I just wanted to let you know that I heard about your amazing trash challenge and told some friends about it, and my roommate was inspired to join you in endeavoring to make less trash and to carry around what she does produce. I wish that I could say that I were as mindful and as determined as the two of you, but maybe someday I’ll be able to follow in your footsteps. Anyway, I just thought you’d like to know that your enthusiasm and heart have inspired others, and I wanted to thank you for that.
from a friend I haven’t really spent time with in ages, who somehow heard about my challenge and spread the word. THIS JUST TOTALLY MADE MY DAY.

mistake #1

I was caught in a moment of indecision on how to deal with the following situation: I had gotten a slice of pizza at Wilcox. Usually I dab it with a napkin to get at least some of the grease off. I wasn’t sure what to do, because… well, actually there’s no good reason. I had been using paper products to blow my nose, which I also accidentally used to wipe my hands a couple times in the first few days before realizing that that was inappropriate.

After dabbing the pizza with a napkin and throwing the napkin out, I told the friend I was dining with my issue and asked what she thought. She told me it was my challenge and up to me, but she thought I made the “wrong” decision. I agreed. We also talked about the fact that perhaps the problem lies not in the napkin, but rather in the necessity to use the napkin. In other words, our food should be in an edible state, rather than with superfluous grease.

bag of.... trash (email)

  • me: Hi Professor Cadden,
  • This might sound like a very strange inquiry, but I was wondering whether you happened to find a clear ziplock with trash in it at your house last night. It has some thin string as handles, and says "April 2012 Trash" on the outside. As part of the Student Colony Atelier I am carrying all the personal trash that I create this month as "mindfulness trash challenge," and I think I may have forgotten the bag at your house.
  • If you did happen to see it (and haven't throw it out yet!), could you perhaps bring it to the Lewis Center to somewhere/somebody that would be convenient, so I can pick it up next week?
  • Let me know, and thank you so much for hosting us!
  • Professor Cadden: Found it!
  • I will place it in an envelope and put it outside my office on Monday.

I found a compost to put my fruit cores and tea leaves in! I also found out that dryer lint is excellent for compost, and that orange peels are doable as long as there aren’t that many. I’ve been enjoying my daily treks out in the yard to this compost pile, getting friendly with the occasional swarm of flies :)

2 notes

upon my announcement of the challenge to FB

upon my announcement of the challenge to FB

I had a “nightmare” that I accidentally took a paper towel in the bathroom, realized that was a bad decision for my #trashchallenge, and tried to not get it too wet/dry it out so that I could give it to somebody else. Oh me oh my.

day 3

Yesterday, some thoughts:

- Clarification of rules about the tissues/TP: I can only use these substances when on the toilet and to blow my nose, NOT to dry/wipe my hands.

- This will prompt me to be even more aware about carrying tupperware with me everywhere, so I can take advantage of free food opportunities without using paper/plastic.

LNT, carry it out

  • Me: I'm eating out of my hand because I'm carrying all my trash with me for the month.
  • OA leader friend: Wow, you're like, living OA!
  • (OA = Outdoor Action, and one of the things we do on hiking trips is carry everything out with us as part of LNT, Leave No Trace. I hadn't thought of it before, but it's true, that was another one of my influences. I was the "trash queen" on my frosh trip four and a half years ago, and now look at me!)

For centuries, dried orange peels have been used in Spain as incense. Not for ecclesiastical use, but usually on one’s home altar, particularly in devotions to the Blessed Mother.

Since the cost of heating my two-hundred-plus-year-old home skyrocketed this winter, we have been living in one room and heating with the fireplace. When the fire is hot, even fresh orange peels burn quickly and cleanly. Pistachio, peanut, almond and walnut shells also make terrific kindling.

Somebody I don’t know responded to my pledge on the IDP blog, where I asked about what I could do with orange peels, since they aren’t compostable on the small scale, within an hour of my post. The internet can be amazing!