Week 5 – The Rubbish Diet

We are already starting week 5 of The Rubbish Diet and I have some success to report:  we did not put any trash out for pick-up during week 4!

That doesn’t mean we didn’t generate any waste, but it was significantly reduced.  Instead of putting out a bag or two weekly, at this rate we could go every other week.

How did we do it?  Cutting out paper towels and paper napkins reduced a lot of the volume.  Finding out that more than just plastic grocery bags are recyclable helped us divert plastic film and plastic baggies from the trash. Planning meals a little better for the week better has reduced the amount of food waste going into the trash bin (and has saved us some money).

I’m still struggling with the coffee situation.  I continue to justify the daily use of individual pre-packed coffee servings by convincing myself they don’t take up THAT much room in my rubbish bin, and the current reusable alternative is way too messy and time consuming to deal with right now.  And I can’t seem to locate my french press, but I’m still looking for it through our de-cluttering efforts.

I have come to terms with my irrational fear of compost and gardening.  Assuming I can connect with my local botanical garden to acquire a discounted backyard compost container, I’ll have a place for my food waste in time for week 6.  In the mean time, I’m going to see about getting some seedlings started so I’ll have somewhere to put all that compost when it’s ready.

So we’ve seen progress in the past 4 weeks.  While I’m still a little nervous of the prospect of getting to zero waste by week 8, I think it is more within reach now that when we started in week 1.


About Amy Marpman

Director of Recycling Services at Great Forest, Inc. in NYC. Continually finding the balance of idealism with the practical realities that make or break recycling programs.
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