B1 Intermediate US 215357 Folder Collection
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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?
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.
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.
Organic vegan makeup in recyclable packaging.
Feminine products?
Menstrual cup.
Gift wrap?
Okay, so you are going to teach me how to make toothpaste.
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.
Let me see your teeth.
They look very nice.
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.
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.
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You Can Live Without Producing Trash

215357 Folder Collection
karen4131 published on April 28, 2017    Silvia W. translated    Mandy Lin reviewed
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