Zero waste conjures images of someone who has completely streamlined changed the way they live and has just a mason jar of trash to show for a year of living. I may do a pretty good job of reducing my waste compared to the typical American, but I am far from zero waste.

We have the smallest size of garbage can offered by our city, but most weeks it is still half full. We grow a decent amount of summer produce, but we still order take out most weeks. We do pretty well, but pretty well still means a significant amount of trash over the course of a year, let alone a lifetime.

After Budget Epicurean’s guest post last month, she followed it up with one on her site where she recapped a week of tracking her trash. She’s been a real inspiration to me in jarring me out of my “good enough” complacency, and I decided to take up the challenge myself. For one full week, I wrote down and keep track of every single item I threw away. Just like I’ve learned with finances, there is no substitute for tracking your real progress.


Showing a neighbor friend “his” blueberry patch

A Week Of Waste

Whenever I start a new challenge for myself, I tend to just jump in feet first once I’ve decided to go for it. With this, I specifically wanted not to prepare for the week because I wanted a better snapshot of what a regular week actually looks like in terms of waste production.

I decided to only count waste created by just me, or waste shared between the three of us, so I didn’t have to try and figure out what trash was created by my husband or son when I wasn’t around. This might be an imperfect process, but this way I can track another week some time in the future and compare to how I did this first time around.

Tracking my trash by itself only does so much good; in order to make this a worthwhile experiment, I needed to figure out how to make changes in my life to move forward with less waste in the future. I don’t expect I’ll ever get down to that single mason jar containing a year’s worth of my trash, but I should at least be heading in that direction.


Weekends tend to be simpler on the trash front because we eat the bulk of our meals at home, and if we do go out to eat, we tend to have the time to sit and eat there and use real dishes and silverware for the meal. Breakfast and lunch were simple meals and didn’t create any waste (at least at the time).

Looking back, I realize I didn’t include packaging waste for something if I didn’t use it up at the moment, so the next time I do this I’ll have to keep track of that as well. Coffee made at home, for example, had no waste this week because I use a French press, which has no disposable filter, and the only thing I add to the coffee to drink it is half and half, and that bottle is recycled.

However, the coffee beans I buy don’t come in zero waste packaging. For the purpose of this week’s experiment, I didn’t include that bag in this list, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t thrown away before I added my coffee beans to their storage container. I also didn’t track recyclables like the half and half bottle.

That being said, the only fully trash items I created on Sunday were the plastic freezer bag the local grass fed beef came in that was part of our dinner and the wrapper around a new stick of butter. I went into this week with images of piles and piles of trash in my head, so this small list for the first day made me feel like I might be doing a little better than I give myself credit for.

Sunday’s trash:

  • Plastic freezer bag from beef for dinner
  • Butter wrapper


I have a reusable Keurig pod that I use at work, so in theory I shouldn’t create any more coffee drinking water than at home, but in reality, this wasn’t the case. Our office has those individual use creamer cups, and I use one or two of those in each of my coffees (usually once a day). And those little plastic cups have no recycling symbol on them and have to go straight in the trash.

Easy and convenient, but wasteful

Previously, I knew I was creating too much waste by using them, but they were free and easy, so I didn’t make a change. The reusable Keurig cup was easier because I drink decaf coffee and the decaf Keurig options are pretty terrible as well as so obviously wasteful. The little creamer cups, on the other hand, taste just fine, and seem small enough not to matter so much. But ten a week (conservatively) means that I might go through FIVE HUNDRED of them over the course of a year. Suddenly, those little creamer cups didn’t seem so innocuous.

So I armed myself with a bottle of half and half to leave in the work refrigerator and have started to use that instead, and I’ve offered the use of it to others in the office as well. This may be slightly more expensive over the long run since I’m buying the bottle myself versus using the free work creamer cups, but it’s a very small price to pay to reduce my work waste in a significant way.

And then on to the other drink besides water that I usually end up drinking at least a few times a week: the hot chocolate packet. Like the coffee, I should probably switch this over to one of the big canisters of hot chocolate versus the individual serving packets. I adore hot chocolate, so I will keep drinking it, but I think I will see if the next time we order some it can be the bulk tin instead. I almost didn’t drink any hot chocolate this week, but I felt that would be disingenuous as I really do drink it every week.

I heated up some soup for lunch in the microwave, and it made a little bit of a mess. Usually I would just take some paper towels to clean up what spilled over, but since I was paying closer attention to my waste creation, I used the hand towel I keep for drying my hands and cleaned up the microwave with that instead. I think from now on I will keep a few extra in my office for cleaning up spills from here on out (I use these).

