Goal of No Impact Week: no garbage, no driving, reduce energy use, and eat local.
Garbage so far this week: empty soy milk container, granola bar and candy wrappers, cat food cans, Styrofoam tray, some plastic wrap, and some tissues and paper towels that I could have composted but mindlessly threw in the trash. I know…I could use rags instead. Not quite there yet.
I have driven a few times this week, for a total of about twenty miles. I got motivated to ride my bike one day. That felt good, but when I got home I was ravenously hungry and ate a much bigger meal than I would have usually. So, I consumed food that was trucked and packaged. Not sure it was a great trade-off.
Reducing energy use has been negligible, especially since yesterday I had an earache so I spent the day either on the computer or watching TV. I already try to unplug most things I’m not using and am getting better about shutting down the computer or putting it to sleep rather than leaving it on. What else to do? Solar panels don’t last long here, I’m told, because of the severe hail storms. Wind turbines are expensive.
The hardest part has been food. While I eat pretty healthy, trying to find any locally-produced food without packaging is difficult. I did buy some locally made tortillas, though they came in plastic. Bought locally made salsa, but in a glass jar that is not recyclable. When I asked in produce if anything was local, the answer was “I don’t think so.” The food was not labeled as to origin. I did refrain from buying olives, which I love, because they come in glass jars or in tin cans which aren’t recyclable here. I broke down however, and bought some chicken breasts that came in plastic and Styrofoam. Probably not local, either. I feel a little guilty about that, but I’m thinking if I make more fresh chicken, maybe the cats will eat more of that and less canned food. That is better, right? All these items today were purchased in a grocery store that is not unionized, and that bothers me. Sometimes there doesn’t seem to be a satisfying answer.