Moving to a small apartment with a small garbage can has made me very aware of what I throw away. Having to walk the garbage bag down 3 flights of stairs, then down another to the basement, out the back door...and a short walk to the ally makes me not want to make much trash! We usually fill up one small garbage bag a week...but even that seems like so much! I'm still trying to figure out where I could take my food scraps to reduce that even further. One of my goals during The Compact is to buy groceries/food with little to no packaging. This drastically reduces the amount of trash one produces. I'm amazed by how much trash we can throw away just by ordering take-out one night! Wow.
A movie that is closely related to this topic is "The Gleaners and I" (thanks Ali!). I just finished watching this quirky little French film about modern day gleaners and urban scavengers. It was incredibly interesting to me...I've always been curious about the lives of experienced dumpster divers and people who live completely off of the trash that others create. The movie goes far beyond that and delves into the world of found object art and into the lives of those making a difference in their neighborhoods. I can't say enough about this movie...I think everyone should see it.
The Compact has me on the lookout for items that I can re-use or use in a different way. In my research about these things, I came across some fun Flickr groups dealing with this topic: ReUSE Project Tips for Recycling and Reusing Junkin' Trashion Nation
Today, when you throw something away...ask yourself if it could be recycled, re-used, or given to someone who needs it (Freecycle!). In a disposable culture...it may feel weird at first, but it does the earth GOOD!
Photo credit: D'Arcy Norman