My journal entry from Nov 20, 2006, the first day of No Impact, when learning to make no trash was top of the agenda:
The first shock is that you can’t buy any individually packed items, walk into Bagel Bob’s and get an everything with tofu to go wrapped in tinfoil, or even get a coffee in a throwaway paper cup from News Bar on University Place. Unless you’re willing to toss something in the garbage within about five minutes of getting it, without ever having really used it, you pretty much can’t get anything.
This is a sudden—though completely obvious—realization. It’s none too welcome, at least not when I’ve worked up a good hunger carrying Isabella to Peggy the babysitter’s. Isn’t the whole point of living in New York the fact that you can get exactly what you want exactly when you want it? Not for me. Not now.
Day one and I already have this feeling of self-denial and not being allowed to have things. All of a sudden the whole world is available to everyone else except for me. What the hell have I gotten myself into?
Meanwhile, Michelle has come up with her latest get healthy scheme. This time it is juicing. She has found this place on Third Avenue called Juiceteria. Her friend told her about it. The idea is to go on some sort of juice fast. Of course, this comes after the ultralow calorie diet idea done in conjunction with the very expensive nutritionist who required that Michelle buy these spaceman meals from him in little paper envelopes that you added water too.
Juiceteria is, of course, all about disposable cups and what not. Michelle says she went in and talked to the lady behind the counter about bringing her own bottles or cups. By way of explanation, Michelle told her that she didn’t like plastic. Why is it okay not to like plastic but not okay not to like disposable things? Anyway, Michelle is all happy because the woman was “very supportive” and said of course Michelle could bring her own bottles or cups.
I don’t have the heart to tell Michelle that this is back to the same old buy something to fix it, consumerist, way of thinking that we are trying to get away from. I don’t have the heart to tell her that most of the fruit like guava or whatever it is called is transported from far away by airplane at a huge cost to the environment. Our life is like this huge juggernaut heading in a consume everything direction and somehow I’m supposed to persuade my family and me to change it.
Plus I get confused. If everybody on the whole planet decided to commit suicide, which in a way, they have, would it be the right thing to do to not join in? What’s so great about trying to be right if it keeps you separate? It seems like there is something precious that has to do with holding yourself above or not just joining in and being part of. I don’t know. I’m suddenly realizing that this whole project could be pretty damn hard.
But now I’m contracted to write a book about it. What have I done?