I snagged the leftover red pepper flakes from a work pizza lunch a while back which would have otherwise been thrown away after the meal, so maybe this isn’t “my” waste in the same way as some of the other trash from this week, but the packet did end up in the garbage after I used it on my soup, so I’ve decided to list it.

Monday’s trash:

  • Hot chocolate packet
  • Individual red pepper flakes packet
  • Half and half bottle wrapper


Tuesday morning I took advantage of leaving the house a bit early and took my son to get a doughnut for breakfast before preschool. We don’t do this regularly, but he really loves the special mommy and son mornings out, and so do I. We checked out a doughnut shop right near his preschool for the first time, and when I asked to have them “for here” I got told that they were “fast food, not a sit down restaurant.” The doughnuts really were great, but I think we will just stick to the coffee shop across the street in the future where we can have our food on a plate instead of a to go bag.

Minimal trash, but still not zero

I had an apple with peanut butter for lunch along with some blueberries and tomatoes from the garden. I wasn’t paying any attention and tossed the apple core into my trash can since we don’t have a compost at work. I realized it right after I’d thrown it away, so I dug it out of the trash to take it to compost at home. Maybe a little extreme, but the act of pulling it out of the trash should help me remember better next time.

Part of Tuesday’s dinner was Annie’s macaroni and cheese, so the one piece of trash from the meal was the cheese packet from the box.

Tuesday’s trash:

  • Doughnut to go bag
  • Macaroni and cheese packet


As I shared in last Friday’s post, we had a work lunch celebrating a coworker’s work anniversary. Free food, hooray! And Costco pizza, which is delicious, if not terribly healthy. Unfortunately, I had taken the plate I keep in my office home to wash and didn’t have one on hand, so this lunch was eaten on a paper plate.

Reminder to bring a plate back to work 

We have a pretty regular routine of having dinner with my parents on Wednesday nights, and this week was no exception. We didn’t have a ton of time though, so my mom picked up Chinese food for all of us. The food was awesome, I had enough leftovers for two subsequent work lunches, but the packaging from that one meal overtook all of the waste from the rest of the week up to this point.

We’ve really reduced our number take out meals in this past year because of the cost factor, but it was really noticeable how much this has also impacted our waste factor without intentionally trying to do better on that point.

Wednesday’s trash:

  • Paper plate from work lunch
  • Dinner take out boxes and bags


By this point in the work week, our dinners tend to get simpler (and unfortunately, this usually means more packaging). Thursday night was steak, salad, and macaroni and cheese, but the salad was one of the bagged ones that have all the toppings in separate little plastic bags.

We’ve tried to buy salad fixings separately in the past, but we just eat so much more salad when we buy the bag ready version. Healthier for us, perhaps, but certainly not healthier for the planet. Something I need to revisit. If you have awesome salad recipes, send them my way please.

Thursday’s trash:

  • Steak packaging
  • Macaroni and cheese packet
  • Bagged salad kit


By Friday, I felt like I was really getting a handle on this zero waste (ish) thing, and then we went to Costco. Without even thinking, I snagged one of the sample cups, because who doesn’t love Costco samples? Before I’d even eaten the tiny sample cup of popcorn though, I looked down and realized I’d inadvertently grabbed more trash.

Costco sample cup just isn’t worth it

I love Costco samples, but looking closely at my waste makes me reconsider this practice. Unless I’m actually considering buying whatever is being sampled – and I’ve never eaten it before – there really is no reason for taking another sample cup. Tasty, but not worth it, especially because it is rarely just one sample.

Since we were at Costco after work, we had decided to just go to the food court for dinner. Again, it was a great frugal meal out ($8 fed all three of us), but my meal created more waste than if we’d eaten at home: the foil from the hot dog and the drink cup, though I didn’t get a straw or lid like I usually would.

Friday’s trash:

  • Hot dog foil
  • To go drink cup
Love me some Costco hot dogs and the price


Saturday brought another meal out with my parents, breakfast this time, since they will be out of town this coming week and my son won’t get his normal Nana day. The restaurant we went to has those same mini creamer cups like at work, so I ended up using one in my first cup of coffee. I ordered oatmeal though, so I used some of the milk brought out for that in my second cup. Next time, I’ll think to just ask for some milk for my coffee and skip the creamer cup altogether.

