This next guest post is from Jen over at The Clean Bin Project. Jen’s was one of the first blogs I came across, and she had me hooked from the beginning! She writes about living a zero-waste, consumer-free year. She and her roommates Grant and Rhyannon are trying not to generate any waste at all for one year. They’ve only got one week left, so head on over to see how they’re doing.
About a year ago, my roommates and I were talking a lot of trash. More specifically, we were talking about how we could reduce it. How we could have less crap coming into our house and ending up in the landfill.
The trouble was, that it was just that – talk. We were aware that we wanted to change, but we could seem to actually do it.
I know lots of people like this. People who say “oh, it’s so great that you’re trying to live zero waste. I could never do it” or “I wish I could do it.”
You can! We all can!
The trick for us was going public. We picked a date, told everyone we knew, and started our year long project. Writing a blog and talking about it with family and co-workers is what has kept us on track. I would be so embarrassed if they saw me eating out of a takeout container or putting something in the garbage that I would never do it. We are intrinsically programmed to practice what we preach.
Being part of team also helps. I’m not just trying to cut down on garbage on my own, all three people in my household are doing it. Plus the hundreds of others out there who are blogging about it. Other writers like Simple Savvy are my support system, reminding me that even if the person beside me in line at the grocery store is double bagging everything, there are lots of other people out there who are thinking about their environmental impact.
It’s actually kind of fun, like a contest. (our year long project actually is a contest between the three of us). Everyday I try to make it one more day without buying something and without putting something in the garbage. Everyday I say “No bag please. No straw please. I don’t need a napkin. No toothpicks. . . .” They’re little things, but they add up. I’m not saying we never end up with crap we don’t need, but at least we’re thinking about it, and talking about it, and acting on it.
365 days ago we had a nearly full garbage bin every week. Now, thanks to composting, home baking, and discerning shopping, we don’t even use a garbage bin. And strangely enough, the hardest part wasn’t trying to live waste free, it was making the public commitment to do it.
Thanks, Jen! Make sure to check out Jen’s description of The Project to get an overall understanding of what they’re doing. I can’t wait to see what they’ll throw away this year.