A Month in a Minivan: Day 19

Rainy, cold days are an obvious time to anything (inside my van) I have been procrastinating.

My obvious task today was dealing with my garbage. Yesterday, I hid it behind my friend’s shower tent; a typical “out of sight, out of mind” strategy. But like Edgar Allen Poe’s  “Tell-tale Heart”,  I could hear it over there. THUMP thump. THUMP thump. THUMP thump.

My Garbage Collection

It’s been almost a week since having access to trash disposal in any form and the evidence is growing. Garbage, Garbage, 3 Bags full, to be accurate. Small bags, but still. My impression is that it’s far more than I need to be making.

So, today I dis-assembled it. Looked at it, and separated it into burnables (paper, cardboard, wet wipes and food scraps) and non-burnables (tin cans, plastic bags and other packaging).  It wasn’t a pleasant task, by any means, but I made myself get a good look at it. Scrap by scrap.

Coming Clean about what I’m Creating

Ive had varying access to trash disposal. At private, provincial and national campsites in Canada, there are trash bins and recycling containers on every campsite loop, at every exit and at bathrooms. Not so on most BLM land, where one needs to take full responsibility for each and every “thing” we take into nature. Bringing every single “thing” back out.

Trash on the Left; Burnable on the Right

Today’s garbage adventure is brought to you by that philosophy. Being close to your trash – for longer periods of time because there is no where to deposit it- makes you start thinking quite seriously about your decisions. I ended up with one bag of trash that needs a new home in a bin, but I want it to be less.

Much of it would be recyclable, if a recycling depot were available. Which I’m unsure of. I suspect they might be hard to find. Heck, finding a town is sometimes a challenge!

I am left wondering if I would be wise to begin cooking Pippa chicken or fish to put on top of her kibble rather than buying canned food (those tins were most of the trash)  and thinking quite seriously about reducing my consumption of canned food while I was at it.

The day warmed up some but remained very windy but Kim and  I decided to venture off for a long walk with Pippa rather than hiding indoors. Anything was better than hanging out with my garbage! We bundled up and walked almost two hours, taking a rest at one point out of the wind, to just look at the mountains. The amount of beautiful desert out here is staggering.

Some days don’t hold a lot of excitement. They are just slow moving, quiet, ordinary days. With a distinct lack of creative writing energy. But I’ve learned to love them anyway. Garbage and all.

Expecting a c-c-c-c-o-o-l-d night!

The Key to Coping with Dipping Temperatures is dressing warmly and getting OUT IN IT!



2 thoughts on “A Month in a Minivan: Day 19

  1. Slighly easier than cooking fish or chicken for the dog, and slightly less trash would be to use the foil pouches by Pedigree, or the plastic containers by Purina (Beniful).

  2. A canoist’s trick: burn the cans too, and then pull the remains out of the fire in morning. That sterilizes them, and makes it easier to stomp them flat so they take up less space. Just don’t forget to take them out of the fire. There is no worse offense,in the wilderness than leaving burned cans in the fireplace. .

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