Amy and Adam Korst have produced about the same amount of trash in the last year that the average American produces in one day – about four pounds. And they say it hasn’t even been that hard to do. They young couple in Dallas, Oregon decided to try to live trash free for a year on July6, 2009. Since then they’ve produced seventy five small pieces of trash between them, and it fits in a shoe box.
“The average American makes about four and a half pounds of trash a day. So, between the two of us [she and Adam] that would be about eight pounds of garbage a day that we could send to the landfill to meet that statistic,” Amy told her local Portland News station, KGW.
What does eight pounds a day for a year add up to? 2,920 pounds of trash.
So how did the Korst’s cut 2,920 pounds of waste from their life style? The most important rule of their new way of life – don’t buy things you can’t recycle or compost.
“We don’t buy anything that’s packaged in trash. We look at the packaging ahead of time and if it’s packaged in something not recyclable, we don’t buy it,” said Amy. The couple even moved into a new home during the year, an activity that usually produces large amounts of trash. The Korsts managed to produce almost none by using boxes made of recycled cardboard that they then donated for reuse and recyclable paper tape.
The couple also composts food waste, grows their own food and tries to buy food from farmers markets rather than the grocery store.
“If everybody made that really simple change to look at the packaging before they buy it, and buy the most recyclable option, [we'd all] drastically reduce our waste,” Amy said.
You can learn more about their story at their blog, the “Green Garbage Project.“