donate buttonThis is Chip’s first entry in the series “Grist dared me to make a change.” Read the second, third, fourth, and fifth here. And support his dare with a gift to Grist.

Chip with bikeBack 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.