Footprint Forward: Carry That Waste (Again)

By Adam Brock

Footprint Forward Week, NYU’s low-impact living challenge, kicked off today with a provocative and informative workshop with No Impact Man. For most of the past month, I’ve been caught up with planning and promoting the week, but now it’s time to actually take the challenge and put my footprint shrinking ideas to work. Having spent the past six months actively working to reduce my impact, I’ve got most of the easy stuff covered: my roommates and I are satisfied customers of the Williamsburg CSA, there’s a couple clothes lines in my backyard, and I’ve gotten into the habit of taking a glass bottle and a tupperware container pretty much everywhere I go.

But there’s always more impact to reduce, and Footprint Forward gives me an opportunity to experiment with some more extreme ideas that I haven’t incorporated into my daily life. I’ve started showering by candlelight – it makes my morning routine that much more enjoyable – and I’ll be trying even harder than usual to unplug, cutting down on the amount of time I spend on the computer and listening to music.

The biggest change for the week will be reviving an experiment that I tried earlier this year: carrying around all the trash I create. By making myself personally responsible for my waste, I’ll hopefully have an incentive to create less of it. I’ve improved upon my receptacle from last time, trading the big plastic bag in for an old shoulder bag I found in my closet. Plastic and other landfill goes in the main compartment, while food scraps are going into a ziploc bag and, at the end of every day, my worm bin.

If all goes according to plan, the bag will be more statement than burden: I’ve spelled out the word “TRASH” in electrical tape on the front, and fully intend to keep it manageably light throughout the week. Will it work? Check back in the coming days for an update.

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One thought on “Footprint Forward: Carry That Waste (Again)

  1. EarthFreak says:

    Great idea with the labeling of your bag. I think it’s a great way to pull the public into your endeavors. I hope that you’re still doing it when I arrive in NYC.

    As for the showering by candlelight, I’d also like to recommend showering with a friend. This of course requires an ecological commitment for both parties b/c it’s easy to get carried away. Now if you can pull both off, you’re really stacking functions!

    Uh-Oh. I’m rambling…
    (Do I see a hint of romanticism here in my post?) Someone should write something on going green for couples because sustainability should no longer have the essence of crunchy granola and Birkenstocks. The principles of sustainability can be applied to everything and everyone. Plus, when you have a focus on couples or small groups, people have a sense of a community/network, enhancing their efforts via feedback and support.

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