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  • The average American produces 4.3 pounds of trash a day.

  • That's almost 1600 pounds a year,

  • but if we took some simple steps,

  • we could go off the trash grid and minimize thousands of pounds of waste into just a single jar.

  • So this is my trash jar.

  • Two years of trash in this tiny little jar?

  • Yep.

  • That's crazy.

  • I mean I probably produce 20 times this much in a day.

  • Yeah, this is everything basically that I couldn't compost,

  • or couldn't recycle, or couldn't figure out what to do with.

  • Where did you get this idea to become zero waste?

  • It kind of all started when I was a senior at NYU studying environmental studies.

  • And one day after class, I went home to make dinner,

  • and I opened my fridge, and I saw that everything in there was packaged in plastic.

  • And I felt like such a hypocrite.

  • We're supposed to be saving the planet,

  • and here you are making all of this trash.

  • I feel like it's really important to live your values,

  • and my values are having a really low environmental impact.

  • I have to live like I want that,

  • and so that's why I decided to change my lifestyle.

  • What was the easiest part about reducing your waste?

  • I think it was just like seeing that I didn't have to do that much to produce very little waste, and by composting and buying in bulk, I essentially eliminated 80% of my waste.

  • Buying package free means needing to have containers

  • to buy things that you can't hold with your hands.

  • For instance, like I buy bulk olive oil,

  • so I bring a Mason jar to fill it up.

  • I'll pick up some beer from a local shop that sells it in growlers

  • that are actually reusable,

  • so that's like a totally waste free way to drink.

  • I imagine you get asked a lot of questions about how do you do this.

  • I've been curious about a few things.

  • - I'm going to throw out a few questions too. - Sure.

  • Plastic toothbrushes?

  • I use a compostable bamboo toothbrush.

  • Sponges?

  • I use a compostable dish brush.

  • Paper towels?

  • Cotton napkins.

  • Plastic cookware?

  • Wood or stainless steel utensils

  • Cotton balls?

  • Reusable cotton rounds.

  • Dryer sheets?

  • Dryer balls that I make myself.

  • What about shampoo?

  • Bulk castile soap.

  • Makeup?

  • Organic vegan makeup in recyclable packaging.

  • Feminine products?

  • Menstrual cup.

  • Gift wrap?

  • Why?

  • Okay, so you are going to teach me how to make toothpaste.

  • Yes.

  • What do I do?

  • So we're going to mix two tablespoons of organic coconut oil,

  • and then a tablespoon of baking soda,

  • and then about 20 drops of the organic peppermint oil.

  • So this is how you make your toothpaste.

  • Mm-hmm.

  • Let me see your teeth.

  • They look very nice.

  • Yeah.

  • What does your dentist think about this?

  • They haven't gotten mad at me yet.

  • So I'll just take this spoon and scoop it onto my toothbrush.

  • It's not bad.

  • It's actually kind of salty.

  • Yeah, that's the baking soda.

  • Yeah, my teeth really do feel cleaner.

  • So, thank you.

  • So do you have any garbage cans in your home here?

  • No, I don't have any garbage cans in my home.

  • Because you don't have any garbage.

  • Exactly.

  • It really does compel me to want to try to reduce my waste.

  • So what tips can you give me or somebody else that wants to do that as well?

  • Yeah I would suggest, you know, look in your garbage can

  • and see what your garbage is,

  • and until you do that you don't really know what you're reducing, right?

  • Step two, using a reusable bag instead of a plastic or paper bag.

  • Just like easy one time changes.

  • I mean, and then the last one would be to actually make your products yourself.

  • So learn how to make toothpaste.

  • Learn how to make deodorant.

  • It's a really fun thing to do.

  • What is your ultimate goal?

  • Before I lived my lifestyle,

  • I wonder, you know, why is there all this trash and why is that okay?

  • And we have to find solutions before it gets out of control.

  • I've never told anyone, oh, you should live this lifestyle

  • or you have to live this way.

  • I kind of just live my lifestyle,

  • put it out there, and see what happens.

  • Be sure to check out another episode of "Going Off Grid"

  • with Mike Basich and his 225 square foot tiny home.

  • I like to think of it as getting back to the basics of humanity.

  • I like feeling connected to the Earth.

  • This episode is a part of "seeker stories".

  • We're trying to bring you cool stories from around the world,

  • but in order to do that, you need to subscribe.

  • So please click on that button, and thanks for watching.

The average American produces 4.3 pounds of trash a day.

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B1 US trash waste garbage jar lifestyle reusable

You Can Live Without Producing Trash

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    karen4131 posted on 2016/05/03
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