Weekend Waste Diary with Julia
About This Series
This blog series provides readers with a chance to catch a glimpse in the life of a zero-waste lifestyle supporter. It documents the daily weekend activities of the blogger, as he/she generates waste from Friday to Sunday. Readers will be able to put their feet into someone else’s shoes through this blog series, and hopefully learn some good waste management tips for them to practice at home as well. These bloggers have experience in working with waste diversion and understand the concept of zero-waste quite well.
Let’s see how this weekend’s blogger will do!
This blogger just recently graduated college with an Environmental Science degree and is a Zero-Waste Schools Intern with Impact Earth. She also helps sell locally produced, sustainable, zero-waste products at a few farmers markets! Follow along as she generates and tracks her waste through the weekend.
9:00 AM – No work! Hilton Central School District does not have school today, so I am able to sleep in a little longer than my usual Fridays. Unfortunately, my alarm eventually goes off and wakes me up at 9. It’s time to take some prescriptions, since I just got my wisdom teeth removed yesterday. The Ibuprofen needs to be taken with food, so I grab a SnackPack pudding cup. (Poll: breakfast of champions or breakfast of a person with temporary chipmunk cheeks?) Unfortunately, the pudding cup does not have a number on it, so it goes in the landfill. I always have a reusable water bottle with me, so next, I take my antibiotics and try to go back to sleep – no luck! Instead, I stay up and send some emails in the comfort of my bed.
12:00 PM – After sending a few emails, tidying my room, and following the precautionary instructions for my first full day of the post-oral surgery life, my stomach starts to growl. I barely ate yesterday since I had no appetite after the procedure, so I was a bit hungry. What better idea than to have a rich, creamy, and very filling milkshake for lunch? If I add strawberries and bananas, it’s somewhat healthy right? I eagerly go downstairs and get creative. I immediately reach for some vanilla ice cream and scoop some into the blender. I then slice a banana; its peel goes into the compost bucket I have through Impact Earth Organics. I add the banana and a few frozen strawberries into the blender. Next, I grab a strawberry-banana flavored yogurt cup and pour all of it in the blender; the yogurt lid goes in the landfill and I rinse the cup and toss it in the recycling. I then add milk and blend my milkshake! It fills me up for most of the afternoon.
4:00 PM – I’m feeling a little bit more pressure and pain on my cheeks, so I go and ice them. I didn’t want to use Ziploc bags and fill them up with ice every time, so I prepared ahead and got reusable ice packs. I used a stretchy type of cloth/fabric to wrap them around my face.
5:45 PM – It’s time to take the prescribed Ibuprofen again, and I’m happy because it requires food. Although the milkshake was heavy, everything I’ve eaten so far hasn’t had any substantial amount of nutrients or protein, so my body is not satisfied. I choose apple sauce this time…still no protein, but at least its healthier than pudding. I planned ahead again and bought apple sauce that came in a large container/jar instead of separate cups, so I could decrease my landfill contribution and either recycle or reuse the large container/jar as a Tupperware when I’m done with it.
7:00 PM – My best friend visits me at home! I remember that I was there waiting for her at her house when she got her wisdom teeth out a few years ago. We reminisce about how long its been since we’ve been friends, and all our memories in between. I blend up/puree some leftover homemade chicken and rice soup for dinner. Sounds gross, but it was good! No waste since I didn’t cook or open up any new food packaging. After dinner, we hang around in my room and talk for a bit then decide to put on a movie at around 9 pm.
11:30 PM – Movie ends and my best friend leaves. I refill my reusable water bottle, take my meds, and head to bed! It’s an early Friday night for me this week.
REUSE: WATER BOTTLE, ICE PACKS
COMPOST: BANANA PEEL
RECYCLING: YOGURT CUP
LANDFILL: PUDDING CUP, YOGURT LID
9:00 AM – My alarm goes off and I take my antibiotics. My reusable water bottle is right next to me, so conveniently I don’t have to go downstairs to grab water. I try to sleep in a little more – success!
10:30 AM – I officially wake up from a nice slumber and my cheeks are painful. I ice them using the reusable ice packs and go downstairs to grab a yogurt from the fridge, so I can eat it and take my Ibuprofen. I regret not buying yogurt in a large container to decrease my waste generation. The yogurt lid goes in the landfill, I rinse the cup and put it in my recycling bin.
1:00 PM – I reheat some leftover pureed soup that I stored in a reusable Pyrex container and eat it for lunch. This whole “no eating any solid food” thing is getting old quickly. I’m still not satisfied, so I have some mango sherbet afterwards. Yum!
3:00 PM – My teeth and mouth hurt a little more today than yesterday, but I know that it is just part of the healing process. I take it easy this Saturday afternoon, I take my meds and rinse my mouth with warm water and salt as needed, and just simply rest up at home. Not a lot of waste generated this afternoon!
7:00 PM – I am longing for some real food. I cook up some “gooey” scrambled eggs for dinner and grate some cheese to it to add that cheesy goodness. The egg shells go into my compost bucket. I also heat up some ready-made mashed potatoes to feel a little more content. For dessert, I have a Sour Patch Kids Watermelon popsicle! The wrapper unfortunately gets tossed in the landfill, but the popsicle stick goes to my compost bucket.
11:00 PM – I refill my reusable water bottle, take a shower, brush my teeth, read a little then head to bed! Side note: as I was brushing my teeth, I noticed that I am almost out of toothpaste. I was thinking of possible ways to decrease my waste because those toothpaste tubs go to the landfill. Maybe I should make my own toothpaste one of these days? All I need is baking soda and water!
REUSE: WATER BOTTLE, ICE PACKS, PYREX CONTAINER
COMPOST: EGG SHELLS, POPSICLE STICK
RECYCLING: YOGURT CUP
LANDFILL: YOGURT LID, POPSICLE WRAPPER
7:30 AM – My alarm goes off for work! I am working the Brighton Farmers Market today. I get ready by first taking my antibiotics, then having some apple sauce for breakfast. No landfill since I bought the big container kind!
8:25 AM – I refill my reusable water bottle, grab my organics bucket and head to work. I’m excited because I love selling sustainable, zero-waste products to people which helps them reduce their carbon footprint and waste. I also like seeing how many drop-offs we get for our organics program because it shows that there are people in the world who do want to do their part to help the Earth and compost their food waste.
1:30 PM – I leave work. It was still a successful day given that it was really cold and a little rainy and wet. Many people were interested in our eco-pull bags today! They are great alternatives to Ziploc/plastic baggies. I’m starving by the time I get home, so I open up a can of cream of mushroom soup and heat it up. The tin can is rinsed and tossed into my recycling bin. After lunch, I catch up with my sister through FaceTime.
3:00 PM - It’s a very grey, cold, and rainy day today, perfect for a nap. So I try to take a short one – success! I wake up after an hour or so and feel relaxed. When I wake up, I ice my cheeks with the reusable ice packs.
6:15 PM – I start to make some butternut squash soup for dinner. No landfill! It’s really easy and simple to make, and I didn’t really have any food scraps to compost while I cooked. I was loving how it felt like fall with the weather and the squash soup; so, to continue the autumn vibe, I decide to finish up the last of the apple cider in the fridge. I recycle the plastic cider jug. After dinner, I relax for the rest of the night!
REUSE: WATER BOTTLE, ICE PACKS
RECYCLING: TIN SOUP CAN, APPLE CIDER JUG
- Julia S