Back in college, I carried around all the garbage I produced for a week to demonstrate the wastefulness of the average student. It wasn’t a great way to meet women.
Well, now I’m married, so I don’t have to worry about that anymore. But I still worry about the environment, and I still want to call attention to garbage – my own and everybody else’s. That’s why, with a little prodding from my staff here at Grist, I’ll be reliving my college stunt. Starting July 11, I’m going to carry every scrap of trash my family produces wherever I go. That includes me, my wife, our 5-year-old daughter and our 2-year-old son.
I know what you’re thinking: Um, that toddler … he’s probably not potty trained yet, right? Don’t worry: I draw the line at carrying around that kind of waste. Which is good news for the other commuters on my ferry, not to mention my co-workers.
Speaking of which, I hope people ask me why I’m carrying around a bag of garbage. I won’t lecture them this time. I promise. And I won’t even mind if they start calling me the Garbage Man. Or Land Phil. Or Oscar the Grouch. If it helps them think twice about the next thing they throw away, I’ve done my job.
Now you do your job: Donate to Grist in support of my dare. That’s the easy part. I’ll do the heavy lifting.
More stories in this series:
I am going to eliminate as much plastic as possible from my life for two weeks. But I’m keeping my toothbrush. I’m not THAT crazy.
It took me two hours to buy five days’ worth of groceries that didn’t have any plastic packaging. Two hours! WTF?
Accepting Grist’s dare, I vow to wear only secondhand clothes for a week. Goodbye, Bloomingdale’s. Hello, Salvation Army.
Grist dared me to plan an eco-friendly party for my college buddies. The first challenge: making sure there’s enough food to be polite, but not so much that it goes to waste.
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