The Clean Hippie

Seeking the sustainable life in New York City

No Trash Day! October 20, 2009

Filed under: experiment — Alden @ 1:35 pm
Tags: ,


I have a great aunt and uncle who live down in North Carolina on their farm. Aunt Sally saves everything. My mom told me once that when she had to mark out the property line around our house, Aunt Sally showed up with the white elastic bands cut out of Aunt Pat’s underwear to tie around the trees.

So that’s pretty cool, that she could find a use for everything. But it’s a little bit harder for me. I mean, she had this big house full of cabinets and baskets and boxes to store odds and ends in. I live in a tiny apartment in New York. She’s lived there all her adult life, which makes it easy to be a packrat. I, on the other hand, have moved to a new place almost every year for the past for years. When you move a lot, it’s not practical to haul around a bin of rags and popsicle sticks.

Then there is the question of food waste. I boiled eggs for my breakfast yesterday morning. What to do with the shells? I don’t have a compost, or a garbage disposal. The former is impractical, the latter is illegal. Even if I had an indoor composter (which costs hundreds of dollars by the way) where would I put the compost? On my two little potted plants? Ha.

Like Vicki said, “Who the heck has a composter in the city??” She’s probably right.

So in the trash went the eggshells, apple core, and wilted spinach. Also in there: a ruined paintbrush I found under the cabinet as I pulled out painting supplies, a clif bar wrapper, and a q-tip.

But it’s not like the day was a total failure. I was pulling out my nail polish stuff, when I realized, why the heck should I use cotton balls to strip away the polish? Earlier this week I had pulled on a pair of leggings, and then realized there was a hole in the butt. Great. But instead of tossing them I stuffed them in a box to use later for rags. So I cut off a piece and used that. When I was done, I threw it in the laundry. Aunt Sally would be proud!

It got me thinking about all the stuff we buy that is so silly. Cotton swabs? How many times have we thrown out cotton clothing like mismatched socks? Yet we pay money for cotton balls. Same thing for paper towels. It’s such a stupid system.

Today is transportation. Wish me luck!


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