Photo by andrewgraham.nyc
Well, as with many things in my life lately, my garbage inventory didn’t go exactly as planned. I tried to keep track of our garbage, but we’ve been busy – in and out of the house, and I just didn’t keep up with it as well as I had hoped. I did pay attention to what I threw away, I did start to write a list of everything I threw away, but I kept forgetting to put it all in one garbage can like I was supposed to.
What I realized pretty quickly though, is that we really have reduced our our waste a lot. Using cloth instead of paper, including my daughter and I starting to use family cloth (I’ll have to talk more about that another time), using cloth diapers and wipes, my daughter finally wearing underwear to bed instead of a pull-up, starting to compost, and reusing and recycling everything that we can has all helped to limit the amount of trash that our family produces.
But, we definitely still throw stuff away. Most of our garbage falls into these two categories:
- Disposable diapers and wipes for my son – I cringe to admit that, but it’s true – we use them for overnight, babysitters, daddy and sometimes because I’m lazy with the laundry – it’s definitely an area we could improve in.
- Food packaging – although we do buy a lot in bulk, there is still a lot of packaging with food. Next week we’ll talk about some ideas for reducing food packaging waste.
And the rest is pretty much miscellaneous stuff: things the kids have broken or used, like a big wad of tape that my daughter pulled off the tape dispenser, tags or packaging from things we purchase (and we could probably be better about this too, but really we don’t buy that much new stuff, and while we recycle what we can, it’s still important to think about packaging), and some food that is not compostable.
So, while I am glad that I attempted to do another garbage inventory, I really didn’t find anything surprising. I guess I thought that I would have some big kind of – Aha! moment – that I would figure out some other area of waste that we could cut back on.
Obviously, both disposable diapers and food packaging are a big ones, and things we can definitely do better about.
I’m going to make it a goal to just use one disposable a day (the overnight one) when we’re at home. If I commit to staying on top of the diaper laundry, there’s really no reason that we would need to use sposies at home (but I’ll also have to coax hubs into using the cloth).
As far as food packaging goes, I’ve been thinking and brainstorming ideas both for myself and to share with you. Do you have any ideas for me about reducing food packaging?
So, if you did a garbage inventory, or even if you didn’t: