This is all of my trash from the past five years.
Lauren lives zero-waste and saves all her trash in this jar.
I'm Lauren Singer. I live in Brooklyn, New York, and I'm the founder of a blog called Trash is for Tossers. It's all about living in a zero-waste lifestyle. I also have a company called The Simply Co., where we make organic vegan laundry detergent. And I have a zero-waste-lifestyle store called Package Free.
我是 Lauren Singer。我住在紐約布魯克林區，我也是 Trash is for Tossers 這個部落格的創立者。裡面的內容都是關於「零廢棄生活」。 我也開了一家公司，叫做 The Simply Co.，我們生產有機純素洗衣精。我也有一間零廢棄生活商店，叫做 Package Free。
I realized that I cared about the environment, but I wasn't living that way, so I decided to go zero-waste. I was an environmental studies major at NYU. And I always was really passionate about environmentalism since I read Rachel Carson's book, Silent Spring, in high school. But it wasn't really until my senior year of college when I was in a course called the Environmental Studies Capstone Course, which is the last class you have to take as an environmental studies major.
And in that class, there was a girl that every day would bring a plastic bag full of food, a plastic clamshell, a plastic fork and knife, and a plastic drink, and a bag of chips, and she would eat her whole dinner and then throw it in the trash. And I thought she was the worst person that I've ever seen for being in environmental studies major but making a lot of trash.
But one day, I went home after class to make dinner, and I opened my fridge, and I realized that every single thing that I had in there was packaged in plastic. And I looked around my apartment and found that all of my beauty products were packaged in plastic, my cleaning products were packaged in plastic, my clothes predominantly were made of plastic. And I realized that I was just as bad as the girl I was staring at in class, thinking that she was the worst. And so I decided to make a change.
First, I decided to go plastic-free. But then I learned about this zero-waste lifestyle, and I decided to go zero-waste to really align what I cared about, which is environmental sustainability, with my day-to-day actions and really live my values.
So what's in the jar?
Wrappers of food that I had in my house before I started going zero-waste, straws that I got from restaurant—I've learned to ask for my drink without a straw—things that connect price tags to the clothing, protective seals, tags that come on, like, the inside of clothing, silica packets, a credit card, present ribbon, Band-Aids, and lots of festival bracelets.
My three main sources of trash were food waste, food packaging, and product packaging. And so, to eliminate those, I just started composting. I started shopping at the farmer's market so I can get food without packaging. And I started making all of my own beauty and cleaning products. And by doing those three things, I eliminated essentially all of my waste.
For me, how I do that is by being prepared by leaving my house with my stainless steel containers and my reusable coffee cup and all of these multiuse items that help me prevent trash in the first place. So I don't even have to make it at all.
One criticism is "How can you have a menstrual cycle and live a zero-waste lifestyle?" But I use a menstrual cup, which is a washable silicone cup. That enables you to go completely single-use-disposable-free on your period. Another criticism that I get is toilet paper. How can you go to the bathroom and live a zero-waste lifestyle? Well, I just got a bidet so you can actually stop using toilet paper altogether. Ha-ha. So, there.
I used to think that the solution to environmental problems was through politicians and proactive policy decisions. But I realize that individuals have a huge impact on the world and the climate. And so, with every American making four and a half pounds of trash per person per day, we contribute to this overall climate issue. And so, by us taking simple steps to reduce our waste, if we all take little steps and all make little changes, that has a big positive impact. And I believe we can make a difference.
我以前都覺得環境問題只有透過政治人物和積極的政策才能解決。但我發現個人行為也能對世界和氣候有巨大影響。每個美國人每天都會製造 4.5 磅的垃圾，我們對這全面的氣候問題也有責任。所以說，我們透過簡單的方式來減少垃圾，如果我們都能邁進一小步、做些小改變，那就會有巨大的正面影響。我相信我們能有所改變。