« Yes, I really did save my trash for an entire year... | Main | Happy New Year! »

December 31, 2007


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.


Great idea! You know it would probably have a bigger "wow" impact if say, a family of four, saved their trash for a year. Ourselves, we'd have nowhere to put something of that magnitude, and we recycle and reuse what we can. We usually have about a half a trash container (don't know exactly how much this is, but it's about half of the big waste management container that goes out for trash pickup) a week, which I think is pretty good for a family of five with two babies. We also put out 2 bins of recyclables each week as well. I do notice around our neighborhood that those families who do not put out recyclables usually have the trash spilling over the top of their trash container, and bags sitting next to it on the ground.
I think one just has to be conscious of what they are buying and throwing away in order to reduce waste. One example is the packaging children's toys come in. It's ridiculous the amount of waste these companies produce in packaging.
Buying in bulk from your local natural foods store, and shopping at the farmer's markets in your area helps too!

Rui Brito

Ari, well done! It's because of people like yourself that I love to live in Berkeley! Always thinking outside the box and ahead of the curve!

Josh Shoenfeld

I am impressed! We recycle everything possible, and it is a ton. Our trash load is pretty small compared to most but it still feels like a ton. As a family of 4 we generate about 24 cubic feet per month. If I included my recycling it would probably be twice that. Way to go.


Most of the trash talk (forgive the lame pun) is from people who evidently didn't read the article or the FAQ on your site.

He threw away the organic matter, and washed the wrappers (etc.) off before storing them. It's just paper and plastic waste, so there is no smell. I'm assuming he washed the condoms too... sick as that sounds.

Anyway, I think it was an interesting social experiment that took a lot of time and dedication and was a great way to draw attention to the problem of waste in America. Cheers!

Hui Wee

nut bag - get a life

what kind of chick would bang a guy with an apartment full of trash.

whats next, a year of saved up TP?


The first thought that came to mind for me is, boy that would stink with all the poopy diapers in my house... That most certainly would change our use of disposable diapers to cloth, just for the stink.


Ok, I'm really curious - how did you manage so little trash in an entire year? The CNN story acts as if it's a lot (96 cubic feet they say?), but that's really only 6 or 7 large garbage cans worth of garbage. By myself I throw away half a garbage can every week, or 26 in a year(roughly). Plus recyclables. I don't have a garbage disposal, but I don't throw out much food waste anyway.

vykky ebner

Hey, i think its wicked cool that you did this, i cant wait to see pics. I make art, and i'd deffinately be willing to get on the "make art with some of your trash" train. peace.


I thought this was a story about someone who actually had a mental problem, but after reading it I understand that the guy is from Berkley CA. Never mind.

Linda B.

Awesome project!

Did you modify your daily routines to avoid generating trash? Like choosing products with less packaging than your usual choices or packing your lunch in reusable containers vs. brown bags?

I'd also be interested in a post on your "apartment-dweller" composting techniques.

Val Cox

wow, what a project, thank you for documenting this!

G. Chai

How hygienic is this enterprise? You say you have condoms in your trash. I am assuming they are used...with some organic material somewhere in there. There must be other stuff...like used tissues and such. No wonder local waste management companies require trash to be removed regularly.

If it isn't harmful in any way to you, to people who visit your place and to your neighbors, well, best wishes to you on this project.


a lot of props for you work.We need some more people like you .What do you think the most harmful trash that we use on a daily ?
Mad props from victoria bc

The comments to this entry are closed.

News Articles about This Story

News Videos About This Story

  • ABC News
    This is a great live interview and they too capture a lot of the true spirit of the project.
  • CNN.com
    Reggie is a great host and I enjoyed this interview a great deal.
  • KTVU Bay Area News
    David Stevenson did a great job. He was sincerley interested in the project and a pleasure to talk to about the nuances of the experience.
    I love how the host makes it personal in the end and shows us the trash she generated that morning.

Other Media I've Done

Back to Earth Mailing List

Relevant Websites

  • Back to Earth inc.
    I am the CEO of this company. You can learn more about what I do every day! Let me know what you think.
  • How to Green Events
    If you produce events this site will give you the resources you need to do it and make less trash
  • Inspiring Music Video about Making a Difference
    This video by Nickleback is inspiring!
  • Stopwaste
  • The Great Plastic Menace
    Learn about a pile of plastic TWICE THE SIZE OF TEXAS floating in the ocean. It's true.
  • The Story of Stuff
    A friend of mine in Oakland made this piece. Absolutely phenomenal!
  • Trash Statistics
    I haven't verified all of the information on this site but it seems credible.
  • Women's Earth Alliance - Bottled Water vs. Free Clean Water
    This impressive organization is putting on the African Women and Water Conference in Kenya in March. They are empowering women to learn technologies to provide their own clean water to their communities. Support their efforts!
  • Zero Waste America
    This site offers the real deal perspective and a tremendous amount of statistics and information about the waste situation in our world. While it has not been updated in a while it is still a great resource. Thanks Lynn for all of your tireless research.

Relevant Books

  • Janine Benyus: Biomimicry
  • William McDonough: Cradle to Cradle
  • Christopher D. Cook: Diet for a Dead Planet
  • Paul Hawken, Amory Lovins, Hunter Lovins: Natural Capitalism
  • Julia Butterfly Hill: One Makes a Difference
    Practical information, statistics and resources for finding real solutions to today's challenges. A must read!!! (*****)

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner


  • Seven Star inc. Green Event Planners
    Seven Star is the world’s premier green event planner, producer, and consultant. They produce the highly successful Green Festivals in SF, D.C., and Chicago.
  • To-Go Ware (re-usable containers)
    Tired of making trash from to-go containers? Get one of these awesome reusable to-go products and reduce your footprint!
  • What is Compost?
    This site will give you a good introduction to composting so you can minimize your trash, take away the smell, and make rich fertilizer to return to the earth.
Blog powered by Typepad