I don’t think I could either, but I’m incredibly humbled that any American can. Last week my client sent me home with the print edition of the Washington Post’s All My Trash For a Year Fit Into Two Plastic Bags: Here’s How I Did It. Author, and ultimate walker of the walk, Darshan Karwat, went to great social and consumer extremes to only fill two plastic bags of trash (including recycling!) in contrast to the 1,500 pounds his average American peers generate.
I’m looking at you and me; WE are the ones generating four pounds of trash and recycling each day. I don’t think I’ll be able to give up all food packaging, let alone toilet paper, but I can do something. Nic and I have agreed to start bringing our own to-go containers to restaurants. Just an hour ago we received 3 Sonicare toothbrush heads in the mail - complete with a bullet-proof plastic package in a small cardboard box.
I said, “There goes filling just 2 bags this year." We’re to the point where recycling isn’t enough. I don’t have all the answers, but do know that this packaging is exactly the problem. I implore you to read Karwat’s article and blog, keeping in mind one change you can commit to. Please post that change (and any thoughts) in the comments!
"What waste is so ingrained in your routine that it is invisible? In focusing on my choices through trash, I was able to highlight things beyond my immediate control. While the experiment was in small part about saying no to something because of the packaging or materials, it was more broadly about saying no to what was inside that packaging — and all the environmental destruction, sweatshop labor and other harmful practices that go into things.” - Darshan Karat, All My Trash For a Year Fit Into Two Plastic Bags: Here’s How I Did It