Local woman produces next to no garbage


As we sidle up to the holidays and begin to see through them to the other side, New Year’s Resolutions are creeping into my thoughts. And I just learned about an amazing local project that could inspire a million different small resolutions–or one really big one.

Rose Brown, who directs the local nonprofit StreamWatch, has this incredible side project called the Zero Garbage Challenge. It is just as it sounds: a personal commitment not to reducing garbage, but actually eliminating it. This makes those of us who merely compost and recycle some of our waste look really bad, because Brown’s garbage for the entire year of 2009 weighed less than half a pound.

Egad! What’s even better is that she shares so many details on her site about how she made this happen. There are lots of great ideas here. Just browsing a couple of sections, I learned several things I didn’t know:

–You can grow your own luffa plant for natural sponges!

–There is such a thing as cellophane freezer bags, which can be composted after use.

–Dr. Bronner’s soap doubles as toothpaste, saving a separate container/packaging.

You get the idea. It’s a little obsessive. But hey–that’s what it takes to stem the tide of garbage we all produce. And wouldn’t it feel amazing to know that in a whole year you had contributed less than half a pound of trash to the world?

This admiring reader will definitely be picking up some tricks from Ms. Brown.