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A Year of Living Trashlessly

Between April 2011 and April 2012 (Earth Day to Earth Day), the Barnebys saved every single piece of noncompostable, unrecyclable trash—two brown grocery bags' worth. Here, their inventory.

  • A few dozen cheese wrappers
  • Several nori sheet wrappers (for making sushi)
  • Several plastic vitamin-bottle and yogurt-container rings
  • 1 pasta bag
  • Some nut bags
  • 1 plastic net bag of Mandarin oranges
  • Some chip bags (Geoff’s one vice)
  • Theraflu packaging (from when Geoff was really sick)
  • 1 pretzel bag
  • A few clothing tags
  • Some sponge wrappers (Robin has tried to convince Geoff to go with microfiber cloths, but he likes Twist-brand kitchen sponges)
  • Some Halloween candy wrappers
  • A few broken rubber bands
  • Some popped balloons (yes, Gemma sometimes gets to have a free balloon from the hardware store)
  • 1 lipstick tube
  • Several disposable razor blades
  • 1 coffee bag
  • A few Styrofoam vitamin protectors 
  • Broken plastic beads
  • A few holey socks

Read More:
Follow That Compost!
Zero Waste All-Stars
How To Zero-Waste Your Own Life
The End of the Trash
The Family That Wastes Not


Originally published in the April 2013 issue of San Francisco.

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