We have been collecting our trash since August 26, 2015. Well, it wasn’t like anything special happened on that day. We just decided to just get started and not to wait until New Year’s.
It IS a bit weird for us I have to admit. Both my husband and I might be a bit, um compulsively neurotic when it comes to things like pictures hung askew (what kind of monster does that??), odd numbers of stairs (are all architects on drugs??), or our two MALM dressers sporting two different kinds of off-white (is IKEA trying to drive us insane??)
Anyway… We have been working on this for years and we have graciously learned to tolerate these things. We now do not ask to be seated at another table anymore, when a restaurant happens to have pictures on that side of the wall that a person with obviously very poor vision and no skills has hung. We now tolerate it and chose to die a bit on the inside instead. Yay us! And yes, up to this day, I do still feel like throwing one of these godforsaken dressers out of the window (in those moments I do see myself as a slightly better looking version of the incredible Hulk by the way 😂). But I try to fight this impulse.
Soooo, I almost started a new jar on January 1st, but I pretended to be an adult and all mature and all that crap, in order to find my inner peace and stuff…
Because I was so mature and all we can now present – drum roll please – the STATS!
Our 1 liter / 1 quart jar contains what I thought was trash that will probably not be recycled. We visited a waste management facility last week and learned that where we live metal does get recycled. These bits of metal are still in our jar though. We might just keep collecting them in the jar. Taking them out does feel a bit like cheating to reduce the amount of waste in our jar now 😂. I don’t know, what do you guys think?
So here’s the list of the garbage we have collected since our last status update 2 months ago (left to right, top to bottom):
|What kind of waste we generated||Will we be able to avoid it in the future?|
|4 bottle caps (metal) + 1 plastic insert (the thingy I put on my insurance card)||We now have the option of buying organic oil in bulk so we will be able to avoid these big metal caps and the plastic insert. The other bottle caps are from beverages we ordered in restaurants and cafés. In Germany it is not common to serve tab water and asking for tab water without ordering any other drink is considered very rude.|
|(red) plastic bottle cap + plastic seal||Both are from soy sauce. We used to use up 1 big bottle of soy sauce every two months. Now we have cut our soy sauce intake down to 1 big bottle of organic soy sauce a year.|
|plastic label and a bit of plastic||I LOVE korean chilli paste (Gochujang)! It is usually sold in a plastic box, but I was able to find some in a 500 g jar! However, there is a plastic seal around the lid and the label, too, is made from plastic. I intend to use it so little so this jar will hopefully last at least half a year! Our last jar lasted exactly half a year and we now use the jar for left-overs, since it has a wide mouth, which is super handy 😊.|
|misspelled labels and tape from our label maker||Will use up this roll of tape and then get rid of the label maker, hopefully we will have everything labeled correctly by then 😉.|
|a seal (the one that looks like the seal inside a Pringle’s box)||That one was hiding in a jar! Talking about surprises, huh 😕…|
|tweezers||I don’t know how or why, but somehow these tweezers have lost their grip! Now I just use the tweezers that came with my Swiss pocket knife maybe 15 years ago .😜|
|my old health insurance card||In Germany, you either get a new every 5 years or when your personal information like the address, your name, or the formalities of your insurance have changed.|
|the plastic windows in envelopes||A couple of years ago I had heard that these little windows were now made from cellulose fibres just like paper was, so they were recyclable. Well, turned out that was not entirely true. While there are envelopes with these kinds of windows out there, the majority still consists of plastic. So I went through our paper waste of the last 5 months and cut out all the windows and put them into our jar.|
|bandage||I’m clumsy… On January 1st I managed to almost cut off a part of my finger tip while chopping onions 😅! We went to the ER where they found out that luckily, I did not cut into the bone. However, I did need a bandage and they had to put on this special tape instead of stitches. Well, accidents do not happen every day and I do hope they won’t happen any time soon!|
|Another 5 bottle caps||These are from beverages we ordered in bars. Well, sometimes you just don’t see it coming. But it’s okay, we want to be social, and it’s a compromise we can live with.|
We do also count our recyclable trash:
- Glass: Three 1 liter bottles (2 x oil, 1 x soy sauce), one 375 ml/ 12.7 oz bottle of maple syrup, and we managed to smash three 330 ml/ 11 oz drinking glasses and one 2 liter/ 2 quart jar 😢
(so this means we added two 1 liter bottles – one for oil, the other one for soy sauce – and two smashed drinking glasses over the course of the last two months)
- Paper: 1,269 g/ 2.8 lbs (which means we added 394 g/ 0,87 lb in the last 2 months)
- Compostable trash: We still compost all of our kitchen scraps in our worm bin, and we still have around 1-2 handful every 2 weeks that we cannot add to our worm bin (i.e. banana, citrus, onion, or garlic peels). We are forced to put this waste into our curb-side trash can because our apartment building does not have a compost bin and it is illegal to throw your waste into somebody else’s bin.
Please do note that we have not collected ANY fruit stickers in the last two months 😁!! It was pretty difficult with bananas, but my husband, who usually does our grocery shopping, has decided to just collect the orphan bananas without any stickers! He tells me all the cashiers keep praising his honesty because he always makes sure to tell them that the bananas he’s buying are the organic Fairtrade ones (and not the cheaper “only organic” ones).