October 4, 2013

Two Weeks of Trash.

This post has been a long time coming. Over the past two weeks I have kept all of my trash in a mason jar to start documenting my output. I am going to keep doing this until the end of the year and see how little I can produce!

So this is it. I have a small pile of about 7 produce stickers (which I am still trying to figure out how to avoid), and a sticker from a loose organic bread I bought at Whole Foods last week (unfortunately, they won't let you buy the bread without the sticker). From now on I am going to go to the Bread Alone stand at the farmers market to buy Organic bread because it is totally package free, sticker free, and cheaper! Can't beat it.

The picture below is where I am keeping my trash to document how much I am producing.


  1. how do you fund this lifestyle? do you have any qualms about supporting the major corporation that is Whole Foods and what money spent there ends up supporting?

    1. Hello and thank you for your comment!

      To answer your first question, living a Zero Waste lifestyle actually saves me a lot of money, particularly on food. This is very important for me as I am a recent college graduate living on a very modest entry level salary and I truly understand the importance of a budget. When I go shopping, I bring my own jars and fill them with bulk food saving exponentially as people pay a premium for packaging. The same goes for my vegetables and fruit. I buy my greens and vegetables unpackaged and unwashed which saves me a lot of money. An old post of mine (link below) shows what a week of food shopping is like for me. I usually spend between 35-45 dollars per week on food depending on what I am buying.


      I also save a lot of money on clothing shopping. Along with buying unpackaged, bulk, organic food, I do not buy new clothing from stores. Instead, I do all of my clothing shopping secondhand which saves SO much money. Like food, people pay a premium for name brands in department stores. I am careful to select secondhand items that are in neutral colors, easily washable and natural fabrics, and are well made to decrease the frequency that I need to go shopping. Having fewer articles of clothing also keeps my laundry cost down.

      Another thing that keeps my living costs low is the fact that I live in a small apartment in NYC which is very easy to clean. I do not use a slew of cleaning products and rely mostly on using white vinegar, castile soap, and baking soda which are all items that can be purchased package free/in bulk and that cost much less than conventional cleaning products.

      To answer your second question, I don’t typically shop at Whole Foods. I have actually only gone there a few times. The reason for this is that it is one of the only places in the city that I can find bulk, Organic bread and it is three blocks from my office. I was in a rush and needed bread for a dinner party that I was having and got out of work too late to go to the farmers market, where I would usually purchase my bread. I do the remainder of my food shopping at a small, local grocery store and a local co-op that both have huge bulk selections and only stock organic produce. I do not know much about Whole Foods and where their money goes, but I will definitely research that further.

      Thanks again for writing! I hope this answers your questions!

    2. Thanks so much for your thoughtful response!! I'm definitely going to check out buying loose grains and veggies, now that I know it might actually save me money. Thanks so much again for answering my questions -definitely going to check out this blog in the future!

    3. That's great! I'm glad my response was helpful! :)

      Thanks again for writing!