7.06.2008

End of day 5 & 6

{food images courtesy of kr}

I have some bad news to report. I was not good last night. I went out to Toro (much cuter than the ugly website would suggest) with my friend K and I forgot to bring a container with me to bring home food scraps. It's a Spanish tapas restaurant so we really didn't have that much food but I tried to keep a tally of what I had that was being tossed.
1 ear of corn (actually, 2 halves)
1 drumstick bone (which I can't compost anyway)
1 slice of lime
1 slice of lemon
1 clover (I know, random ... they put them in the sardine containers in which they put the mussels)

Not too bad, right? There were also a couple of straws that were put in my drinks and a napkin coaster laid out before I was able to say anything. It was really busy and I'm not sure the bartender would have been very amused. I did bring those home.


So what else have I been eating? The other day I made a three bean salad. I know this photo doesn't make it look very appetizing, but until I get a better camera, my phone will have to do. I promise it tastes better than it looks. Anyway, I had a can of garbanzo beans sitting in the pantry and figured I should use them. My friend L is always making bean salads so that was the first thing that came to mind. I knew it wouldn't make a lot of trash. And I was craving something with curry, so I Googled "Curry Bean Salad". The resulting find sounded decent, so I headed to the store. Thankfully, Harvest Coop allows you to buy individual pieces of celery. How cool is that?! I can never finish a whole bunch before it goes bad. I brought my own produce bags that I had saved from before the challenge began, as well as my own containers in case I bought anything from the bulk section.

This evening I made a cake and whipped cream—from scratch! I know it's not that big a deal, but I don't think I've done that since I lived at home and helped my mom make one. So probably 10 or more years ago. When I realized the recipe said to use parchment paper and I didn't have any and couldn't find any at the CVS or 711 down the street, I almost gave up. But I just kept thinking, if I don't make this, the strawberries are going to go bad again and I'm going to have to toss an entire carton of heavy cream (ok, so another exception to the no dairy thing ... maybe I should just call it lo-dairy). So I just buttered and floured the pan and it was fine. Trash from cake: paper wrapper from the butter & plastic thingy from opening the heavy cream (can you recycle that?)

And so the cake finally got made ... in the midst of battling an infestation of fruit flies. Yeap. Gross is right. I walked into the kitchen yesterday to a rotten smell emanating from the garbage can and fruit flies EVERYWHERE. I can tolerate a lot, but fruit flies, I cannot. They make me feel all creepie crawly. I really would have liked to have avoided it or had some help from a roommate, but no one was around and I couldn't let it get worse. So I had to take it upon myself to deal. First off, get the garbage can & bag OUT (none of which was my garbage!). Then I mopped the floor, cleaned the counters, the few dishes in the sink, etc. My friend K said to put out dishes of apple cider vinegar. So I tried that but the flies were just sitting around the dish as if it was a lazy afternoon at the local pool. So I Googled "get rid of fruit flies" (what would I ever do without Google?), and found some helpful hints. I now have three traps set in the kitchen and am hoping they work by morning.

The point in sharing that fabulous adventure was that I did make some trash in the process of trying to get rid of these things. I'm sorry, but that was #1 priority. I have some pieces of tape from the first trap I made that didn't work out so well. And after these traps have done their job, I'll have some plastic wrap to add to my week 1 box.

I don't think this challenge is about beating yourself up over every little thing. I think it's mostly about being mindful/paying greater attention to some areas of your trash-making life that you might be able to be more in control over. It's about not accepting that you have to buy things packaged in loads of plastic and styrofoam and paper because that's what's most convenient and conventional, but finding alternatives that can fit into your lifestyle.

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