The idea is to see how unnecessary are all the things we throw into the trash-bin every day. In other words, it means taking responsability and control of the amount of waste we produce. What happens to the things when we dispose of them? You can read about the story behind our garbage in this amazing book: Gone Tomorrow: The Hidden Life of Garbage.
A very large amount of the trash we produce comes from packaging. What is behind it anyway? Have a look around: “We share our homes with hundreds of packages, mostly in the bathroom and kitchen, the most intimate, body-centered rooms of the house.” Packaging is to a very little amount connected and concerned with what it is supposably protecting, rather – as we can read in the book The total package – “Packaging is the temptation. In many cases it is what makes the product possible.”
So what can we do against this whole story?
- Be aware. The No Impact experience shows me all the little things we throw away every day: cotton buds, plastic bottles, tissues ect ect.
- Adapt your home. Read the 10 Tips for a Zero-Waste home from the Yes! magazine and see what of it you can implement right away.
- Take action and dare to ask. I know it is harder to refuse plastic bags than just accepting them but it is definitely worth it. People are open to your alternative solutions if you only try. My experience has shown that you can ask: “Sorry may I get that in my own cup, I would rather avoid using a plastic one!” and you should ask.
- Think ahead. Just bring a tupperware, fork and knive, a cup and some re-useable bag with you, it is easy once you start.
It is obviously much harder than we even realize: I was sitting happily in a café today, enjoying my no-waste breakfast when I started wondering: How much hidden waste do I actually produce in this moment? The place I was sitting in seems rather environmental-conscious, they do not use paper tablecloths or drip mats and my tea comes directly brewed and does not come in a teabag. But what is really going on behind the kitchen door, I cannot know.
What I learn from it? Taking control of the garbage you produce means also being aware of hidden factors. I am happy that the no trash experiment is going on for the rest of the week, this is a real challenge – but I am ready for a trash and especially package free life!
Picture courtesy by Peter Kaminski, danke!