It’s been nearly three weeks since my last post. My longest update lapse since I started blogging in October 2011. There are lots of changes taking place in my life right now and I’ve been taking time to wrap up chapters and plan for the adventures ahead. I’ve decided to go back to school to study sustainable design and waste management. So I am stepping down from my wonderful position as a film archivist at Brown University, and moving out of my beautiful 230-something year-old Providence apartment to get after graduate studies in New York City. It’s a bittersweet departure for me. I’ve loved my time in this little city and when I think about leaving, it’s easy to get sentimental about the relationships I’ve forged, and the fantastic projects I’ve been a part of. Leaving my job, home, and friends in the twilight of my twenties to become a full-time student again is a bit nerve-racking, but the idea of staying still, unchallenged and unchanging, troubles me more than the idea of taking risks.
I’m excited to engage in new modes of thinking in the company of faculty and fellow students. I hope to work to carve out initiatives that can change patterns of behavior that lead to waste—particularly food and packaging waste. I’m looking forward to the challenge of taking my No Trash Project to New York, a city that moves at the speed of convenience, where disposables spatter daily life at an astonishing rate. Here in Providence, I’ve hit my stride with this project and I’m quite comfortable in my routine. I know that certain Zero Waste practices (like composting food scraps) may prove more difficult in the big city, but if there is one thing I’ve learned about myself over the past 26 months, it’s that I can be very determined and resourceful. Luckily, there’s no shortage of resources in NYC, so I know for sure that I will be able to find vendors who stock package-free goods. Actually, I’ve already begun researching trash-free grocery sources and I now have a growing list of businesses to visit once I’m down there.
Meanwhile, there’s plenty to do in the coming weeks. I need to finish work projects, sell my car, pare down my belongings further, find a place to live in Brooklyn, and move. It’s a lot but I’m making progress. As a Rhode Island School of Design alum, I have the privilege of holding tag sales on campus. Foot and vehicle traffic is pretty busy at the permitted locations. In the past, when I timed it right, I have managed to do pretty well there. So I’ve been combing through my cupboards, bookshelves, dresser drawers, and closets pulling objects for the pile. Faced with the question, “Do I really want to move this thing?” decisions about what to keep and what to put back into circulation become clear. I will donate whatever I’m unable to sell.
I’d love to pledge to reestablish my regular posting routine, but that may be an unrealistic commitment at this time. However, I will say that sharing my trials and triumphs on this blog has been one of my favorite aspects of the project. It’s been rewarding as a journaling exercise but even more so as a means of communication with people around the world. I am habitually snapping photos of all things trashy and trash-free, writing posts in my head. Making the time to actually compose them has been tricky lately but I intend to continue share as much as possible. Besides there’s so much uncharted territory ahead (no trash moving, for instance) that I think is worthy of the humble NTP spotlight. So to those readers who are still with me: Many, many thanks. You motivate me to get busy chasing my dreams.