What does a Week’s Trash look like

Author: Soumak

So how did we start our minimal waste journey?

As the first exercise, we wanted to see how much trash or waste do we actually generate in a week. Of course, for the purpose of this exercise, we decided to focus only on the “dry waste” that we were generating – plastics, cartons, packaging material from online shops like Amazon (an example), papers, metals, clothes, etc.

At this point, it would also help to give an idea about how our family structures are like, because that plays a big role in what one consumes as a household. Also, it would make sense to mention where we were already at when we started in this journey.

Sonali and Sudhanshu stay together as partners in their apartment in Goa. They were already, to an extent, leading a conscious lifestyle, turning vegan, trying to consume less and also buying a lot of their daily consumption items from the Panaji market and local vegetable stores. So the amount of dry waste they were producing were not quite “alarming”, as you can see.

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Shweta and Soumak’s story is different. They have a 9 year old daughter, three pugs and also have a live-in household help. They were trying to do a few things like carrying their own bags for shopping and buying vegetables from local vendors and at times visiting the Panaji market. However, due to the larger family size, their consumption is much higher.

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The variety of things that come to their household are also higher and often to save costs, they ordered things in bulk from online shops like Amazon, Flipkart, etc. Also, they run their photography business from their house and that leads to a lot of additional packaging material for things they use for their deliveries to clients (hard disks, pen drives, etc as an example).

The photos below give an idea of the various things in their trash.

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It was a revelation of kinds. Though we had an idea that we were producing quite a bit of waste, but the sheer volume of a week’s trash just blew our mind. It showed that the decision that we have taken – to minimize trash – was a much needed initiative that should have been taken long ago.

So, this is where our journey begins.

Dislaimer: The brands shown in the photos are not to portray them in a negative light. They are all brands that are used in these two respective households.