The focus of today in regards to the no impact project was TRASH. In the free how to manual a simple comment was made..."finding out if wasting less improves your life."
Even after one day and huge need for improvement, I would have to say YES.
First off, having to collect your own trash, its embarrassing. I really got to see how much stuff I actually throw away. First off, at work...I order a LOT of things. When I say a lot...hmmm. Today, I had eight boxes come in for me. Three each from both Staples and Office Depot. One from Dell and another via FedEx from Cases.com. That's a lot of boxes and and peanuts and plastic protector thingies. Since there's no way I can lug around the boxes from the stuff I have to order from work...I decided I wasn't going to count that. Although it makes me more conscious of ordering in bulk. We also reuse the boxes for shipping things out and the peanuts. We reuse the bags that catering foods are delivered in. But enough about my job. They do a fairly decent job.
Me. First thing I noticed was this morning as I made my tea. Different teas require different enhancements. English black tea needs a little milk. Jasmine tea needs nothing. Peppermint tea needs a real peppermint added. And Green Tea...yeah I like adding sugar. Sorry for the purist. But today...I didn't want to add more trash to my bag of shame....so instead of opening five sugar packets...( i know. all that sugar is a problem to tackle another day)....instead, I added a tablespoon of honey because it wouldn't generate any trash to do.
At work we also just put out candy for our Oktoberfest celebration. And I had a couple pieces because green or not I am going to eat a Twix if its put in front of me! But then after a few pieces, I didn't want to add more to that freaking bag of shame. So I went into the kitchen looking for a snack that wouldn't generate trash. I found almonds, added some cinnamon and called it a day. Later I ate a piece of fruit. Instead of opening a bottle of mango orange juice, I drank water.
If I want to prevent myself from wasting...I found that I was eating better. Yeah, interesting! Who would have thought?
Over the weekend I finished my train reading book and realized I wouldn't have anything to do on the train ride to work...therefore I grabbed a RedEye. I haven't grabbed one in weeks. Nothing worth reading. I'm sick of celebrities, the balloon boy, the gosselins, and everything else...so I just don't grab the paper anymore. But today I did. Or course I did...on trash day. And I added that to my bag of trash shame. I thought, "why the hell did I do that when all the articles are available online?"
I realized that without even thinking about it, I went through a lot of napkins though. Now the idea of blowing my nose through a hankerchief disgust me. I'm not saying you are disgusting if you use one to blow your nose...but for me, its sickening. But I looked at the ways I was using napkins. I rinsed out a cup and needed to dry it. We don't store towels at work. I was eating a sandwich and wanted to wipe the crumbs off my mouth. I spilled a little tea on my desk. I could see using a hankerchief for that. I guess.
I thought about the idea of carrying these bags of trash all week. Since my hands are already full from going to work and then to rehearsals .... I realized that might not work. So perhaps I'll leave a bag at work and leave one at the theater and at the end of the week, I'll see how much trash I generate. (On a side note, I haven't printed anything at work since Thursday. I usually print a novel a day worth of paper. Three work days and no printing. That's crazy!)
So I'm thinking about this bag of trash they ask us to carry and it makes me think about other trash that we carry...emotional trash. spiritual trash. relational trash. past trash. If I'm working on finding ways to waste less physical things...what about non-physical things. Like, what is I waste less emotions?
What if I worked on being present and intentional, therefore reducing my emotional impact on the world? Sustain the world but also sustain myself.
The thought just intrigued me. So today, very intentionally I watched my thoughts. Tried not to let negative trashy things enter my mind. Tried to keep a positive balanced emotional state in everything. I didn't give in to the office gossip. I didn't let myself get stressed. And I ate more almonds in a bowl instead of twix in wrappers.
And it felt good. My physical bag of trash had a few things in it. Five napkins. Three pieces of netflix envelopes. One newspaper. A few candy wrappings. And my meta-physical bag of emotions and whatnot...that had only a few things as well. And I feel very present and alive. I feel like what the world got today was ME and not my trash.
How about that?