Trying it on For Size

Posted: October 2, 2009 by jerkmagblog in VAULT -- archives
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I know firsthand that trash is well, trashy. After all, I am from Staten Island, home of the Fresh Kills landfill. This landfill was so big that it was the second most visible manmade object seen from space. The first is the Great Wall of China (in case you couldn’t put that into perspective). 

Yucky--a nation of seagulls surrounding the Staten Island land fill.

Yucky--a nation of seagulls surrounding the Staten Island land fill.

I would take living next to the Great Wall of China instead of the great wall of garbage any day. The stench filled the pit of my stomach and made me think differently about all the seagulls I saw around the landfill. Yuck.

The landfill was later closed and covered up, but I never really thought about how the stench was affecting the community or our planet as a whole.

My lack of environmental consciousness in the past has inspired me to try and do something different to help the environment every week. I decided that I wasn’t going to buy bottled water, soda, or anything in a container that would need to be thrown away. 

I forgot to bring along my water bottle after the first few days of my experiment, even though I included it on my overly obsessive, daily to-do lists. This caused me to not buy any drinks and save my Supercard money at Schine and food.com. Eating in the dining hall was fine–they reuse and wash the gross, plastic cups we all drink out of anyway.

We all have one sitting on our desks, but do we actually use them?

We all have one sitting on our desks, but do we actually use them?

Eventually I found myself eating dinner at Jimmy John’s. I got my usual, number 5 with hot peppers, and noticed I didn’t have my handy planet-saving water bottle. So I didn’t get anything to drink. I kept eyeing my friend’s soda but congratulated myself on preventing that awful landfill stench from developing again (or at least in my own little world).

You would think eating without a drink would teach me to bring my own bottle, but no. A last minute decision to go to the football game meant no drink then either.

I found by the end of the week that I saved money, drank more water, and helped reduce my carbon footprint. On the other hand, it limited my freedom. Some places don’t let you use outside bottles and sometimes you want something special to drink that doesn’t already exist in your refrigerator. 

I can’t make any concrete promises about using my reusable water bottle yet, since it clearly ended up falling to the back of my to-do list. 

~Jill Feigelman

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