Raising our trash-consciousness

According to Colin Beavan of No Impact Man fame, 80% of what we produce is made to be used once, which means that 80% of the resources on our planet are going to a landfill. 80%.

Even if this statistic is inflated (the percentage may be closer to 67%), compare our culture today to say 100 years ago, and few would disagree that our society has become overly disposable. Our current high-impact lifestyle is not sustainable.

What can you do?

Take a look at your trash.

What are you throwing away? This week is National Zero Waste Week – a campaign aimed at reducing the amount of household trash produced. To participate, take a look at your trash to see what you can do to reduce, reuse, recycle and compost as much as possible.


I’ve worked to reduce my household trash the past few months. What remains? Plastic. My trash is largely a collection of plastic food bags and containers. What can I do to reduce my trash?  

I can…

  • Stop buying food products wrapped in plastic, or at least not plastic that can’t be recycled
  • Stop using plastic baggies in my kids’ lunches – switching to Lunch Bots and reusable snack bags

What can you do to reduce your household trash?

Need inspiration and ideas on how to reduce your household trash? Jump over to Mrs. Green excellent blog: My Zero Waste.

Remember the story about the guy (Ari Derfel) who saved his trash for a year? I love the tagline on Ari Derfel’s blog:


One comment

  1. I have been working on reducing my trash for a while now. I did it bit by bit by focusing on reducing one thing at a time. The first thing to go was bottled water, then paper towels and now plastic baggies.
    I have a few cloth sandwich wraps and lots of plastic and glass containers that usually work well for packing lunches. Happily, my kids are not the type to lose things often. There are some times however, such as field trips, that I want to be able to give my kids a bagged lunch where I don’t worry about the contents coming home. For those days I am building a supply of cracker and cereal box liners.

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