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Waste Not Blog: The begining of a year in trash

Alicia Ebaugh, educator for the La Porte County Solid Waste District here. I collected a week’s worth of my own disposables to show people just how much waste we can create in a short amount of time.

This is a test run for my full-year experiment in 2016, where I will have to keep all of my trash that is non-recyclable and non-compostable for the entire year. I will blog about this experiment here throughout the year, so make sure to follow me if you’re interested!

A few things I noticed about my waste production:

• Not everything was included in this photo. For instance, there is the issue of shared food at home. My hubby made chicken to eat at home during the week, but I didn’t keep the tray that was in because we are sharing the food. I also used a few small plastic cups while eating at a restaurant that I didn’t keep – oops!

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• I already use lots of reusable cups and dishes, but I was surprised to find out how much packaging is produced by the food I eat. Obviously my takeout orders are going to have to decrease if I want to reduce non-recyclable waste. Only about half of the packaging was recyclable.

• I am still fighting off a cold, so I had a huge mound of tissues to throw away. I think I will need to start using a handkerchief.

• Use the hashtag #oneweek if you want to take this challenge and I’ll share it!

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Deputy Editor - Digital/Audience Engagement

Summer is Digital and Audience Engagement Editor at The Times. Her blog documents The Times’ and Gary Chamber of Commerce’s Community Civility Counts campaign. The idea is simple: Treat everyone with respect and dignity, even those you disagree with.