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A Year of Trash

My Trash

Last Updated on January 23, 2024

Y’all. ONE YEAR! I can’t believe it. 

one year of trash in a mason jar

It’s so strange; because, I don’t feel like much has changed. I just shop a little differently and prepare a little more.

I have made so many new friendships and have been offered some pretty cool opportunities like speaking at schools and at Zero Waste Youth USA. I even made front page news! (My mom is so proud.) 

Thank you for coming along on this journey with me! And, welcome new readers who heard about me in the paper! The one year mark means it’s time to do a trash audit! 

trash talk:

So, what do we have? Lots of stickers. They have all stuck together at this point. I have two beer bottle caps, several twist ties, that crazy broccoli tag is still there (it’s just on it’s side) and several plastic films from the tops of bottles. 

I have broken two mason jars which I have thrown away. I figured broken glass in the mason jar sounded a little dangerous?? 

And a note on recycling to all my new readers. Recycling isn’t the answer. I don’t recycle more, I recycle less. 

We view recycling as our savior, but we should be more focused on consuming less and reusing. 

Recycling is an energy intensive process and a lot of things that are “recyclable” – aren’t. Tetra packs, plastic, etc. When the price of oil is so low, there’s no value in recycling plastic. There’s no market for it. 

However, things with a 100% recycle rate are glass and aluminum.

So, keep the wine coming! I now buy my wine in refillable growlers from a local winery and it’s delicious!

(I lamented about not finding a refill spot in my very first trash update!) But, if you don’t have a local fillery glass is totally the way to go! 

My recycling for the year would fit in about 3-4 curbside bins.

Some glass bottles, junk mail (the war still wages), dog food bags, and cardboard.

I try to avoid plastic as much as possible, and focus on refilling. I am so fortunate to live in the bay where I can refill almost everything! 

I composted all of my food scraps, some paper, and a couple of pizza boxes – my kryptonite.

Here’s a couple of tips on composting. If you’re living in an area without access to a lot of bulk I suggest you check out my post on how to shop without bulk here

I would love to hear updates on your waste reduction process? Remember even little things add up over a long period of time! We can all make a difference!  

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  1. Hi Kathryn! I’m on the planning committee for ZWYC and am jazzed to see your work spreading information/resources on living a Zero Waste lifestyle! You hit the mark when you say that recycling won’t be what saves us. I love the model that you shared: "Reject, Reduce, Reuse…etc" See you later this month!

  2. It’s so great to see a zero waste blogger getting recognition in the paper!! Every time I go grocery shopping, I get at least one person asking me about the way I’m grocery shopping. It makes me feel good that people are noticing this lifestyle. Congrats on the front page! 🙂

  3. We are so close to having all our systems in place for zero waste. Running through the last of a few things and figuring it all out! I’ve been using reusable produce and bulk bags for almost 3 years as well as metal straws, homemade deodorant etc. but until recently the idea that I could just not produce trash didn’t cross my mind! So excited stop taking out the trash! 🙂 keep it up!

  4. Katherine, I’m Zero Waste in college and recycle paper. I was wondering, are tickets for movies or plays recyclable? I haven’t found an answer and figured I’d pose the question to you and see if you have any ideas or suggestions!

  5. Hi, i love your posts and the way you raising awareness among people about zero waste and keeping environment clean and healthy for our future generations with such amazing articles and tips. Keep up the good work!!