In The Way

Just throw it away! Garbage Accumulation Update 2, Week 3

Saturday I accidentally broke my iPhone. I  created one piece of garbage out of my iPhone 3, which I have been using as in iPod touch for a little over 2 years. I went to open the iPhone and adjust/clean the audio slot for headphones that resulted in some major damage, rendering the iPhone useless. Oops.

Now I’m that guy, without a cell phone, laptop, or touch-screen device. Thankfully I’m still functioning, grateful, and alive. I’ve become much more aware of both how much I check this little device for text messages from Google Voice, and listen to music, as well as very much lusting and coveting other student’s iPhone 5s.

For this month, I am saving all of the trash I make for one month. I have 12 more days left of the experience. I no longer have a camera of any sort, except for my laptop webcam, with which I took this picture.

Garbage Update, after 3 weeks. Missing a few things like Subway wrappers and plates from a church potluck.

Garbage Update, after 3 weeks. Missing a few things like Subway wrappers and plates from a church potluck.

While this amount looks similar to update #1, you must realize that both of these boxes are completely stuffed, and overflowing with stuff.

A lot of the spacial garbage comes from food holdings. In fact, this is where most of my trash comes from. Milk cartons, juice containers, and soup cans.  I can eliminate soup cans from my diet and only make soup from vegetables, where I will only be using a plastic wrapper to hold the veggies, or nothing at all.

I’ve still missed a couple of things. I did not include a wrapper from when Valerie and I went to Subway during an afternoon, or a paper plate I used at our church potluck because I thought it would be gross to hold onto food containers, with all their sauce on them. I like growing things, but not mold.

I’m thinking about the future ideas of this experiment. The most obvious next experiment would be to see how little trash I could accumulate over the course of a week, month, year. This would force me to begin thinking about ways to eliminate some of my trash.

Some immediate ideas I can think of include:

Eliminating Fast Food: All fast food, even Subway, carries a heck of a lot of packaging. I could, at the least, ask for less napkins.

Buying Less Soup-in-a-can: I like making soup, and I often use $1 soup cans as the base before adding additional veggies, noodles, or rice. If I just buy the veggies instead of the soup-in-a-can, I will probably eat more healthily, and know exactly how much salt I’m really consuming. The downside? Having to actually eat all of the veggies I buy before they go bad.

Carrying a Portable Mug/Thermos: Valerie pointed this out as numerous times I find myself filling up a disposable cup of coffee or hot chocolate before remembering , oh yeah, I have to keep that puppy.

Buying Less Stuff Online: While the boxes still exist behind the scenes in stores, this would eliminate a lot of the boxes and packaging that comes from my online purchases. And it is oh, so addicting.

Then again, it’d be good to just buy less stuff in general. To twist, mangle, and combine two Ben Franklin sayings, giving away an apple a day makes you healthy, wealthy, and wise.

Any suggestions on what I could or should be doing differently over the next 10 days as I finish this experiment?

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