One Step Forward, Two Steps BackCSA
So this has not been a banner week for my zero waste journey. I have created WAY more trash than I did last week and I can’t even document it all because the cleaning lady threw a bunch of it out because that’s what you do with piles of trash. How was she supposed to know that I was planning on taking a picture of it all to shame myself on the internet?
A lot of this trash falls under the category of “Electronics”. I got a new phone and I also got a GoPro Hero 5 (yay!) and they came with so much freaking packaging and trash!! Hasn’t Apple gotten the memo that killing the Earth isn’t “cool”? Most of the packaging is recyclable but that doesn’t give me a ton of comfort knowing that only a small percentage actually gets recycled and most of it ends up in the landfill but I’m doing my best.
The rest of it falls under “Old Habits Die Hard”. I got a bit of a sinus infection this week and I needed more mac and cheese from a box to make me feel better. I also decided that the only way to deal with those peppermint kisses was to just eat them all and then they’d be gone and I wouldn’t have to look at them any longer. Now there will be no opportunity to create that form of trash next week. Done!! The other trash is soooo many receipts!! I tell the cashiers “no receipt please” and then they will look at me and say “of course, no problem” and then they print out a receipt and hand it to me with a smile and I grab it and say thank you and walk 5 feet and then say “DOH!!” The damage is done. And it also makes me realize that these habits are hard to break for everyone too. That cashier honestly intended to honor my request for no receipt but we both are just so used to our little routines, rituals and patterns that we do the thing we just said we weren’t going to do 2 seconds previous. I wonder where else this shows up in my life?!?
This is also killing the competitive side of me. I want to “win” this game and so far, I’m far from winning and I feel like there might even be more setbacks on the horizon. I’ve even considered “cheating”. I’ve been using a reusable handkerchief when I remember but recently I was caught off guard during a sneezing attack in the kitchen and frantically grabbed for a paper towel to blow my nose into. Normally I immediately throw them in the trash but I kept this one out so that could at least reuse it a few times. Then I remembered why I toss them. As soon as I turned my back, my dog hopped up and snatched that snotty towel and ate it. At first I scolded him like I normally do when he eats things he’s not supposed to or generally acts disgusting but this time I was like… hey, less trash. Maybe this could be considered a kind of composting? And then I realized that my dog’s health and well being are more important to me than “winning” this challenge so I wrestled the last piece of towel out of his mouth and I threw it away.
I’m in a couple different Zero Waste groups on Facebook and one of the members recently posted a great reminder to us all that we are doing our best and the fact that we are even trying is a big step forward. So I’m not giving up and I’m going to shift from seeing these as setbacks to opportunities to learn about my habits and grow. Has a nicer ring to it don’t you think? So here’s to learning from this week and taking that into next. Wish me luck!