I also learned that we don't really have a "typical" week. (As in "How much trash do the Sammons generate during a typical week?") There are birthdays or guests (who were afraid to throw anything away for fear of disrupting our experiment!) or being away from home. Which leads me to another important lesson I learned.
It is not easy/sanitary/pleasant to bring home all the trash you generate. I found myself constantly reminding my moppets, "remember to bring home your trash" as they walked out the door! First of all, that is just a weird thing to say to those you love and secondly, trash doesn't stay fresh very long. (So I apologize to everyone who had to put up with any stink from my children during this experiment. Actually, I apologize to everyone who has ever had to put up with any stink-literal or figurative- from my children at any time in their lives!)
It turns out that our family generated less than the average amount of trash last week. We averaged a total of about 10 pounds per day (compared to the more than 4 pounds per person, per day average) and were able to recycle, re-purpose, donate or compost about 6 pounds of that. (We decided to weigh all of the family's trash together, rather than each person's individually, after everyone played "hot potato" with any garbage that belonged to more than one person. Which, by the way, wasn't cute and got old very quickly!)
I definitely think that because we were acutely aware of our trash, our results were somewhat skewed. I'm sure during a week that we are not weighing our trash, we generate more. I also have a feeling that we are like retailers and the holidays are our busiest season.
But maybe awareness is the key! If we were all aware of the "garbage footprint" we were leaving, wouldn't it inevitably get smaller?
One last thing, we are so pleased, nay proud, that while we were visiting Indiana we were able to convert some long-time recycling holdouts! Yay! And what I mean by convert is, I called the local recycling company and ordered a bin and a recycling plan! Then we gave them their "gift" at dinner! (See how persuasive we are?!? But please note, like all super powers, it's a curse and a blessing!)