So far this week:
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I recognize that I make a lot of trash each day. It's not that I mean to do it, but our disposable society has made me numb to the fact that I could reuse plenty of things I simply chuck in the garbage bin.
And before Monday, my biggest fear for the week was dealing with the smell of my trashcan—that is, until I realized just how much trash I make, and the impact it inevitably has on my city's landfill.
On Monday, I packed a lunch (tuna sandwich with an apple and a can of juice), and thought I was doing a splendid job of not creating additional trash. After all, I was reusing a plastic sandwich bag and I planned to recycle my empty can of juice.
But as I ate my sandwich, I realized that my lunch itself was pretty wasteful —after all, the bread I used came from a plastic bag, the tuna came from an aluminum can, and all the veggies in my sandwich live inside a plastic bag in my refrigerator.
As I pondered the amount of waste one simple, packed lunch was producing, I came to the realization that more than half of trash I was making is plastic—the one thing that will likely last the longest in my city's landfill. I began to worry less about the smell my apple core would leave behind and worry more about all the plastic that will be sitting in the outskirts of Denver for who knows how long.
It made me start thinking about the glass bottles that must be sitting along with all the plastic bags, and of the aluminum cans that are piled in with the glass bottles and the plastic bags. I started to realize how my trash can is really just the beginning of a journey for garbage, and how its ultimate resting spot is anything but disposable. I mean, not all of the garbage in our landfill will decompose. In fact, I'm sure almost all of it won't, if my buying habits are in any way indicative of the typical American's.
So what have I learned on Day 2 of No Impact Week? That intentions are a great start ... but my disposable mindset is so deeply engrained in my basic habits, and those of other consumers like myself, that making a big change is likely going to take a lot of time and effort.
Having fun with No Impact Week. Yesterday (Day 3) was my day to blog from FSTV, and being in the media biz, I couldn't help but vlog. I am a big, big fan of the bicycle commute, and I can think of 150,000 reasons why you should ride a bike to work, but I'll let the riding (and the video) speak for itself. The thing about TRANSPORTATION DAY is it's got the word SPORT right in the middle of it. Now believe me you, there is no SPORT in gridlock traffic! Feel the freshness, ride a bicycle today and everyday forth!
-Alexander Maness, Production Coordinator