Weekly Waste Diary with Anjelica

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 activities of the blogger, as he/she generates waste from Monday to Friday. 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 week’s blogger will do!

Meet Anjelica

This week’s blogger is a recent college graduate working in our Zero Waste Schools program! She loves working with kids and spends her time outside of the schools nannying and teaching gymnastics to children!

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Monday

4:30 am- I wake up as I do every morning and put on a pot of coffee as I do my daily morning reading and meditation. I make more than enough to last me several days in order to reduce the use of coffee filters (which are biodegradable) and reheat as needed. I eat my bagel with cream cheese, get dressed, pack my lunch and head out the door for a normal, long Monday. Before I leave, I put some coffee in a reusable thermos to drink form throughout the day.

6:30 am- I am a nanny, and I not only make breakfast for two adorable children every morning, I also pack their lunches and take care of the house. That includes their waste and garbage disposal. Their family is already very environmentally friendly. The kids eat breakfast on reusable plastic plates and use washable forks and knives. I make them Toast with butter, cut up strawberries and a pear, and pour them a bowl of cocoa puffs with a side of orange juice. They never leave a crumb behind. The kids even drink their milk from the cereal! As for lunches, they have reusable snack packs, sandwich boxes and soup containers for me to pack their lunches with as well as separate reusable utensils. Today, however, they are buying lunch from school and will contribute to the waste there (Northwood). It’s hotdog day, their favorite.

10:00 am- I am still house-sitting and watching the dog when I eat my lunch. I have an earlier eating schedule due to when I wake up and go to bed. Today I have packed cottage cheese in a reusable plastic container, an individual Greek yogurt with a metal spoon I brought from home, a recyclable drink, an apple, and a clementine. I keep all the food scraps and recyclable materials for when I go to the school to dispose of because they do not have a compost pile at the house.

3:00 pm- For dinner, I eat leftover homemade pasta and chicken that my husband and I kept in a reusable plastic container in the fridge. We made it the night before and put all food scraps in a container that I bring to a neighbor down the street for her compost pile. I eat it all and there is no waste from dinner. I am off to job #3 of the day and I bring an apple sliced with peanut butter in another reusable container. I put the core in the compost pile I have started.


Monday Waste

Reuse: Thermos, plastics storage containers, ice packs, lunchbox, metal spoon

Compost: 2 apple cores, orange peel, coffee grounds and filter

Recycle: Plastic drink bottle, yogurt container, strawberries container

Landfill: Yogurt lid


Tuesday

4:30 am- I seem to have a lot of energy this morning! So, I made eggs, warmed up some lunchmeat ham, and threw it together on a bagel. I threw the eggshells in the compost container. I then made my lunch, warmed up coffee to put in my thermos and headed to work in my eco-friendly Fusion.

6:00 am- I am packing the kids’ lunches today. Chicken noodle soup in reusable thermos’, cherry tomatoes, bell peppers and trail mix in reusable snack packs, and a recyclable juice box. I keep the scraps as usual to dump at the school in the compost tote. For breakfast, the same as the day before. I offered pancakes, but the kids didn’t take. It was a rough morning.

10 AM: Lunchtime! Today I packed a sandwich, another yogurt, I brought a reusable water bottle instead of a recyclable one, an apple and a cookie that I had made over the weekend.

3PM: I have some free time today before job #3 and I decided to work on a project that I have been developing. I have been finding old mirrors and such at Goodwill and garage sales to repurpose as decorations and selling them online.

5 PM: Upon completing my project, I made pasta with shrimp and scallops. The lemon wedge, garlic covering, onion scraps and shrimp tails made their way into the compost while the Scallop and shrimp packages went to landfill. I had water poured from my Brita filter pitcher and a side of asparagus.

9:45 PM: I was so hungry upon arriving home that I made myself a peanut butter sandwich right before bed. No waste was accumulated, and I went to bed with a full belly.

Tuesday Waste

Reuse: Water Bottle, sandwich container, lunchbox, ice packs, thermos, metal spoon

Repurpose: Mirror and decorative flowers.

Compost: egg shells, shrimp tails, lemon wedges, garlic and onion scraps, and kiwi scraps.

Recycle: Yogurt container, pasta box, chicken noodle can

Landfill: Yogurt lid


Wednesday

6:15 am- I did not have breakfast today. Was feeling nauseous so I skipped out on coffee too. No packed lunch either. I wanted to stop home in between job #1 and #2 for lunch with my husband. Waffles, apple slices, raspberries and watermelon for the kids’ breakfast today. I always do waffle Wednesday with the kids. Sometimes premade frozen waffles, but today we made them from scratch. Eggshells were our only waste today. It was “Wacky Wednesday” for the Kindergarteners today, so the youngest wore mismatched socks and his shirt on backwards. Too cute!

