This is what 14 families on Colborne Street in New Westminster has signed up to do! We are nearing the end of week 1 and from what I am hearing we are all pretty pumped about the challenge.
Since the first 4 weeks are all about collecting baseline data of our garbage behaviour, it has been tough for some of us not to alter our behaviour. For example, sometimes at our home (mom, dad, 5 and 2 year old kids) we are lazy we will throw compost down the garburator. Now that we are part of the challenge I have to stop myself for these 4 weeks and continue on as business as usual. I am trying to be as honest as possible about our habits for these 4 weeks…
I also found myself eying up compostable diapers and stopped myself for this period of time in order to stay true to the baseline data collection. Tough to do let me tell you!
The following are some thoughts I have for the future once these first 4 weeks are done and we really start getting down to the challenge and start reducing our waste. If you have additional idea’s let us know!
You are what you throw
If you’re going to get down to some serious thinking, the first thing you should do is grab yourself a drink. A glass of wine works well for me, but if it’s a hot cocoa you need, that’s fine too.
While you sort out your refreshments, I’d like you to do one small thing. It should only take a few minutes, but it’s a very important step. As you’re pouring your drink, I’d like you to take a good look at the packaging. Admire your choice if you like. Pat yourself on the back for how good it makes you feel. Then put it back and ask yourself some questions.
Ø Why did you buy it? Was it for its quality, price, image, ethics or just habit?
Ø What was the packaging made of? Glass, plastic, cardboard, or aluminium?
Ø What will you do when it’s finished? Reuse it, recycle it or throw it away?
Answer these questions honestly. Don’t think what you should do, but what you would do on an average day and then ask yourself why?
If your answer is reuse or recycle, you’re already off the starting block, but life being life things aren’t as simple as that. There are so many distractions that get in the way and you may not even have local facilities to help you.
As you settle back down with your drink, I’d like you to consider some more questions. How often do you really think about what you throw away? Even if you’re a keen recycler, do you run on auto pilot and simply toss it in the appropriate bin, or do you fight your conscience and battle with confusion?
As you take time to ponder, the one thing that’s guaranteed is that your garbage is personal. It is unique to you. It is a snapshot of your character. Have you ever even thought about what your garbage says about you?
Think about it – I know I sure will over the next 3 weeks as we get closer to the actual challenge!