Thursday, April 14, 2011

My latest trick

All fall and winter I’ve been buying carrots and apples in five-pound sacks. Broccoli, Brussels sprouts and bulk beans come home in smaller, flimsier plastic bags. These and other bits of plastic wrap are almost the only things that make it into my garbage bucket (recycling and compost take the rest), and it occurred to me that most of those bags don’t have to go into the dark alone.

So on Saturday night, after I finished grating the last carrot for my salad, I set the empty bag by the front door. The next morning, I folded it up and stuck it in my pocket as I left the house.

On my walk, I picked up a cassette’s worth of video tape that was gleaming dark and unspooled in the park, and shoved it into the bag. Half a dozen plastic cup lids joined it, along with a small assortment of paper cups and a few other odds and ends.

I only retrieved about half of what lay directly along the path and I feel a mild regret that I didn’t grab more, but I was with a friend who had come out for a nice walk and I didn’t want to change our very pleasant stroll into something else.

When I walked to the library the next day I forgot to take a bag. Sigh.

So my  next goal is to remember to take an empty, otherwise unusable sack every time I walk out of the house, and fill it up with trash.

And the day I can’t find any crap to put in my bag…I’ll celebrate.

Okay, it’s not the cleverest new hobby ever, but I’m excited. Now I have to turn it into a habit.

Thinking ahead for me – do you have any suggestions for how I can celebrate the garbage-less walk when it happens? Besides chocolate, I mean? 


  1. Hello Rachel:

    Congratulations on changing our planet in so many ways. Not only in reducing the amount of unnecessary crap we eat, but also in putting the extra crap you find on your walks in the garbage, where it’s better taken care of. My recommendation for you is to celebrate by getting a small dog (a big one means larger crap to pick up) to accompany you on your walks. That’s how I use my extra small veggie and bread bags. I also take these bags (not the ones used for the doggie crap) to the grocery store where they get recycled.

    Crap! I should really tell you that I always read your blog and it has kept me motivated to continue eating less crap. I had a cookie craving yesterday at the grocery store and thought of how much the kids would love some cookies, but after looking at all of them and the amount of fat and other crap they contained, I ended up not buying any. Thank goodness because it showed on the scale this morning … half a pound less. I also went to Cosco at lunch time (bad idea), and as they did not have much in the sampling department, I ended up having one of their crappy pizzas. It will be salad and fish for dinner tonight…

    (OK, I’m done with the “crap”.)

    I did buy a pair of shorts, one size smaller – yay! I was being hopeful that the warm weather was going to arrive soon but, at the moment, it’s snowing a bit. Maybe I’ll have to return the shorts for a yet smaller size as summer seems very far away – that could be my goal, to fit into size 10 shorts by summer. I guess I could also try string…


  2. Dear MM –
    Congratulations on your new shorts and this morning's half-pound marker! You are now my official Diva Of the Less-Crap Lifestyle.

    If you outshrink the shorts, Fodder has half a roll of very nice French twine that he's willing to share.

  3. Aw, thank you...


  4. It's a great new hobby - I might take it up myself! When the day comes that there's no garbage to round up, hopefully it'll be spring and you can enjoy the feel of the sun on your cheeks and the scent of flowers wafting through the air.

  5. The trash is getting scarce along my usual routes, so I'm going to branch out.
    Travel bonus: I'll see different gardens, views and streetscapes!