Sunday, March 16, 2008

trash time!

Before we left St Joseph, we kicked off one of my favorite cast activities... For the next five days, we are carrying around all of the trash that we would normally throw away or recycle. The only exception is toilet paper or other bathroom trash, but if you take a paper towel to dry your hands in the bathroom, then it goes in your trash bag.

Its a fabulous exercise in being aware of our waste--- especially when we buy fast food, and when we eat all of our meals on disposable plates with plastic silverware.

There are two schools of thought on this activity: I see people either trying to reduce as much as they can and see how it affects their lifestyle, OR they take everything they usually would and see how much trash it is. I'm doing the latter, and it is really hard to remember to put everything in my bag. I have a little "stinky trash" bag inside the big one for fruit peels, teabags, and other things that will smell.

We will carry everything for the entire city of Enid, and on our first full day next city we will sort out the recyclables from our bags, and see how much we carried was trash, how much was recyclable and just overall how much there was.

Though its a little bit gross (I have to hold my breath now every time I open my bag), its a great activity to hold ourselves accountable, and to open up a discussion regarding international opinions on environmental awareness. I'm excited for the wrap-up conversation... and for the way that this activity changes the cast behavior in regards to their trash in the future.


Beth said...

I like this idea so much! It would be interesting to do it twice in your tour, so people could try the experiment both ways. See how much trash they generate the first time, and the second time how much they can minimize. It would also be interesting to try it in the US versus other countries, to see if Americans waste more than others.
As a side note, what type of bag do you use to carry your trash around in? A ziplock?

Anne said...

I agree with Beth. Did you end up hauling kitchen garbage bags around?
In SLC we have not been able to recycle as much as we do at home.
We fill to overflowing our kitchen trash each week and we eat out a lot!
I enjoy all your stories, Love Mom