Trash day

This week my family is participating in the Colin Beavan’s No Impact Experiment. Each day we’re focusing on a different aspect of our consumption and today is Trash Day.

kitchentrashcanTrash Day is an opportunity for us to think about the trash we create and make an effort to reduce our waste. So today I moved our trash can from the kitchen to the garage. Now throwing things away will take extra effort, and with that effort I hope a heightened awareness of what we’re throwing away.

Sound crazy? Maybe, but it’s completely doable. We already compost kitchen scraps; we have a kitchen compost bucket that we dump into our yard waste can (thank you Seattle for making composting easy). So the messy bits don’t go into our trash.

What does go into our trash? I think mostly bits of plastic that can’t be recycled – or bits I don’t think can be recycled. Soon I’ll know exactly what we throw away because in addition to moving the trash can to the garage, I’ll be looking through the trash at week’s end with my kids. I hope to make the experience a fun and interesting family activity (and if not, a funny story for my kids to share).

The goal? By knowing what we throw away, we can make reductions in the amount of trash we create each week.

It’s never too late to be part of the No Impact Experiment. Take a look at the No Impact Experiment how-to manual for ideas on how you can reduce your impact. Any day and every day can be Trash Day.


  1. Please share what you learn about what you can and can’t throw away in the plastics department. It seems to vary from place to place and change over time. I’m still learning every day.

  2. One thing I’m thinking about more is not buying the products that cannot be recycled. For instance, I love my granola brand, but the plastic bags cannot be recycled. The company asks that you mail them back so they can make other products out of them, but how many people are really going to do that?

    I’ve gotten good at not buying overly packaged products, but now I need to take it a step further to decide if I really need products made of non-recyclable material before buying. You can’t get away from it all the time, but I think if enough people comment with their pocketbooks companies will change.

    I would have never bet in a million years when I was a kid that smoking would be basically outlawed in public places, but here we are. If there is the same momentum around recycling and sustainability, it will happen.

    (I can’t wait to hear what your kids think of the trash evaluation!)

  3. Beyond creating less trash, moving the can to the garage has the added benefit of ‘cleaning up’ your kitchen. One less thing in your kitchen while you’re preparing meals / eating. My garage is a good walk from the kitchen, but I may move my can to the laundry room. Still a walk, plus it will be hidden.

  4. I have discovered a new product from a local start up green energy company that I think you all will love. The product is Garbogone and you can buy it at The packets are thrown into your garbage bag before taking it to the curb. The packs ingredients speed the rate at which your garbage decomposes which reduces the amount of space it takes up in the landfill and then produces landfill gas which is being used as a clean renewable energy source. We will never run out of garbage so we will always have a supply of this energy source. Give it a try! For less than a buck a bag it’s worth it to make a difference.

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