Week Three Report: One Can a Month Challenge

It’s the end of another week of the challenge! For those who are new and asking what I mean, see that image over there in the right-hand column? The one about Enviromom’s One Can a Month challenge? That’s what I mean. Join in! It’s never too late. I’m taking it as an awareness and reduction effort, and am not holding onto all my garbage for a month. We share a large bin with my housemates, a total of five adults and one toddler. The bin gets rolled out for collection most weeks, but most weeks it’s nowhere near full.

So my goals for the week were:

Continued reduction of garbage
I think I did fairly well on this. In the week, including diapers, I had one kitchen garbage can full plus a little. It’s not a large can – roughly the size you’d put under a sink.

Clean out the compost bin, resume using it, and EMPTY it BEFORE fruit flies strike again
It took me a while to get around to doing this, but I did start collecting again. And the fruit flies are breeding like mad. This is why I hate composting.

A second reduction of plastic bag accumulation … aiming for zero
I didn’t hit zero. ONE plastic bag made it into the house. Once I got home I felt silly. I’d forgotten my bags before we left, knowing full well I wanted to grab some groceries. What I should’ve done was just loaded stuff into the bottom of the stroller, loose, and brought it upstairs in one of my bags. Silly me, I looked at the small stuff and figured I needed one bag.

Sort through recycling
This wasn’t as bad as I thought. Three lids and one container couldn’t go in the recycling. That’s it.

Find out about BPA and Rubbermaid, Bitra water filter jugs, plastic juice jugs, milk jugs.
BPA is apparently only in the 7s, but not in all of them. It’s in some Rubbermaid stuff, but not what I have. There seems to be a lot of disagreement out there about Brita water jugs, but the word from the company is that no, there is no BPA and no signs of anything leeching.

Other stuff…
The pine kitty litter seems to be doing a good job. I need to remember to not lay it as thick as I did with the grain-based stuff, as there’s no way to separate the used (sawdust) from the dry (pellets), short of buying a sifter.

Bringing my own lunch reduces garbage a lot! But I still haven’t gotten back into using travel mugs. I have been using a thermos for tea mid-day though.
We shopped at the Farmer’s Market. No plastic! Locally grown! Mostly organic yumminess! Whups … yes plastic. The salmon came packaged in it. Hrm. Darnit, that was good salmon too. I wonder if they have alternatives.

Again this week I’ve line-dried my laundry. All cold-water washes, and no drier usage. I don’t even think others in the house are using the drier – we’ve got a great, long drying line. When laundry’s a late-night thing I bring it upstairs and hang it on the wooden rack I have. I love summer! Yeah, I could dry clothes indoors during the winter and likely will for some of the items, but it’s so damp here once the rains start that heavy stuff takes forever to dry.

Normally a shocking quantity of food I prepare gets thrown out. Even food I don’t prepare. When I buy grapes or cherries, half go out without being eaten. Leftovers sit uneaten in the fridge until the cat wouldn’t even touch them. So far though I cooked salmon and pasta on Saturday night, and we’ve eaten variations on leftovers for suppers Sunday and tonight. Pasta’s almost gone, salmon’s gone.

On a ‘healthier me’ note, I switched to plain yogurt. Okay, it’s high fat content. But mixed with fruit, who needs the sugar? The high fat also makes a sweeter tasting yogurt.

Goals for this week:

  • Shop at the Farmer’s Market again. Pay attention to how much of what I bought actually gets eaten, and buy accordingly.
  • Continued attention to garbage reduction.
  • Ask downstairs neighbours about composting kitty litter – pine sawdust plus urine. Poop goes down the toilet. This will be in a separate corner, away from the food gardens and NOT in with the vegetable-scrap compost. I just need to know where they’d find it the least offensive.
  • Actually get the recycling to the curb for collection. It’s a mountain.


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