9:30 am- I made breakfast for lunch for myself and my husband today. Cinnamon rolls and bacon. The cinnamon rolls package is recyclable, but the icing packet was not. It was nice getting to spend some time with him and teach him a little more about what we do through Impact Earth at the schools and how even we can make a slight difference in our own home. I believe that I got him on board!

4:00 pm- Dinner was leftovers again. We made an excessive amount of pasta and chicken. I’d like to say it was meal prep, but it was not. We were running out the door a little late today for church.

9:00 pm- I had to clean the cats’ litter boxes today. I try to reduce the amount of litter thrown away by using clumping litter and sifting through to remove their poops.


Wednesday Waste

Reuse: plastic containers

Compost: egg shells, paper towel

Recycle: Cinnamon roll package

Landfill: Icing wrapper, cat litter clumps


Thursday

5:00 am- I am still feeling a bit sick today. I may be coming down with a cold. I make fresh coffee and put it in my thermos for later. For breakfast I force myself to eat a peanut butter sandwich and drink Emergen-C. I then decide to eat out for lunch today because I woke up late having hit the snooze three times. I clean the dishes and head out the door. I prefer to handwash dishes using old cut up towels. They can be washed as opposed to disposable sponges that end up in landfill.

6:30 am- The kids want their normal toast, fruit and cereal with a side of juice for breakfast. They are buying lunch again today. Pasta day I believe it was. They are permitted to buy two lunches a week and they pick them ahead of time over the weekend.

9:45 am- I went with a meal combo at Wegmans for lunch today. It was close enough to stay near Northwood before work and it is cheap enough on my tight budget. It isn’t normal for me to eat out, so this was truly a treat. I had a small sub combo with a tea. The paper bag the sub is put in is compostable along with the wax paper it was wrapped in. Wegmans is going green and they have a compost trash as well as a recycle and a landfill.

3:00 pm- I made myself a gourmet ham, turkey and cheese sandwich for dinner with carrots dipped in ranch dressing. I was able to spend some time with my kittens and catch up on one of my shows. I also took this free time to enter in some of the data I have collected from the Northwood Elementary school this week.

6:30 pm- I came home to find my apartment completely cleaned and a second small dinner on the table. This was a nice surprise after a seemingly long day. I asked my husband how he did regarding waste and he told me that there was none. I was super proud of him!

Thursday Waste

Reuse: drinking glass, dishes

Repurpose: old towels into washcloths

Compost: paper sub bag, wax paper, dinner scraps

Recycle: tea bottle

Landfill: chemical doused paper towels, Swiffer duster head, vacuum contents


Friday

4:30 am- I am feeling much better today. I have many things to look forward to today. I make a new batch of coffee and sit down to over-medium eggs and cream cheese on a toasted bagel. I make myself a lunch after I get ready for the day and I grab my coffee filled thermos as usual.

6:30 am- Another normal breakfast today. I offered the kids eggs, but they didn’t feel like eggs. Toast, cereal, juice and raspberries. I also tried a banana with honey and peanuts on them today. They loved it! For lunch today, I made them SpaghettiOs, put cherry tomatoes and veggie sticks in their snack packs, gave them each a juice box and put a special treat of “S’mores” Girl Scout Cookies in their lunches today. The cookies were put in a plastic Ziploc baggie. That will end up in landfill.

10:00 am- My lunch consisted of cuddles with the family puppy, and the following: Greek yogurt, cottage cheese in a reusable plastic container, apple slices, an orange, and a drink in a recyclable bottle. I had ice packs keeping everything fresh and cool and I kept the apple slices from browning by using a lemon wedge this morning.

2:00 pm- A light late lunch was ready when I got home again today. Husband told me he put some garlic and onion in the organic container and threw a spaghetti box into recycling. He really helps me out on my busy days.

7:00 pm- Late dinner tonight. Instead of going to our church for Young Adult Bible Study, we went to Lasertron in Henrietta for some team building/bonding by shooting each other. It was great fun. While there, we had some gelato in paper cups with a small plastic spoon. They both ended up in landfill unfortunately because they did not have the option to throw out otherwise. We then went to Chipotle nearby and had some burritos. I finished my whole burrito, but again had to throw away two non-landfill items; the wax paper under the burrito in the reusable basket and the recyclable tin foil it was wrapped in.

Friday Waste

Reuse: ice pack, thermos, plastic container, metal spoon, plastic Chipotle basket

Compost: Coffee grounds and filter, Banana peel, muffin wrapper, lemon wedge

Recycle: Plastic drink bottle, SpaghettiOs can, spaghetti box, tomatoes plastic container, yogurt container

Landfill: Ziploc plastic bag, yogurt lid, burrito foil (should have been recycle) and wax paper (compost), gelato plastic spoon, and gelato paper cup (should have been recycle).


-Anjelica


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