Since we transitioned into a fully mobile lifestyle, we’ve become much more aware of what we take in and out of our home.
Having no sewer hookups for a few days makes you realize the grey (sinks, shower) tank fills up a lot faster than the black tank (toilet). You learn to wash the dishes using less water, how to take army style showers, and how to catch water as you shower and use it to flush the toilet.
Since we have a small trash-can we also realized how much or little of what we bring into our home is recyclable, compostable, or goes into the trash.
We’ve been trying to be proactive about always bringing our own bags to the store, making our own cloth bags to put vegetables in, and bringing our own containers to store and convincing the store to put our cheeses and fish into our containers instead of wrapping them in more plastic.
Since we’re always traveling, we tend to end up in places that are not the eastern or western seaboard where recycling has become mainstream enough that people and stores are willing to work with us on reducing plastic. We’ve ended up taking some shortcuts by removing the plastic packaging as we leave the store to at least try to place the clean-up problem more with the store than with the consumer. Plastic is recyclable, but can only be recycled/downcycled a small number of times and it takes an incredible number of years to finally compost.
To make it more obvious how much plastic we’re taking in, we’ve decided to take on a one month challenge where we keep all the stuff that is not recyclable with us. That’s right, keep your trash with you for a whole month if it’s not compostable or infinitely recyclable like glass or aluminum.
Even if you already think you’re really good about separating out recyclables, you’ll be surprised how quickly your buying habits change when you have to keep the worst recyclable around for 30 days.
Who’s with us in trying this challenge for the month of February?