052: Emptying my garbage for the first time in over a year (transcript)

June 16, 2018 by Joshua
in Podcast

Hello. Today’s June 4, 2018. On June 4, 2017 one year ago was the last day that I emptied my garbage. This is going to be the day that I take my garbage down the hall and empty it. Now, this is one year’s worth of garbage to a lot of people. They describe this just like they say that this is like very little garbage. To me, it’s a lot. But let me put ит in context first. Over here on my countertop is a bowl where I keep my compost and so the vegetable stuff, the scraps go here and when the compost fills I put it into this bag here which I keep in the freezer. And when this gets full I take it to the farmer’s market. This bag is from like four or five years old. People get new bags every time they go. For holding my compost, it takes me a long time to finish using a bag. The paper recycling goes here. So this is also a lot. This is probably… I empty my paper recycling maybe two or three times a year. I did not get that back. I don’t shop at Trader Joe’s. It’s so much garbage. You know the way we have not a lot of stuff is to not acquire a lot of stuff. Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods – total wastelands, almost total waistlines, if you don’t get packaged food. In here I have my… This is the metal and plastic recycling. Also, a box that I got from downstairs from my building. This is probably six months’ worth of bottles and stuff.

A lot of people think, “Recycling, if it’s recycled that means I’m not wasting stuff.” I hope you’ve seen the images of the mountains of what would be recycled stuff that we ship off to third world countries and pay them to take. It’s reduce… If you can’t reduce, then reuse. If you can’t reuse, then recycle. If total waste is like smoking cigarettes, then recycling is like smoking filtered cigarettes. It’s basically the same thing. It’s not close to not getting the stuff in the first place. When I first started avoiding packaging it took me like two weeks to fill this up. Then after a little practice it took two months and then after a little more practice now it’s up to about a year. To me this looks like a lot of garbage. I was born into a polluted world. I don’t like that it’s a polluted world. I don’t want to pollute it more for others. This plastic is still going to be around for 400 years, that longer than the United States. I have to buy fresh vegetables, fresh fruit punch, a bunch of [unintelligible] here, some radishes. I’ve got some rhubarb and some spring onion or garlic. In here is some lentils. That’s where I eat now. I eat almost every meal completely stuffed because it’s all… It fills you up really. It’s so much fiber and it’s not a lot of calories. And so I eat as much as I can. It’s all the most delicious that I’ve ever eaten and that’s what this is really about.

Yes, it’s probably very healthy. Yes, it’s probably… It definitely pollutes less. The big thing is it’s delicious. I’ve never eaten more delicious, spending less money, more convenient and I’m eating more volume of food. I’m more satisfied than I’ve ever been. When I was a kid growing up I couldn’t stop myself from eating ice cream and from eating pretzels and chips. I just don’t eat that stuff anymore. Because the wet stuff goes in here I don’t need a plastic bag. People come over and they bring stuff, they bring packaging with them and I get their garbage so there’s a fair amount of garbage in here that’s not mine. I think I forgot, this is the garbage from my bathroom. So I want to point out this is not just my kitchen garbage. This is all the garbage that I produce in the house. A lot of people they say stuff like I don’t produce that much garbage compared to people around me. If you’re comparing yourself to other Americans and how much you pollute, this is about the lowest bar possible to compare yourself with. Americans produce more garbage than virtually any humans have ever lived ever since the dawn of humanity. I recommend setting a higher bar for yourself. My goal is to take a lot longer than a year to fill this for this cycle. It’s more freedom, it’s more delicious, it’s less pollution. So I hope this makes an impression on others. My goal is to produce a lot less of this and have more freedom in my life. This is a natural easy thing to not pollute that much. It took a little time. It was hard at the beginning but that quickly it became simple, it quickly became natural.

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