TRASH IS TRAGIC
I decided to stop making trash in 2013. Striving for "zero waste", my partner and I contribute almost nothing to landfills, and very little to recycling plants. That means no plastic bottles, no paper towels, no nothin' designed for single use. We re-use or compost most of our discards. The goal is to break free from wasteful habits and end our consumption of plastics. The outcomes include simplicity, health, organization, creativity, never dealing with stink-ass trash.
I offer practical tips for zero waste living in my monthly column, Trash is Tragic. It appears online in the Boston Hassle, with a special blurb in the Counter Culture Compass print edition.
April Zero Waste Grocery Shoppin'
May Zero Waste Kitchen
June How to Kick Plastic Waste in the Dick
August Zero Waste Guide to Moving (or, How a Student Could Stop Being an Unforgivable Trash Pod for One Fucking Day)
ADDITIONAL ZERO WASTE RESOURCES
FOUR SIMPLE, WASTE-REDUCING ITEMS TO CARRY WITH YOU
1. Re-useable drinking container.
2. Re-usable cutlery.
3. Re-usable bag.
4. "No, thanks." Use in response to: would you like a bag, a straw in your drink, a bunch of soy sauce packets, a free sample, etc.
These sites provide strategies and inspiration for developing a zero-waste lifestyle. It's a process, so go slow, and remember that everyone - even the authors below - make some trash. It's not possible to reach absolute zero in a culture that relies on disposables. Start with modest goals and then keep going. By picking and choosing accessible strategies, you'll eventually build your own unique practice that is low-waste, if not zero-waste.
Boston Zero Waste, Emily Paulhus
My New Roots, Sarah Britton - friendly to zero-waste cooking (also a cookbook)
My Plastic Free Life, Beth Terry (see: 1oo Steps to a Plastic-Free Life, How To Store Produce Without Plastic)
No Trash Project, Colleen Doyle
Trash is for Tossers, Lauren Singer (see: zero-waste alternatives to trash-creating products)
Zero Waste Chef, Anne Marie
Zero Waste Home, Bea Johnson (see: 100 Tips for Reducing Waste)
BOOKS - available in your local library
Climate Changed: A Personal Journey Through the Science, Philippe Squarzoni
Generation Wealth, Lauren Greenfield
The Sixth Extinction, Elizabeth Kolbert
Trashed, Derf Backderf
Zero Waste Home, Bea Johnson - a very comprehensive guide
Koyaanisqatsi directed by Godfrey Reggio