garbage audit

Garbage: Personal Reflections

Well, this is the fourth, and probably not final, post on garbage.  Seeing as it is driving the Group IV project and the audit was the inaugurating event to our Going Green initiative, it is on my mind.

So, this morning I assembled a meal for my family and threw it in the crock-pot before we left for the day.  As I began my preparations and opened up the garbage bin, my mind flashed back to the gloved hands of my students sifting through the garbage at our school.  I remembered them processing every minuscule piece of trash and sorting it to it’s proper bin. I remembered how seemingly inconsequential scraps added up to significant weight and volume of waste.

As chopping vegetables commenced, I found myself removing the merest of “inedible parts”, attempting to minimize what I tossed into the rubbish bin.  I finished off a carton of eggs and noticed the carton is 100% paper recyclable.  I was horrified that I hadn’t noticed this before.  Have I ever thrown egg cartons and (*gasp*) hence recyclable paper into Rotterdam’s landfill?  However, I felt mighty good marching that out to the paper bin. Then, I used the last bouillon from the vegetable bouillon box.  First of all, is the 6 x 7.5 cm wrapper (yes, I did measure it) around the bouillon cube paper, plastic or metal? What about the little box that holds the eight tablets of bouillon? I see the recycling symbol on the box but I can’t read it as both box and labels are TINY.  My 12-year old can read that it is, indeed, paper.  Satisfied that I have fully minimized my waste, I clean up the kitchen and turn on the crock-pot.

Anyone who knows me knows already that I’m pretty conscientious about Being Green.  Probably my number one response when asked why we don’t drive to school is “Well, it’s not very eco-friendly”.  However, I feel like there is still a lot of room for improvement.  Understanding settles in that the greatest challenge for our Going Green committee is to help our school community understand satisfactorily about the reason and value in Going Green enough to make a change to actually be greener in mindset and practice.