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Try a little trash journaling

Marianna (daughter) is challenging her mother. She suggested I look in my garbage cans to see what all I'm throwing away and how I can reduce the trash leaving our home even more. Once again she's trying to make me a better person. She then proposed I go even further. “Mom, how about you write down everything you throw away in a week?” I'm starting to feel a bit like I did when I went to Weight Watchers as a child and had to write down everything I ate. This might be interesting but I don’t know how excited I am... but this is important, and really what do I have to lose?

The average U.S. citizen produces 4.4 pounds of garbage each day. That is 1,606 pounds of trash per person each year. ASTOUNDING!

I started in my bathrooms. There are a lot of tissues in there. I could easily replace disposable tissues with handkerchiefs. (I bet you can already guess you're going to see a blog about that.) Why haven’t I thought of that before?

Then it’s off to my home office. There is still junk mail. I've tried to make all our unwanted mail stop, but obviously there is more work to be done on that front. I also have some sheets of paper in there, but I always print on both sides of the paper or use them later as scrap paper when I need to take notes. I still prefer to write things down and just don't see myself going 100% digital anytime soon.

Now let’s move into the kitchen. That is where most of our trash comes from. My husband still subscribes to his daily newspaper. That's in the recycling bin along with wine, beer, olive oil and milk bottles. Our regular trash can has cheese wrappers, chicken and fish packaging from the grocery store, and other non-recyclable plastics. I then cleaned out my refrigerator and threw away a couple of items that had gone bad and aren't able to be composted. There's definitely still room for improvement in that area also; with only two of us in the house, food goes bad sometimes.

I haven't written down everything that I've thrown away, but I did write down the items that I have multiples of and think I can reduce further. This process has made me even more aware of what is going in my trash and how I can eliminate it. Besides the tissues, I think I'll start working on ways to avoid throwing away so many cheese, chicken, and fish wrapping. Maybe I can go to a local cheese shop so I might have more flexibility in the wrapping options. I'm going to try to do the same with chicken and fish.

As you can see, this is a process but the key is to try! Join me this week in some trash journaling and see what you discover. Again, what do you have to lose?


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