We stopped at a farmers market later on and then had a light lunch at the cafe next door (jeez we ate out a lot the second half of the week). I didn’t think about it, and ended up with a straw in my latte because I didn’t ask them to hold it back. I do actually love straws for my drinks, but I don’t need them.

That afternoon had us off to a second birthday party, which meant more disposable serving ware. They are friends though, so I went inside and grabbed myself a real glass for my drink instead of one of the plastic party cups. I felt like I didn’t want to impose though, so I did use a plastic plate and fork for the cake. My friend later told me I should have just grabbed a plate from inside, and maybe I will in the future, but I definitely felt the balance of wanting to do better on my trash consumption versus not imposing on a friend’s party.

Saturday’s trash:

  • Creamer cup at breakfast
  • Iced latte straw
  • Paper plate and plastic fork

One Week Of Tracking My Trash

I may not be anywhere near true zero waste, but this past week made me a lot more confident in the control I have over how much waste I produce in a given year. Habits take time to form, but once I pick off the easy ones off my typical trash production (namely coffee creamer, hot chocolate packets, and take out containers), I’ll start looking harder at what remains.

What I noticed most intensely from this past week is that all of the trash I created came from food; I buy very few things and am almost a year and a half into a clothing ban, so the packaging waste that comes from buying things just doesn’t happen for the most part.

From here on out, I’ll be taking any food waste from work to compost at home, but long term I would rather set it up to have a compost system for the whole office. Beyond that, the biggest hurdle I will have to tackle is the food waste associated with our meat consumption. If we were vegan – or even vegetarian – our dinner plastic waste would have been cut in half. We aren’t though, and don’t have plans to head that direction, so I’m feeling a bit stuck. We buy our beef direct from a local farm, but each cut comes separately packaged in a freezer bag so it will last a while.

That said, even eliminating the plastic waste from our meat consumption won’t get me anywhere near that annual mason jar of trash, though maybe I can get close to one jar a week. I think I’ll do this again some months from now to make sure I’m headed in the right direction, and to give myself that push to keep moving forward.

Do you have any suggestions for me that will get me closer to that elusive zero waste? Have you ever considered tracking your trash for a week to see where you land?

Want to get started living more sustainably?

8 Zero Waste Alternatives That Will Save You Money

Ten Simple Changes For A More Sustainable Life

Ten Simple Steps To A More Sustainable Workplace

Pursing A Zero Waste Lifestyle (Guest Post From Budget Epicurean)

78 thoughts on “Zero Waste: A Week Tracking My Trash

  1. I love this! And you already do an amazing job of being very low waste. I’ve read on several zero waste blogs that some butcher counters will let you bring a large glass container and put the meat directly into it, like lunchmeat, bacon, ground beef, etc. I have not tried this, but have a feeling I will soon because nothing in this world will convince the boy to be vegan. Bringing your own creamer is a great step, and I also keep a reuseable keurig pod at work. I need to find some better zero waste options for coffee too, instead of tons of plastic Folgers containers.

    1. We buy a large part of our meat from the farm, so it comes pre packaged and ready for the freezer. Maybe next year I’ll ask if there are other options, but since they’re a small local place I don’t know if I want to push them (though they are very sustainably minded). And our grocery store does have bulk coffee, but I’m a bit of a coffee bean snob 😉

  2. Great post – Over the last couple years I have attempted to be more mindful myself of the waste I’m responsible for. While I do my best to be a positive influence on the environment, I do still catch myself slipping up from time to time. I try to use those experiences as a reminder to be cognizant of my environmental footprint.

    1. Yep, there is so much convenience out there it’s easy to find yourself sliding if you don’t keep paying attention.

  3. Thanks for sharing your experience/results! I try to be low waste, but I think tracking would be very revealing! I buy a lot of items from bulk bins using my own containers which helps a lot, as well as not purchasing many household/personal items in general. However, we utilize Costco for a lot of our food and many of their “bulk” items still come in plastic bags and containers (some are recyclable). The meat packaging is a tough one, even with processing your own venison everything is wrapped individually. Freezer paper might be a little better than plastic, but is plastic coated and still contributes to waste in the end. I would be curious if there is a way to store/freeze without this.

    1. Going to Costco after tracking for most of a week was REALLY eye opening. So much of the great Costco deals are individually wrapped items. And if you figure out the freezer meat conundrum, let me know! I’d love it if there was a good solution there.

  4. What a great idea to count your trash! What gets measured…

    I agree take out food is the worst for producing waste. Our house is being renovated right now post hurricane, so without kitchen plumbing or appliances, take out food consumption has literally DOUBLED our trash. Ugh.

