Friday, September 4, 2009

Just the One

You may have read about some of my efforts to go a little more green. So just when I get all proud of myself for cutting our use of paper towels in half, (In half!) I read about these people and discover how lame I really am. In 2008 this couple in New Zealand challenged themselves to create no more than one bag of garbage for the whole year. You heard me, the whole year. And they did it. And not a giant Hefty Steel Sack of garbage either, they used a small grocery bag. I could fill that grocery bag in under an hour with just the help of one toddler, one Popsicle, and a package of Costco baby wipes

Sure, these amazingly greener-than-thou-will-ever-be people don’t have kids but I can hardly use that as my extreme garbage excuse since Bob is not the one in the habit of ordering a set of dessert plates on eBay that come packed in a box the size of an iron lung.

The whole one bag deal is inspiring and at the same time I get a little paralyzed by the idea of all the details that this project would involve. How much would we have to invest in laser hair removal to avoid a mass of disposed razors? Would we have to become those people that teach their pets to use the toilet? (Creepy, yet compelling idea.)

I’ve been getting all, “Worship my petite carbon footprint!” when I manage to fill only three of our four large outside garbage cans in a week. Thanks to a couple in Christchurch New Zealand, I’m now aiming to fill only two.


  1. Oh that's easy to do.

    Just build a big bon fire and burn what doesn't fit in the bag.

    I'm a problem solver. That's why they call me No Fun Mary. Wait. No. That's why they call me Problem Solving Mary.

  2. You go. I LOVE that photo of Bob at the park.

    Stephanie F.

  3. We cut our waste to about a third of the amount by switching the size of the recycle bin with the garbage(straight to landfill) can. We have a large recycle can and a small (bathroom size) garbage can. We also compost. Here's a link to all the things that can be recycled.

  4. You missed the important fact:

    These people are in New Zealand.

    The Hobbits eat their garbage.

  5. i agree with knadele ~ you gotta invest in some leprauchauns ~ theyre abundant here

  6. we're down to half a small county garbage can/week. the rest I pour the leftover racing fuel from our last dirt bike trip over the mound of garbage out back, and the kids enjoy Dad's "cookout." We only burned a few hundred gallons of diesel on our trip too! We're all about Green.

  7. I love Miami however lets be honest there is virtually NO recycling! Its like a new concept around here that hasnt caught on. I can at least say I bought a condo in a new building with recyling option in the trash room. you just push a button for whatever type of trash it is. It make s me feel like Im doing my part. Then I read at ariticle yesterday about a classical singer Juli Borst in New York who made a year long committment to buy nothing new excetp for food, underwear, and health and safety items. I think of her everytime I push the button for glass and throw out another wine bottle.

  8. I can't even comprehend this. There must be hobbits involved.

  9. geeky-green of me: but the real downside of moving to western n.c. has been the fact that we can no longer compost--i love composting!--because of the bears. :( i don't want to meet a bear as we both head to the compost bin... because who loves composting more than i do? bears.