10 Lessons One Family Learned from Their Year with No Trash Can

Our Take

Trash is our business and we deal with it every day. So we are experts on what people throw out on a regular bases or when they are completing a big project around the house. Everything from yard waste to furniture to old memorabilia that didn’t make the decluttering cut, ends up in our dumpsters. While many home projects involve getting rid of a lot of trash and waste, one family decided to do the opposite. They made it their goal to go one year without a trash can and become a zero waste family. While this was not an easy task at first, by taking it one step at a time and learning a lot of lessons along they way, they were able to successfully achieve their goal. Now they want to encourage others to do the same by sharing the top 10 things they learned on their journey to zero waste. The first two lessons are to go slow and not deprive yourself. Much like going on a diet, if you try to make too many changes at once you are more likely to fail. You should also make your own rules or goals and be strict about sticking to them. Instead of modeling your journey to zero waste off someone else, think about how it can work in your life. It will be different for everyone. When you are realistic, you can make yourself follow your rules without too much discomfort. At the same time, if you do end up breaking a rule every now and again give yourself a break. Otherwise you may not be able to continue on your journey. As with many things, the toughest part is getting started and changing your perspective. Get educated about what is possible, set realistic goals and enjoy the process of getting rid of your trash can.

Earth day 2016 marked the completion of our family’s first year without a trash can. As many of our readers already know, this journey began in January of 2014. But at that time we could not imagine living without a garbage can as we were producing a large black garbage bag of trash weekly. However, once we became conscious of what we were putting into our grocery cart and subsequently into the garbage can, the amount of unnecessary waste we produced quickly decreased.

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