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December 02, 2007


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Good on you! I try in my own way to be a responsible steward of resources. Knitting grocery bags OUT OF plastic grocery sacks, recycling everything I can, and NOT buying bottled water. I shudder when I think of all the good items carelessly thrown out.I hazard a guess that a family of 4 could live, and live well, off what their neighbors throw away. Lol. I might want to move to Marin and try that....


Good on you! I try in my own way to be a responsible steward of resources. Knitting grocery bags OUT OF plastic grocery sacks, recycling everything I can, and NOT buying bottled water. I shudder when I think of all the good items carelessly thrown out.I hazard a guess that a family of 4 could live, and live well, off what their neighbors throw away. Lol. I might want to move to Marin and try that....


well this is an interesting concept. when i first looked at this blog i instantly thought of a person collecting garbage. but the way you handled this is different from what i anticipated. very organized and thought out. its not really a hazard if hes got it planned out and not making a junkpile in his house.


What's wrong with being a "Liberal, crack-pot Berkeley radical"? :)

Rock on my brother!


To the writer concerned about plastic water bottles, here's a healthier alternative. Buy a water filter and get unlimited clean tasty water that you can carry around in your own reusable containers. The only thing you will throw away is the filter, and your water will not taste like plastic. has a great selection of filters. I like the UTC-500 which you attach under the kitchen sink. It initially costs more than a case of bottled water, but you will save more in the long run. It's totally worth the investment. Good luck.

Deborah D

Did you compose the food waste? From the photos it looks like cardboard, plastic, etc. only.

Really cool! I shared with my kids too.

Do a Google for Bottle Village in Simi Valley. 'Grandma' Prisby built a whole lot of buildings all out of bottles she collected from the trash. A neat place to visit too (we are there all the time to organize field trips with friends that run it).




My questions is: Why were you saving paper and plastics, and other items that could be recycled? Yes, it would have been less "trash" to add to your total, but it would have been better to recycle than to save. We discovered that when we started to recycle any and everything possible, our total trash per week went down dramatically.


Dear Ari,

I totally understand your perspective.

Our community last year started to do single stream recycling, which you can recycle everything without sorting it. It made my life easier, and my garbage was reduced from 4 garbage cans into one garbage can.

The majority of the "trash" went into recycling, and that filled up a supersized waste container. The recycling truck comes by every week to dump it in the dump truck.

It blows my mind that I have wasted trash for the past 20 years, and think of all the landfill I filled. Now I can recycle with the peace of mind that I am contributing to the landfill less and less each year.

As a result of this experience, I have looked into other ways of saving the world from needless trash by using cloth bags while grocery shopping, going to the library instead of purchasing books or magazine, buy recycled products, and the list goes on and on.

Thanks for an eye opener, and I hope many people will hear about you and get enlighten by it.

Happy new year!


Wow! This was an inspirational project. Don't mind the people that are being mean. They are just jealous that they haven't thought of something this great. You are making a difference.


To negative posters: grow up and get informed. This is important, and whatever we can do to reduce waste is better than nothing. To posters bashing Republicans/conservatives: I'm a Republican/conservative and I probably generate less trash/garbage than 98% of the folks posting here, so stop with the sterotyping/bashing. It doesn't help anyone. Based on the recycling containers of my Republican/conservative neighbors on trash day, they are doing a pretty good job, too.

maximum efficiency

Do you buy as much crap with packaging as the average American slog? Do you buy sensibly -- as in what you truly want, not just mindless compulsion? You may need an adjustment factor for the average consumer idiot who just buys crap because it's in the store with a price tag to get a more realistic sense of the volume of the average idiot.
And how about a comparison? What if a comparable amount of excess waste was not generated by not overconsuming, and instead the money spent were put into an investment? The profit benefit would be the best way to convince the offended anti-posters. You can have your cake and eat it too -- by doing something better with your money before it parts from your wallet (or I suppose that would be "gets earmarked from your children's future to pay for your currently incurred debt").


