The Rubbish Diet

When I told my husband we were participating in The Rubbish Diet, he asked, “Are you eating less garbage?”  Well, kind of.

Starting Monday, January 23 I’ll be reporting how much trash and recyclables we throw out each week.  I will be ‘weighing in’ with UK based Karen Cannard with the intent of hitting zero waste by the end of the eight week challenge.

Karen started The Rubbish Diet Challenge in 2008 to reduce the amount of trash generated from her household.  She did it and has inspired many other households to do the same.

I started a Trash Diary last year about this time.  That lasted for about six weeks.  I shamefully stopped after that because we were in the midst of a kitchen remodel (that lasted through May) and my daily trash habits eventually went toward an increasing number of disposable plates and cups (convenience prevailed over lugging everything upstairs to the bathtub to wash).  Plus, the kitchen construction waste wasn’t handled as ‘green friendly’ as I had intended (although our contractor did salvage a lot of materials and reused much of the wood for other projects.)

In keeping my trash diary I learned a lot about what I throw away (food scraps, paper towels, and non-recyclable food packaging).  I also found that I do recycle nearly everything that I can, and that I already do a lot to reduce the amount of overall waste (such as using my reusable coffee cup.)  I also noticed a difference in my ‘at home’ waste vs. my ‘on the go’ waste.  Days that I had back to back meetings around the city I used way more disposable packaging than when I had an office day.

I’m ready to take another closer look at my household waste.  My two main goals for The Rubbish Diet are:

  • Identify what we throw away on a weekly basis
  • Identify ways to reduce the amount of trash generated

I anticipate there will be some things I will not eliminate right now (yogurt cups and individual coffee K-cups) and some things I have intended to do for a while but haven’t got around to (eliminate use of paper towels and begin backyard composting).

We shall see how our household habits change and what we learn about our trash over the coming weeks as participants in The Rubbish Diet.


About Amy Marpman

Director of Recycling Services at Great Forest, Inc. in NYC. Continually finding the balance of idealism with the practical realities that make or break recycling programs.
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1 Response to The Rubbish Diet

  1. Pingback: Week 7 of The Rubbish Diet | Beyond the Blue Bin

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