    I’ve considered keeping a set of camping utensils, a few cloth napkins and some stainless steel staws in our car for fast food stops. The issue is what to do with the dirty stuff while you’re out and remembering to wash and home and replace.

    Great post, thanks!

    1. Ouch. Post hurricane renovation definitely counts as “extreme circumstances.” I hope that is going well for you though. And I love the idea of having a “to go” kit in your car! I think I’m going to start doing this.

  5. i’ve been following along with this and we might be unintentionally low waste just by cooking most everything from scratch. i think lots of paper can be composted where you would but brown matter like cut grass and leaves. i watched a segment on cbs sunday morning yesterday on plastic and one of the scientists on there thinks we ‘ll have biodegradable plastics developed for mass use pretty soon. did you know i am a chemist? i would work on it but not for the $1.50 an hour some places want to pay for the skill.

    1. Cooking from scratch takes away a good 90% of your garbage for sure. I can definitely see how you could end up zero waste as a vegan (or even vegetarian) now that I’ve gone through this process.

  6. Wow, I never really realized how much trash we produce. Our trash is free so I didn’t realize there was a cost (by size, too!) for trash. We definitely throw out at least one giant bag of trash a week. We do recycling too though, because there are the 3 recycling kinds of bins. It’s mostly food packaging from the grocery store or takeout/leftovers from restaurants packaging.

    This is a great week! Thanks for alerting us to be mindful here.

    Seems like a startup that dealt with compostable packaging that is clear (bc marketing food that people can actually see is probably good for companies) is bound to make a killing.

    1. Paying for trash is definitely extra incentive to do better. The way our trash service is set up, we only pay for garbage; recycling and compost/yard waste are free.

  7. What an interesting experiment! I’ve thought about tracking our waste but haven’t ever pulled the trigger. We can’t recycle a lot of stuff where we live, so our garbage output might be higher than average. That being said, we have made a more conscious effort to not buy food or stuff that comes in packaging that cannot be recycled.

    I’m actually hoping to attend a composting workshop this week to grt a better handle on our organic food waste. I’m super excited about it!

    1. We are definitely spoiled in our area to have such great recycling / composting options set up at the community level. Makes it considerably easier.

  8. Soooooo many plastic bags/wrappers for food, and that is BY FAR the most trash I have. I don’t do take-out often (if I’m eating out, I’m usually sitting down. Although for fast food even eating in creates a bunch of trash!), and once again I’m glad to see the very strong link between frugality and sustainability! Bagged salads are tasty and honestly cheaper than me trying to buy every single ingredient and recreate it myself. I don’t eat them a ton, but they’re a fantastic way for me to eat salads that are way more interesting than the half-hearted greens/tomatoes/carrots/vinegar/oil salads I’ll make for myself. Except all those plastic bags 😩

    I do the same with bringing milk to work for my coffee (except I think our fridge is freezing it again because I just bought it last week and now it tastes off) and trying to use our actual dishes when we have food at work. But my personal decision to not use a plastic fork seems so very overshadowed by everyone else’s plastic forks. And that’s just at my workplace, let alone anywhere else!

    I really should do this for myself, because although I think I’m aware of how much trash I create, I bet I’m worse than I think I am.

    1. Plastic forks!!! The craziest bit there is I feel like eating with a real fork is SO much more satisfying than a plastic one. And it takes all of 15 seconds at most to clean it for the next use.

    1. It’s definitely a new one for me, and I’m not sure why I didn’t think about it before now. Convenience habits are hard to break for sure.

  9. Great job on keeping track of your waste. Most of our waste is from food packaging(at Costco and TJ’s) and it can take a lot of space depending on how big is the packaging.
    Ahhh, I haven’t bought anything from Costco’s food court since they eliminated the polish sausage. That was my go-to item for a quick lunch. Have to settle for the hot dog the next time I have lunch there.

    1. Sooooo sad when they eliminated the polish! I can’t figure out why because it was obviously popular (was my go to as well).

  10. This is such an eye opening post. There is so much waste all around us, and often we don’t even realise because of habit and convenience!

    This has definitely inspired me to look into our own waste in more detail as well.

  11. I don’t know why but I was expecting actual pictures of trash…like every night a wrapper or something hahaha. Oh man that Costco dog looks good. Are they still serving polish dogs or they’re gone forever now?

