“That was such an epic fail…” –Katy Perry

Traveling for two days, I generated a surprising amount of trash. I’m finding one of the most important aspects to being “green” and living the zero waste lifestyle is…… planning ahead! (Which I did not.)

Trash from the car at the end of the trip.

The movers packed up all my insulated to-go coffee mugs so when I started to drag on the road, and stopped to get coffee at a truck stop, guess what it was offered in? NO! Not the styrofoam cup!! I broke down and bought the coffee. I didn’t feel too good about it.

I bought ice to fill my coolers twice, which came in plastic. The ice in my fridge wasn’t enough. How else do you get ice? It doesn’t exactly fall from the sky. Does anyone know of a better way of accumulating ice when on the road?

I didn’t cook ahead and fill containers to place in my cooler. I ate fast food. And McDonald’s of all things. Seriously, such an epic fail. So, I found it unnerving that the characters from the new Smurf movie were plastered all over the happy meal saying things like, “Reuse, Reduce, Recycle.” Hmmm…..

I could have gone without, but I let hunger and the need for coffee rule the road. Next move, I’ll know what to do. Planning ahead is a MUST for traveling and being green, and I’m decent at planning ahead. There was just too much going on this time. I had to do the move on my own as the hubby was out at sea. I was more focused on how the movers were packing the dishes! Augh!

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13 responses to ““That was such an epic fail…” –Katy Perry

  1. I think the biggest part of the battle is being conscientious about our choices. And you are one of the two most conscientious people I know. Forgive yourself the coffee cup (I forgive you!), and the wrappers for the fast food.
    Maybe keep an extra travel mug in the cup holder of your car. That way if it is ever forgotten, you will have a back-up plan.
    I don’t know of any way to keep ice longer, except maybe using those ice-paks, and re-freezing them. Of course, there is no way to stop and refreeze them on the road…
    I think they have coolers that plug into your car lighter, but I would think that unless you plan on moving a lot or taking a lot of road trips, it probably wouldn’t be worth it.
    I wonder if you couldn’t pack food that is non-perishable.

    I am glad to see that you made the trip safely!

    That was a lovely view from your hotel room!

    • You always make me feel better. 🙂
      Good idea about the coffee in the cup holder as a back-up plan. Especially since I always needed your good coffee to-go, I should have just left one in the car all along. I did buy actual half-and- half this week instead of fat-free. Thought you’d be proud. Still doesn’t taste like your coffee. I’m using the cinn. and everything. ?? Guess you just have the coffee touch.
      Non-perishables are the way to go on a road trip, but the thing with military moves is that they won’t pack liquids, so I was mostly moving condiments and left over cheese and things from the fridge. Maybe I just need a better cooler. I didn’t know you could buy ones that plug into your car! What will they come up with next? 🙂

  2. Don’t get discouraged! You are trying your best and that’s what counts.

    Life is all about choices and sometimes we end up making ones that are a little less than ideal, but hopefully if enough people start making good decisions it’ll get easier to start doing good things naturally because we’ll simply all have more opportunities.

    I had a horrid time trying to find vegetarian friendly foods while visiting rural North Carolina for a funeral last year… even the vegetables had “seasoning” (aka meat) in them.

    If (when!) people want to start choosing sustainable sources of food and products for use in their daily life things like eating and shopping while traveling will probably get much easier because Styrofoam cups won’t be available.

    Until then – I think you’re doing a super great job! You rock! 🙂

    • Thanks for the encouragement challahgirl.
      Little steps, right?
      Little rural, southern towns are wonderfully charming, but once you’re used to the things offered in the big city, it is difficult to find what you’re used to (restaurants, food products, etc.) So true. I went to the commissary yesterday and walked out in a daze. The selection isn’t what we had in big, busy Norfolk.
      I look forward to the day when Styrofoam cups aren’t available.
      I showed my hubby your blog last night. He especially liked your flower of the day posts. They’re always so lovely.

  3. Such a great post and at great timing! Hubby and I are about to embark on a road trip to the Tetons. I do agree with you about the miscellaneous waste that is accrued during a trip, I try to find unique ways to deal with it.

    As far as the ice bags go (or any other bags such as cereal, bagel, or bread bags), I save them and donate them to my local park to use as doggie bags. Not sure if your Open Spaces offers anything like this, but ours has posts set up with a plastic containers that allows for people to donate bags. Though I typically just hang a plastic bag packed full of bags on the post and it’s always gone by the end of the day 🙂

  4. Well, shoot. That’s a great idea! We ended up using the ice bags for trash bags since everything was packed and we were cleaning. But yeah, if you can’t “not” buy them, you might as well find a creative way to reuse them. And doggie doo bags would be perfect. I’ll have to check out the parks system here and see if they have anything like that. Maybe they have a Parks and Rec where I can just go ask.
    Good idea!
    If you remember any more creative ideas while on your Tetons trip, do pass them on. I seem to be saying, “I never thought of that!” a lot more now days!! 🙂
    Enjoy your trip. I’ll be looking for photos on your post. We love the Tetons, but have never been there together. 🙂

  5. Nice view! Ha ha ha! Good effort on the trash – you’re forgiven. 🙂 But MacDonald’s? I have a hard time with that one.

  6. Yeah, me too. I don’t forgive myself for that one either. McDonald’s… really? (I’m shaking my head.) I’ve banned Micky D’s, but on the road, all the food looked good from my car window. Shameful, I know. I’ll do better!! 🙂

  7. I think you did great! And Mickey D’s when traveling by yourself is excusable. I think sharing your trash with the world is very brave. And it was only a small pile.

    I’ll use the comment to give used bags to the doggy park or leave them on the pole at the local park next time we go.
    Your blog is inspirational and even though we recycle like nobody’s business and have a compost pile for the garden, I can see where zero waste is gonna be hard.

  8. Thanks Clar! It is so good to hear you guys are composting and recycling and have a garden. Hooray for everyone out there doing green things!
    And thanks for the compassion. It is much more challenging than I thought it would be—mostly because of all this darn packaging when I go grocery shopping. But like Jen with her bread bags for the dogs in the park, I’m trying to be more creative…..! It can be frustrating, but mostly it’s fun to see what I can go without and what I can create. Thanks for taking a look at my page!

  9. Just found your blog today. I have found myself thrust into military life as my husbands National Guard unit prepares to deploy overseas for a year. So far I haven’t many other recycling type military families, and felt pretty out of place. So, I was glad to come across you!
    If you stay in hotels, you can raid the ice machine, but they tend to frown upon it, so you might have to be sneaky. But yes, planning on the food is a big help all around. Saves money, trash and guilt.
    Best wishes!

  10. Oh, I hope he has a smooth deployment. I feel you on this one. A year sounds like such a long time, but time does fly if you keep yourself busy. I write! And with you having the little ones, that will help a lot too.
    I’m thrilled to hear you’re military and recycling. I feel like the ugly ducking in America in general, but especially in military circles. (Which really surprises me because military folks have often times been stationed abroad and see how unwasteful other cultures are. I’m always shocked when someone says they’ve been stationed in Italy or somewhere and yet their habits are the same. What went wrong? How did they not pick up and learn from another culutre? It’s so easy to do. And as humans, it’s completely natural.)
    But we live and we learn in our own time and to each his own. Sometimes I feel zero waste is like my religion and the last thing I want to do is push it on someone else! But this blog has showed me there are others out there trying, who want to be less wasteful and more green. It gives me great hope!
    Thanks for getting in contact Pamela! I look forward to corresponding again.

  11. Pingback: Don’t throw it in the trash! | Attempting zero waste lifestyle in a military household

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