Hi all! Three months into our garbage challenge already – this year is flying by! Again, our week has been marked with occasions other than things garbage-related, but regardless, we trek on in our garbage-free lifestyle. Let’s see…
My brother and his girlfriend visited on Sunday for the Seahawks game and we had good game spread that was completely recyclable when finished. Take and bake pizza wrapped in plastic wrap, cans of soda, tortilla chips from a paper bag, homemade salsa. I continuously find that if I just try to make a garbage-ful event garbage-free, it’s virtually no problem whatsoever. Usually a football party involves trash because paper plates and napkins are set out and lots of leftover food packaging winds up in the trash. We just used regular dishes and again, made sure we didn’t buy anything that comes in non-recyclable packaging.
Another thing I’ve been meaning to mention is that, since I started work again, I’ve noticed that being garbage-free keeps me completely away from the vending machine like nothing else ever has. Especially if I stay late at work grading papers or planning for the next day, sometimes the plastic or foil-wrapped junk food calls my name. Now, everything in the vending machine is off-limits, so no unhealthy snacking for me. I’ve been packing more healthy snacks, things like granola and dried fruit that I can buy in bulk.
We did add a couple small pieces of plastic to the shoebox this week; namely contact lens throwaway blister packs. There might have been a second small item but looking through the box, I can’t pick it out from the other miscellaneous plastic bits.
I felt quite green today because we’re just starting Homecoming week at school and today was Hippie Day. Not only did I get all my outfits for all five dress up days from the Goodwill (yay for reuse!), I went to school today as a hippie and was informed by my students that I could pass as a hippie already, since I’m halfway there anyway with the garbage project. Their comments generated some discussion, and I’m really enjoying answering my students’ questions about the project. They come up to me at random times asking how I handle certain trash dilemmas and they are usually intriqued by the answer. Maybe I’ve helped a few people think about their trash habits in new ways.
One of the odder questions I received this week was from a student, who asked me about disposing of hair after a haircut. At home, hair gets composted (not with food) or buried, but I haven’t yet gone to a salon to get my hair cut. I hadn’t even thought of this, but it’s true – I don’t want my hair to end up in a landfill. On the other hand, it seems quite weird to ask the hairdresser to sweep my hair off the floor and give it back to me. Even by my “breaking cultural norms regarding trash” stance, that goes a little far. The solution I’ve come up with so far is to grow my hair out and donate it to Locks of Love when it’s long enough. I’ve always wanted to do this, and maybe now is a great opportunity to help out a great cause. Any thoughts on hair disposal after a haircut?
Finally, a pair of my most favorite cotton PJs ripped tonight. The cloth will become rags for its next stage in life, but I’m soon going to need to face the challenge of disposing of cloth after it’s totally beyond use as clothing or rags. I’m wondering if organic cloth can be composted, or if there are organizations out there that take cloth and break it down to the fiber level for reuse. This seems reasonable, but so far, such an organization hasn’t presented itself. I’ll be researching this next.
I think that’s it for tonight. See you next week!