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What If You Had To Keep Your Trash?

By Joe Laur |
What would you do if you had to keep all of the trash you produced? Try this experiment with your family to gain some valuable perspective on your household waste.


How low can you go in the waste limbo?

A friend of mine tried an experiment in college. He had everyone in his class carry around a plastic trash bag for a week. The rule was that any trash that was generated had to go in the bag, and the bag had to stay with the person 24/7. By the end of the week, everyone had lugged their trash around all day and night, to parties and classes and bed. As a result, everyone drastically reduced their trash generation and changed their habits. Only one thing had been different from all other weeks—the plastic bag gave immediate and continuous feedback to each person about the waste they were generating.

What if this was the norm in the world? What if we could no longer pay people to haul our waste away but had to deal with it ourselves, or sell it to others who were clever enough make use of it?

Why not try this at home? Choose a week where you and your family have to keep all the waste you generate that week. Put it somewhere prominent where you (and maybe your neighbors) will see it every day. We know that there is no away anymore, so why not be upfront about it? See what behavior changes you end up making in your purchases, recycling, and other habits. How low can you go in the waste limbo?
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  • Bradley B. 3 years ago
    I've loved this idea since I first read it on the U-KonServe website. I'm the Lead Custodian of a 'Green' elementary school & exploring ways to do this experiment without having to hand-out approx. 350+ plastic liners. A few ideas so far are:

    - Have only the Custodian (me) do the experiment for a day/week & have Green Team students do the personal waste audit in front of the student body.

    - (Same above, but have Principal do it instead)

    - Green Team do day experiment & do waste audit in from of student body.
  • Anne Lalli F. 3 years ago
    One way to eliminate trash is to switch to products with minimal or no packaging. Natural bar soap instead of body wash and shampoo bars instead of liquid shampoo in plastic bottles. It is better for your skin and hair, contains no phalates or parabens, and best of all, no plastic. I but mine online at www.vitapulita.com.
  • Jane S. 3 years ago
    Oh I think this is going to be a hard one to do,but we'll try it.
  • Ysabel P. 3 years ago
    I want to be part of GREEN. PLEASE I NEED THE RECYCLING VASKET OR TRASH CAN IN ORDER TO BRING THE RECYCLE TRASH OUT TO THE STREET. AT
    602 Fourth Street, Apt. C, Destin Fl, 32541.
  • Damien G. 3 years ago
    Good Info.
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