    I think one of the most annoying things for me is plastic Saran wrap. We go through some and I like to reuse it but that get crinkled and it’s hard to undo them. Makes me feel a little wasteful every time I drop a ball of it in to the trash.

    1. I actually did save some of the wrappers during the week but decided not to include those pictures for the most part for whatever reason. And as far as I know the polish dogs are gone forever 🙁

  12. This is so interesting – I might do one myself but I fear I am much more wasteful than you!

    Most modern food does come in a ridiculous amount of packaging – some is clearly essential and others superfluous, but it’s hard to differentiate sometimes. It’s probably the same as the washing debate – we wash ourselves far too much nowadays wasting water.

    1. The good news about washing too often is that I actually hate showering, so I only do it when I really need one (usually after a run).

  13. Nicely done. Isn’t it interesting that most of our trash comes from food consumption?? This definitely makes me more aware of what I choose.

    BTW, my coffee is french press too 🙂

    1. At least, that’s the case for us. If you’re a big shopper, Waste might look pretty different. French press coffee FTW.

  14. Lessee, doughnuts, pizza, and hot dogs. Yup, you have a kid! 🙂
    We recently made a pledge to get our five year olds OFF the kids menu on those rare occasions we eat out. Every dang time it’s a carb frenzy – pizza, mac and cheese, grilled cheese. Never a vegetable in sight. Sigh…
    Nice work on limiting your garbage. Our biggest sin is the recycling bin. That thing overflows constantly. Costco packaging is typically the culprit. At least we opted for the smallest trash bin, and take advantage of composting.

    1. Ha, he actually LOVES salad, and was quite enjoying his sliced cucumber the other night as well 😉 But yeah, he is quite partial to mac and cheese and pizza. Good call on noting overflowing recycling as still a problem; way better than garbage of course, but there is still energy and waste in that process.

  15. It seems like you did great to me! Successes should be celebrated along the way, even if you’re striving for better.

    You’re right, food packaging even at the grocery store is a sizeable hurdle. Produce doesn’t need packaging. Meat on the other hand, even from a food safety perspective needs something. The best I’ve seen is our local butcher chops wrapping it in paper. At least that’s recyclable. Maybe with time we’ll come up with a better option.

    1. Unfortunately most of the butcher paper that we’ve had meat wrapped in lately has a plasticky underside, so I don’t think it can be recycled.

  16. What an interesting experiment! I also tend to dive into projects a bit overzealously, and I’m working on ways to maintain the discipline and dedication it takes to keep going once the buzz of the initial motivation has worn off. I like where this is going, and I will now, whether I want to or not, be paying more attention to what I throw away!

    1. That’s a good point – the buzz doesn’t last forever, so you have to find ways to keep it up once then initial excitement has worn off.

  17. well done on the effort to track your waste….

    At work do you have a sink and a kettle? Get the super cheap melita pour over and use compostable bamboo filters for your bulk decaf grounds you will store in a mason jar. No more plastic waste every single day and you will save huge amounts of money. Hot Chocolate, buy in bulk as well and use a mason jar here too. More $$ savings and less waste once again.

    We used to buy the bagged salad too but eventually realized I can make 3x as much salad for same price and avoid the plastic buying the actual ingredients. Take advantage of your farmers market, get pesticide and chemical free awesome veggies while supporting your community 🙂

    Being you live in the PNW gotta ditch that plastic straw, always carry a reusable one. We leave a couple in the car and then the others are in our silverware drawer. It can also be a fun game of restricting yourself from treats if you don’t have the straw which saves money. I do this for coffee too, if I don’t have my mug I don’t get one.

    It would be awesome if you could inspire your office to ditch all the single use packaging and to get that compost bin, be the “agent of change” for your peers.

    Stoked for you and glad you brought us along on the journey.

    1. The Keurig reusable pod has no waste and I use my bulk grounds in it already 🙂 I would prefer I pour over some day, but I feel like it’s better to go for something that has no filters, even if those filters are reusable.

      The 3x as much salad is actually the problem; every time I’ve tried to go that route we end up with a ton more food waste. So I definitely need to work on this one.

      1. Yep! Prefer the French press or pour over options, but the reusable pod is good enough for work.

  18. Thanks for referring to me your challenge in the previous comment. Challenges are a great exercise for blogging. Overall it doesn’t seem like you have much waste at all during the week. A few things like coffee creamers here and there are very hard to avoid. I’m going to make an effort to improve at living sustainably in small steps. Thanks for sharing.

