In a few days I’ll hit the 6 month mark – which I’m really excited about. I’ll try to write something reflective closer to the date – but this post is just about numbers!
Last night I wheeled the bins out to the street & I was struck at how light and empty our recycling bin was. It was less than half full & most of it was cardboard, plastic and tin – with a few random glass jars.
I remembered how full & heavy it was 6 months ago… and how INCREDIBLY NOISY it was when all the glass bottles tumbled and clinked into the back of the garbage truck.
I’m a bit of a geek AND a bit of a greenie – so this morning I did what any sensible geek/greenie/recovering alcoholic would do… I set up an Excel Spreadsheet and generated some numbers! Who’s says I don’t know how to party anymore?!
- Step 1: Estimate how many bottles of beer, wine and spirits I had each week. I won’t share the exact numbers because it still makes me feel ashamed and embarrassed – let’s just say it was A LOT of each type! Some were consumed in public but most were in secret.
- Step 2: Calculate how much money I have saved.
- Step 3: Calculate the weight of all the glass bottles. Thanks to trusty old Google for giving me the average weights of empty bottles of beer, wine and spirits.
- Step 4: Calculate how many kilograms of Carbon Dioxide it takes to make that many glass bottles. One site reckons it takes .6kg of CO2 to make 1kg of glass bottles.
So after a little bit of work I came up with these estimations about how much I have saved:
Money: $3250 (Australian Dollars – we have fairly high alcohol taxes here)
Number of bottles: 604 bottles
Weight of bottles: 196kilograms of glass
Carbon Dioxide: 118kilograms of CO2 emissions (just the glass – not the contents)
Gees Louise… I’m a bit ashamed that I was spending that much money on something so completely and utterly pointless.
I have put half the money into a high interest savings account – and I’ve spent the rest on a new wardrobe, running shoes & lots of fun stuff. It’s still a lot of frivolous spending – but at least it’s on things which make me feel good & don’t cause liver cirrhosis or brain damage.
I’m so glad I finally quit. I think I’ll need to do something on the weekend to celebrate 6 months sober (hmmmm… just in time for a tacky Eurovision telecast!).
PS: One last number… my fortnightly recycling bin is just over 15 kilograms lighter.