Try Something: Seven-Day Trash Fast Challenge

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To see just how tough it is to go zero-waste, Earth911 staffer Mary Mazzoni took on on a Seven-Day Trash Fast Challenge – striving to produce as little waste as possible for one week. Read on to see how she did.

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As part of the Seven-Day Trash Fast Challenge, Earth911 staffer Mary Mazzoni produced only a spaghetti sauce jar’s worth of trash in seven days. Photo: Earth911

As an Earth911 staffer, I’m all too familiar with the commonly-referenced (but nonetheless shocking) statistic that every American produces 4.5 pounds of trash each day. Like most greenies, I try to do my part to reduce waste, but I often wonder if there is more I could do to cut back.

While pondering my eco-impact, my thoughts wandered to the Johnson family – who, through a number of simple lifestyle changes, managed to go entirely zero-waste. Our coverage of the family, published last year, features a photo of matriarch Béa Johnson holding a wine glass that contained the family’s trash for 7 months. I couldn’t help wondering, “Could I do this?”

So, with plenty of encouragement from my coworkers, I embarked on a Seven-Day Trash Fast Challenge to see just how much waste I could save and how small my trash can could truly be. As expected, there were plenty of complications along the way and a number of zero-waste lessons to be learned. Follow along in the process as I try to produce the least amount of waste possible for one week, and pick up a few tips to add to your own low-waste repertoire.

NEXT: Seven-Day Trash Fast Challenge: Day One

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