Thursday, February 28, 2008

My garbage - the situation is not as bad as I thought

Ok, so after a few weeks of monitoring, it seems like we are producing on average 10lbs of garbage per week.

This is just an estimate as I don't have a bathroom scale (keep meaning to pick one up on usedottawa). I'm actually pretty sure its more like 7lbs a week but thought it better to estimate up to 10lbs.

So 10lbs per week between 2 of us makes 5lbs per person per week which puts us at 31% of the Canadian average.

I think we can make improvements in the following areas:
  1. I am going to bring a dish cloth to work so that I don't use paper towels to dry my dishes.

  2. I am going to stop using qtips

  3. I am going to get really serious about recycling anything that can be recycled (any scrap of paper - bill, note etc. is going in the recycling)

  4. Make more of my meals (and lunches) each week. Turns out I was eating out (think lunches wrapped in plastic) more than I thought. **I suspect this will be the most important one

We have already:
  1. stopped using paper towels (use cut up old t-shirts instead)

  2. started buying milk in glass jars 50% of the time (might up this but I'm unsure if the extra weight from the glass cancels out the carbon savings of not having to recycle the milk carton?)

  3. buy our eggs from friends so reuse our carton (but you can do this too by getting your eggs at the Herb and Spice where you can bring your own carton)

  4. Buy a lot of food in bulk and at the farmers' market - keeps packaging to a minimum

  5. Stopped using saran wrap (use tupperware containers instead - are plastic but I already have them)

The other thing I have to figure out is whether the weight of my recycling counts towards my total. I feel like it couldn't possibly as most of us put more than 20lbs of paper recycling out every two weeks. But either way, I'm very motivated to cut down what is in my recycling boxes as well since there is a carbon cost to recycling and because plastic and paper can only be recycled so many times.

Other rioters - thoughts? Should I be weighing my recycling as well?

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