November 30th, 2015: Monica Geller’s attempt at a day of Living Zero-Waste
Living zero-waste seemed like a simple task. I am already composting, I bring my own bags to the grocery store. I have a mason jars. I bring my food in reusable containers. But I did not see the little things until I use or do every day that is causing extra waste in the world.
I started the day well or at least I thought. I brought my oatmeal in some Tupperware but then a friend pointed out that I had a plastic spoon. (I bring that spoon with me everywhere; I reuse it, does that count against me for waste?)
(Oops) Then I washed my hand in the bathroom, dried my hands with a paper towel. Creating trash!
(Ooops X2) I then had a piece of gum, which is wrapped in paper. Another mistake. I started to feel like I was never going to succeed at zero-waste and that it is impossible.
But then I went to a café and asked them specifically to use a ceramic cup for my tea. They told me that it was to small and they would still charge me for a ‘small’. I said that is not a problem, I just don’t want the paper cup. So they did comply and I had a ceramic cup. (I do wonder why they don’t offer that first? Why don’t they have bigger cups for those who stay and use their seating?)
Lunch and Dinner:
I roasted some vegetables with oil and seasoning. I composed my food scraps but then shredded some cheese for the veggies and was left with some plastic packaging for the cheese. (OOOps X3)
(Ooops X4) I had another piece of gum!
Now I ate mainly at home that day, which made living zero-waste easier, but I still had slipups. If I went out to more restaurants, I don’t know if I would have been as successful. I did make some mistakes, but I kept trying. I didn’t want to start over for another day. This day taught me a lot about my choices and impact on the world through my trash. I am now more aware of the little pieces that add up and the things I can do to prevent adding to the landfills. One day is an education and I hope more people try living zero-waste. It will help people by making them think more thoughtfully about the garbage they produce each day.