    1. The next step is to look at our irregular waste, ie the stuff that doesn’t happen every week, but can have a significant impact over all. That, and looking at the waste from the other people in the household 🙂

  19. It’s practically impossible to be zero waste these days, especially when it comes to food. It’s important to remember that a lot of food packaging helps to protect food to keep it safe to eat, and the human race has made big strides in those areas in food safety. Of course that comes with a cost, which is waste. Hopefully the recycling industry continues to get better, and more efficient. The other side of that coin of course is that if everyone ate more locally we wouldn’t have to package things, but that’s problematic for big cities and some areas. It’s a balance for sure

    1. That’s very true. Not dying from food contamination is something I’m quite happy about.

  20. Impressive job tracking your waste over a period like that! And dumpster diving too… that’s dedication 😂

    It’ll definitely be interesting to compare in the future to this week and how it went. I find that most of my trash is food related too which I do need to get better at.

    1. Hahaha well the dumpster diving was my own fault (and my own mostly empty trash can).

  21. You make a really good point about most of the packaging coming from food. I suspect that if/when we track our trash, we’ll come to a similar conclusion. In our daily life we just don’t buy or use that much packaged stuff. But food? Ack. And some of it is SO UNNECESSARY… For example, our grocery store has started using plastic to bundle canned food into groups of four. WHY. WHY WOULD SOMEONE DO THAT.

    Thank you for the inspiration and motivation.

    1. The extra unnecessary packaging is SO frustrating. We have the same problem with cans at our grocery store because that’s the way you can buy them cheaper in “bulk.”

  22. Late to the game in posting (sorry!), but this inspires me to make a greater zero waste effort too. Food packaging is by far our worst offender as well. Maybe I’ll do a “tracking my trash for the week” type of post too. 🙂

  23. I would be scared to do this for myself lol! I have a friend who had a friend, who did a zero waste challenge and I think they blogged about it. They were able to only produce one large trash bag full of waste over the entire year!! Props to them!

    1. I’m seriously impressed. We do reasonably well but we are no where even close to that level.

  24. I totally understand where you’re coming from with the work coffee! Something I do for creamer, which you might be interested in trying, is to make my own plant milk. It’s completely zero waste since I buy the almonds or walnuts or oats in bulk. You just blend and then strain through a mesh bag or cheese cloth. I usually add some vanilla extract and maple syrup and it lasts 3/4 days. It would take a few minutes, but it’s likely much less time-consuming to make in small batches, as well.

    1. I have a friend who makes her own almond milk but I’ve never gone that route myself. Good call on going one step further and getting rid of the plastic bottle.

      1. It’s a bit intimidating. I put a little vanilla extract and maple syrup in mine, and I love it. i think it tastes a lot more almond flavoured, which I love

  25. Great job! I just finished doing a month of this and I totally relat to pulling things out of the trash and taking them home! The good enough for now additude is so important!

    1. Well done!! What was the most eye opening part of the experience for you? I now have a jar in my office that keeps my coffee grounds for compost instead of dumping them in the trash 🙂

      1. That is a great idea! For me having a cloth napkin and switching to loose leaf tea have made a huge difference as well as regularly going to the farmers market

      2. I just wish we had a great farmer’s market that was open year round near us.

  26. So glad to read everyone’s comments. Being a zero waste weirdo is harder than being a frugal weirdo. It makes it easier to find that other’s are struggling in the same manner.

    1. I wonder why it’s harder than being a frugal weirdo, but I definitely agree that it is.

  27. (Hi, I’m back to reading through your archives!)

    This is a GREAT post. I’m currently on vacation and our friends don’t have a coffee maker, so I went out for coffee the past two mornings – and since it’s COVID, everything is to-go. I was hyper aware of throwing away those coffee cups and pastry paper bags. We also have been eating take-out as a family once a week, which has been jarring in the same way. I don’t think I had purchased take-out once for the entire year I was in Philly – I’d always eaten in the restaurants themselves.

    One thing I realized from another of your posts (I think) was, when ordering takeout, to ask for “food only” to not get plastic silverware or napkins. I’ll definitely start doing that. I also want to look more into your “unpaper towels,” as we use paper towels a LOT. I’m also struck by you taking food home to compost – I’d never considered doing this while at the office. And when I was in the office, I used K cups every day, which I hated, but they were free, so… that’s a conundrum for the future. So much good for for thought! Thank you!

    1. Yeah, it’s much much harder during Covid, but I’m trying to balance that with knowing I need to support our small businesses.

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