You are an imbecile! There is no way that what you have there is a years worth of garbage. People will believe anything! I will be glad when people will learn that not every idiotic story on the net is true.


Thank you for doing this and for letting others know. You get a lot of flack, but if your intention is true, it matters little what others think. I wish that people would take the time to notice the footprint they leave behind instead of bringing negativity into your attempt. To the (supposedly conservative, supposedly republican) haters: My Christian upbringing has taught me that we have 'dominion' over the world--which is not a right to destroy it but a responsibility to preserve it!
The 5 "R"'s: Repent (your worldly, consumer, materialistic ways-all vanity, all sin), Recieve (Christ, who died for your sins; the ones you knowingly commit AND the ones you do out of ignorance), Reduce, Reuse, Recycle (you know these other three) . Sure, naysayers, It may not "save the world", but it might save your soul when you have to answer to God.


It's about time more people started thinking about TRASH. Even the numnuts who seem quite offended by the project are learning something despite themselves. My favorite comment is that you are "dummer than a day old democrat". It's probably best to learn how to spell d-u-m-b BEFORE applying the word to others...

K Beenham

It is too true - one can't just "throw" something away because it is filling up the landfills. Before I make any purchases, I made damn sure I need the items.

People should stop with the bottled water - drink tap water.

jose teixeira

Here goes a suggestion for your next year´s project: collect all your pee and crap for a hole year.

citizen (of earth)

Admire your dedication and attitude. I totally agree with you on lot of trash being generated from packaging, including carry out bags at grocery stores. Imagine the reduction in the number of plastic or paper bags
if each one of us carry our own reusable bags to carry back groceries from the store.


Hi Ari!

I think you just gave me an excellent idea for a student social studies project! I don't think that your task in creating bundles and bundles of trash is crazy or weird at all! I think you have a true appreciation for the world and it's needs! More power to you! Can't wait to hear about your next idea!


Vraiment impressionnant !!!!

J'espère que cela en fera réfléchir plus d'un et que les choses changerons !*

Jim de France

Carl LaFong


I love the idea - good for you. Way too much waste in our society without a little thought as to maybe reducing our consumption. Your 'act' has raised this into our conscious thought, forcing some people to think a bit. Again - good for you and good for all of us if people take it into their life.

Samuel Johnston

I don't understand why some people feel so much anger towards your private project, except that it must threaten them a great deal and on a very deep level. In honest discussion, with a group of people, I find the first one to say they don't believe in global warming is the one who drives the biggest gas guzzler. Global warming is REAL, the only debate is over what is causing or contributing to it. The pollution from oversized vehicles is REAL whether or not you believe Humans are contributing to global warming.
Congratulations, Ari, for raising awareness and encouraging thoughtful dialogue (in most cases) on important issues that affect everyone Human and their descendents.


opinion (not opion)


I am a very conservative Christian. I say that because some have put you down saying you are a "liberal". I cannot understand how anyone could say that taking care to point out how we destroy God's creation by poor stewardship is a liberal trait. In my opion, you appear conservative (look up the definition of conservative!) I applaud your efforts. We should take care not to be wasteful. I am reminded of the project undertaken by someone else a couple of years ago to buy nothing new for an entire year. I wish I could find the motivation and self control to attempt such a feat!


i wonder how many times you accidentally through something away.

i imagine that you generate a lot less trash and have a better complexion than i do. more often than not, i'm microwaving my meal and using products to treat my resultant acne.

what about fingernail clippings and vacuum cleaner bags? did you keep all that, too?

Paul from Seattle

Very enlightening experiment and I think you expose our serious ignorance on this subject. For those that are aggravated by this is, the only conclusion that I can come to is that they are in denial about how they negatively affect the earth with their waste. I suspect most of them don't have kids and don't care about the legacy they will leave to future generations...very poor character and selfish beyond reproach in my opinion. I'd love to be wrong about this.

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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.
    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.

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