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Living Trash Free – Could You Do It?

COMMUNITY CENTERGreen Homes & BusinessesRecycling & ReusingJan 15, 2015Elizabeth Vaughn

Author: Elizabeth Vaughn

The other day I stumbled upon a story about a girl who hasn’t created trash in 2 years.  Seriously!  No trash.  She stopped buying packaged products, used her own bags and jars to get bulk items from the store, bought only secondhand clothing and made her own personal care and cleaning products.  My mind immediately exploded with questions.  But what about this?  But how can you live without that?  And just…how?!  I can’t wrap my brain around a life with no trash.  Don’t get me wrong, I don’t like trash and I try to create as little as possible but creating absolutely no trash?  It just seems…impossible.  Or maybe more honestly, it sounds like a lot of work.

Truth time – I don’t think I could do it.  Despite the fact that I like to think I’m an environmentally friendly person and – hello! – I’m writing for a “green” blog.  But we keep it real here.  And I’d be willing to bet that most of you out there would feel the same.  And that’s okay.  We shouldn’t feel shamed by these stories, we should feel empowered.  If she can do all that, I can at least do something!  Here are a few things I’m taking away from this:

  • It’s not all or nothing.  While I completely admire how “all in” this girl went, every little bit helps.  If we all choose one thing to change that would decrease the amount of waste we create, that all adds up.
  • Clothes are trash too.  This wasn’t something I ever really thought about.  That shopping habit creates a lot of waste and uses a lot of energy (to ship and make the clothes) and resources (cotton, plastics, etc.).  Note to self: Chill out on the shopping habit or stick to secondhand.  (Bonus: Happier wallet and happier husband.)
  • If you can’t make your own personal/cleaning products, buy responsibly.  I’ll admit that I don’t have plans to start making my own toothpaste any time soon – though more power to this girl who did, I’m impressed – but I do plan to be more picky about what brands I purchase.  I love  They rate thousands of products on how safe, healthy, green and ethical they are.  (That sounded like a commercial but I promise it wasn’t – I just like the website!)  It’s a good way to see where your favorite brands stand when it comes to environmentally sustainable practices.  Remember – voting with your dollar is a powerful way to encourage change!

So – what small thing can you do to scale back on the amount of waste you create?