutella, a wad if used duct tape, some crumbs and pencil shavings. (How are you so accurate, Enviro Girl? She’s writing down each item on the back of an old envelope before she throws it in the bin.)
So far the majority of her household waste is still food packaging. While considering the issue of trash, Enviro Girl tries to imagine generating more and struggles to comprehend how her lifestyle would change. She thinks about her neighbors whose household consists of 2 people, no pets, children and grandchildren living in other households–they generate a large dumpster full of garbage every week. It strikes her how much of her household trash is generated through consumption–in her family’s case, food, but what other consumption adds to people’s waste? It’s tempting to dive into her neighbor’s dumpster and try to figure it out…
Keep the comments coming–the Eco Women like reading your trash inventory and how you deal with your waste in various parts of the world!