Trying to establish our trash baseline for the Riot was pretty easy. I weiged the garbage as it was being transferred from the small pail under the sink to our boxes outside (handy for taking to the landfill once a month). In one week – and it was a pretty typical week – we produced 3 lbs. of garbage.
That’s 1 lb. of trash a person a week, or 0.15 lb a person a day.
The average American generates about 4.5 lbs of garbage per person, per day. A 90% reduction would mean .45 lbs of garbage so we’re good there.
I’m not writing this to blow my own horn. It’s just a matter of accounting and of showing that while we might sigh over some of the 7 categories for reduction (our weak points are electricity and heating) there are categories where we do well and that give us courage.
Actually, I think our garbage production is nothing out of the ordinary. In fact, it could be less if I also shunned food and things wrapped in un-recyclable plastics. I haven’t been doing nearly enough of that yet.
Composting helps, of course. Imagine dumping all those half-eaten and rotten but still huge and heavy jack-o-lanterns into the garbage bin. There’s a good ten pounds right there!
Thinking about that while cutting up our own two pumpkins for the compost, I thought of an initiative: tomorrow I will deliver into each of my neighbor’s mailboxes a note asking them not to trash their pumpkins, but to deposit them on our driveway so we can compost them. Every evening I’ll collect them and cut them up and put them in the bin. Should be fun (seeing all those Halloween designs), neighborly, and productive as well!
I also contacted the nearest Starbucks and asked if we could have their coffee grounds. No problem! I have no idea how much it will be. The first loot is coming in this evening, so we’ll know soon. It doesn’t even cost us anything to pick it up: DH drives past it on his way to and from the shuttle.
Update: DH came home with 30 lbs of coffee grounds!