Another month has gone by so it’s time for me to weigh my waste! This is actually one of my favorite parts of my zero-waste challenge because I get to see how I have compared to previous months and also remind myself of what I have learned of the last month. So the totals are in!
August 2015: 3.6 ounces of waste!
Let’s break that down. My 3.6 ounces of waste contained one noticeably large item which was a deodorant stick that was leftover from my days of still buying plastic deodorant bottles. I have now switched over to a deodorant that comes in a glass jar: That added 1.8 ounces. The rest of the jar was filled with a few bits of medical tape I needed to use for my shoulder injury, two pizza plastic things they always stick in the middle, and a lot of sticker tags from purchasing new home items. This month ranks at 5 out of 8 in total. Not great, but not the worst either!
On an interesting side note, I learned something new about the Bellingham Sanitary Service System! I moved into a new apartment this summer and was in need of some kitchen knives. The knives I purchased were wrapped in that hard clear plastic that comes around so many items these days. My understanding had been that plastics have to contain the recycling symbol to be put in the in the bin and generally be in a container-like shape. But on a whim, I called Sanitary Service to ask about the plastic from my knives. It turns out that clear plastic can be recycled even if it DOESN’T contain a recycling symbol here in Bellingham. Wooohooo! This would have been 2.4 ounces in the trash but instead it can be recycled! But just to clarify, it has to be hard plastic in order to go in curb side recycling. Soft plastic, even if it is clear, still must be brought directly to the recycling center separately.
So that’s it for August! Want to start your own trash jar? It’s easy! Pick any size that you want to have as your goal. Maybe it’s a quart or maybe it’s a five gallon pale! The goal of this jar isn’t to judge or put you down for how much you do produce. The fact that you are THINKING about it is all that matters. The rest will come slowly with time and practice!