Try Something: Seven-Day Trash Fast Challenge

To see just how tough it is to go zero-waste, Earth911 staffer Mary Mazzoni took on on a Seven-Day Trash Fast Challenge – striving to produce as little waste as possible for one week. Read on to see how she did.

spaghetti, sauce, jar, trash, garbage, earth911, fast, challenge, zero, waste
As part of the Seven-Day Trash Fast Challenge, Earth911 staffer Mary Mazzoni produced only a spaghetti sauce jar’s worth of trash in seven days. Photo: Earth911

As an Earth911 staffer, I’m all too familiar with the commonly-referenced (but nonetheless shocking) statistic that every American produces 4.5 pounds of trash each day. Like most greenies, I try to do my part to reduce waste, but I often wonder if there is more I could do to cut back.

While pondering my eco-impact, my thoughts wandered to the Johnson family – who, through a number of simple lifestyle changes, managed to go entirely zero-waste. Our coverage of the family, published last year, features a photo of matriarch Béa Johnson holding a wine glass that contained the family’s trash for 7 months. I couldn’t help wondering, “Could I do this?”

So, with plenty of encouragement from my coworkers, I embarked on a Seven-Day Trash Fast Challenge to see just how much waste I could save and how small my trash can could truly be. As expected, there were plenty of complications along the way and a number of zero-waste lessons to be learned. Follow along in the process as I try to produce the least amount of waste possible for one week, and pick up a few tips to add to your own low-waste repertoire.

NEXT: Seven-Day Trash Fast Challenge: Day One