Family Effort Pares Down Waste by 99%
The average American generates three pounds of garbage per day. Writer Maureen Wijnen’s family challenged themselves to see just how low they could go—and the results were astonishing.
About two years ago our family decided to do something to reduce how much we were polluting the Earth. My son Carsten, 13, suggested trying to see how far we could reduce the trash that we produce. It was a fascinating challenge.
We are a mathy family, and this was something we could really measure and track. Carsten, being the computer man, found the data: In the United States the average person generates three pounds of garbage per day. How far could we reduce that?
We dove into the project. Of course it really helps when your teenager is the driving force. Teens don’t let adults get away with anything.
Our first step was to move the trashcan so that we wouldn’t unconsciously toss trash in it. We also placed a pen and paper and we wrote down everything that went into the can.
Food scraps were a large portion of our trash. We learned that even living … Read More