The Rubbish Diet – Week 8 ZERO WASTE

Here we are! Week 8 of The Rubbish Diet.

This week’s challenge is  ZERO WASTE!  A challenge so big it deserves all caps.

I’m very pleased with my rubbish diet success over the past 8 weeks. We went from a bag of trash (or two) every week to one bag every other week. We have made some changes in our habits that will last beyond this challenge.

We spent yesterday getting ready for ZERO WASTE WEEK.  The only thing we really discard at this point is food waste and our blasted little k-cups.  So we finally set-up our backyard composter.  We got one of those little pails to put our kitchen scraps in.   And, we finally got the right size 1/2 in. round washer to solve the keurig spewing issue.

My approach to ZERO WASTE WEEK is to try really hard not to generate any non-recyclable, non-compostable waste.

I also went over my ZERO WASTE ‘rules’ with my husband. He was willing to play along. He even sent me a text message this morning to clarify, “Does zero waste mean zero recycling?”  To which I replied, “You can recycle as much as you want! You can compost as much as you want!”  That’s our goal this week anyway.

I missed the goal. Before I left the house I had already discarded a bit of dental floss and a q-tip.  Darnit.

At lunch I asked the guy at the deli to wrap my spinach pie in paper. He looked at me weird but complied.  The awesome thing is we have a compost bin at the office (our interns dutifully take it to a community garden when full).  So I was able to recycle the outer paper wrapper, and one of the little waxy papers from my lunch.  Unfortunately, another of the little waxy papers was a touch too greasy to compost.  Next time I’ll take a container with me to the deli.

So it’s already day one of zero waste week and I have technically failed.  But, I will soldier on and see what I can continue to not waste this week.

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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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