The Truth About Trash

I stumbled across this wonderful blog today called 365 Days of Trash.

The blog author Sustainable Dave spent one year (2008) saving every bit of waste he generated – including recycling – in his basement, just to see how much he would end up with. The rules of his experiment were as follows (taken directly from 365 Days of Trash):
The Rules
1. If something is waste that I have generated, I’ve got to deal with it. If I buy something for myself, the packaging is mine to deal with. Hopefully this will entail figuring out what it is made of, what would happen to it if it were thrown away and what I will be doing with it.2. Any waste that I generate that can be recycled, will also be saved. Recycling is better than throwing away but it still takes energy and creates waste so I think accounting for recycling will be an important factor.
3. Any waste, which for health reasons (dog poop, medical waste from doctors visits, etc.) cannot be saved, will at least be noted and examined regarding the impact of its creation and disposal.
4. Food preparation has been something that I have been struggling with as I have a wife and two daughters who are not undertaking this experiment. Since food will be prepared for the family at times, I’ll have to figure out how to account for this and will be as honest as I can be in my accounting as I go along. In order to make up for any possible discrepancy in this area, I have decided that when out with my daughters, I will be responsible for any waste they generate as well.
5. Finally, I know there will be gray areas that I haven’t thought of, and some of this will have to morph as I go along. That said, I think the golden rule is going to be – when in doubt, it’s my responsibility to deal with.
Dave offers some amazing insight into how much waste we actually generate, and some very practical tips for reducing consumption. His final numbers at the end of the year?
30.5 Pounds
19 Pounds
Plastic Bags
4 Pounds
12 Pounds
Misc. Recycling
26.5 Pounds
69.5 Pounds
9 Pizza Boxes
11 Tetra Paks
153 Glass Bottles
14 Cups
2 Aluminum Cans
64 Plastic Bottles and Jugs
8 Plastic Yogurt Tubs w/Tops
8 Old Paint Cans
And this was from a guy who carries silverware around in his backpack! Quite the eye opener. I hope you check it out.