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The YES! No Impact Diary: Day 2

You've completed your first full day of life with less trash. What's in the bag at the end of the day?
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Monday Trash

Discover how wasting less improves your life.

Click here for more stories from No Impact Week.
Click here for more information on Day 2: Trash.

Molly EagenMolly Eagen

Minneapolis, Minnesota

No Impact Man inspired Molly Eagen's graduate thesis on life without oil. Follow her tips this week as she takes on the No Impact Experiment.

Cooper Bates
Cooper Bates

Los Angeles, California

Cooper Bates is on a crusade to introduce no-impact living into family and professional life in Los Angeles.

Scott Gast
Scott Gast

Great Barrington, Massachusetts

Former YES! intern Scott Gast navigates No Impact Week in small-town Massachusetts.

Kelsea MacIlroy and Muck Kilpatrick
Kelsea MacIlroy and Muck Kilpatrick

Alamosa, Colorado

Follow Colorado couple Kelsea MacIlroy and Muck Kilpatrick as they promote low-impact living in their rural community.

Ryan Eisenberg
Ryan Eisenman

Houston, Texas

With the support of his family, Texas teenager Ryan Eisenman is figuring out how to go No Impact in high school.

Aran Seaman
Aran Seaman

British Columbia, Canada

Sustainability blogger Aran Seaman has done No Impact Week before—and he's back for round two.

Bunmi Ishola
Olubunmi Ishola

Dallas, Texas

Olubunmi Ishola is a no-impact skeptic, but she's willing to see if the experiment can prove her wrong.

Kathy Kottaras
Kathy Kottaras

Los Angeles, California

Mother, teacher, and eco-pilgrim Kathy Kottaras' lyrical take on the inner adventure of going No Impact.


Don't forget to check out our No Impact Week featured blogroll for more great stories, and post your photos on our Flickr page for a chance to win a subscription to YES!

More Day 2 experiences from our readers!

-Sonya Harvey

Trash is often what is at the other end of much of our consumption. Well I have been collecting all my “trash” as they suggest. I am also collecting recyclables and it all goes in a bag for the week so I can see what I can do to reduce this.

The guide lists many actions for each day, so you can find some way to lessen your impact even if you are already doing a lot, or if an action is too hard to do.

In general our house is pretty good about reducing trash. The three of us generate about half a grocery bag or less per week while the tenant upstairs has about twice as much or more for one person. As I mentioned yesterday one of my challenges will be getting rid of the newspaper, as I like to read the paper while eating breakfast. While many items are recyclable and may have post-consumer content in them, like the newspaper, it still takes resources to make and transport these items.

I already do a lot of trash avoidance as well, so I will have to work on the smaller items like using less Kleenex. There are some things I will probably not do, like switching to a straight edge razor instead of the refillable plastic ones, but the guide for this experiment is good in that it lists many actions for each day so you can find some way to lessen your impact even if you are already doing a lot, or if an action is too hard to do.

Each day in this experiment is added to the next, so today is not buying stuff and reducing your trash. Today I needed a hammer drill at work to drill wholes in concrete. I was tempted to buy one because I have needed one in the past and had to rent one and need one now again. Then the rental place was just down the street. Not so at work today. So I am trying to borrow this item. If I bought one, it would only be used very infrequently at best, so borrowing one is a good idea. I just have to think of someone that might have one. Please let me know if you have a hammer drill I can borrow.

I like the blog quote from No Impact Man in the daily guide for this experiment about environmentally conscious packaging: “Think ice cream cone." It is packaging and it is edible. This makes everyone smile. Why can’t all packaging be designed in such a way?

Tomorrow is Transportation day. I hope the weather holds up. - David Coale

So far so good. I am normally a minimalist, but I realized that I use floss pics.
Oh the trauma to my ecobrain. I didn't buy anything thing on Sunday I never actually left my apt. Today I biked and took light rail to work, but I did stop at a gas station to by some nuts for snacking at work. Ok that is my vice, nut packs. I try to buy those and eliminate chips from my diet. I rode all the way home and felt awesome. I was thinking about my waste pile, though and it is small, but still something that I am very conscious about. Maybe just being conscious will help eliminate those items by the end of the year. I have discovered refill stations at the local food co-ops for maple syrup, oils, tamari, and all sorts of other sundries! Very excited. I save all my glass jars to put beans and rice in along with sugar, salt, flour and small jars for spices. I wonder if I looked at my recycling bin if there are things I can eliminate from that "waste" stream. Recycling is not as good as reuse in my humble opinion. -Carol Hawkins

Yesterday was the start of the "No Impact Experiment" on Yes! magazine's website. The goal throughout the week is to really examine your consumption on all fronts, and see what you can really reduce the amount of stuff that you use, buy, or really think you "need" to have in order to have a happy life. Since we live on a fairly limited income (family of four living on a single income of $34k a year), I'm always trying to keep costs down, and have been thinking I'm doing a pretty good job of it.

While making my list of things we constantly consume, I realized that paper towels and napkins are pretty high on the list. So I'll be repurposing a double-bed sized top sheet that's still in great condition.

This week, though, is opening my eyes to the fact that there's still plenty of room for improvement! Today was my bi-weekly grocery shopping trip with my heart-sister. We carpool, laugh, have a good time, and get this sometimes onerous task done. Along the way, we usually stop for coffee and breakfast, and occasionally lunch. This time we remembered our travel mugs, so no paper cups were used, but we grabbed a breakfast sandwich to eat on the road, which meant paper to wrap it in, and a bag. Lunch was at a restaurant that uses ceramic plates, metal utensils, and plastic cups for their dine-in customers (which we usually are). Not too much consumption, but a little. In the survey for the start of No Impact Week, I'd said that I never drink bottled water - but I realized today, that wasn't correct. When we're grocery shopping, we each grab one bottle of Hint water (water flavored with fruit essences and not sweetened or carbonated). It's a treat for us, but it's a totally unnecessary purchase, and one that generates the use of a plastic bottle that must then be recycled. I buy foods in bulk when I can, but I don't always remember to bring containers or bags with me to reuse. I've placed the bags from today's shopping trip in a basket next to my shopping bags, so I can grab them when next shopping trip rolls around.

While making my list of things we constantly consume, I realized that paper towels and napkins are pretty high on the list. So I'll be repurposing a double-bed sized top sheet that's still in great condition - I'm going to cut the sheet into squares and create a whole bunch of napkins that we'll then be able to launder with the rest of our weekly washing. I'm sure as I get further into this, there will be more eye-openers. -Laura

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