–By Marisa Mercurio
A week without any waste: can it be done? From Sept. 5-11, I intend to find out. The zero waste lifestyle has taken off in the past few years in an effort to stem the flow of garbage into landfills, oceans, and animals. In the United States, the average person creates 4.3 pounds of waste a day and over half of what we toss ends up in a landfill.
Zero Waste Week is a seven-day challenge that began in 2008, but this will be the first year I will be participating. Since I undertook the Plastic Free July challenge two months ago, I’ve made some changes in my life with regards to my impact on the environment. I bought a composter with which I turn waste materials into soil for my garden, spend more time purchasing local and organic produce from farmers markets, and am generally much more conscious of what I purchase and use.
Even though recycling and composting are allowed, a week without garbage is a little daunting. In the coming week I’ll be putting away my garbage cans and replacing them with a single Mason jar and we’ll see how waste-free an average American can live.