December 25, 2014

Two Years of Trash

The New Year is almost here so I thought I would finally put this picture up. This is my "trash" jar from the past two years. It contains all of the items that I cannot recycle or compost.

Why am I holding onto them? 

Because I am hoping one day I can find a way to recycle/upcycle them. The last time I went through this jar I realized that a large portion of the plastic that was in there was recyclable! 

If you have any creative reuse ideas or know how I can recycle plastic straws, produce stickers, plastic clothing tags, please let me know!



58 comments:

  1. For plastic straws: http://www.wikihow.com/Category:Plastic-Straw-Craft

    Can't think of anything for the other stuff

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  2. Hi Lauren,
    I'm from Spain. First I want to thank you for your labor here, you are so good. And I want to ask you a question that I have been thinking the last days. What can I do with the fruit skin or the nuts? or What do you do with it?
    Thank you so much!

    Jose

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  3. You can send your produce stickers to Barry Snyder @ Stickerman Produce Art. He makes very cool art with them.

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    Replies
    1. Googled him and was just blown away. Would never have thought something so little could be turned into something so beautiful. Will be saving my fruit stickers for him now.

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    2. Here is the address where you can send your stickers!

      Barry Snyder
      POB 301
      Erie, CO 80516

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  4. Replies
    1. Inge, toilet paper is made from natural cellulose so it is easily biodegradable :)

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  5. Lauren, you are beautiful and inspiring! Thank you for writing this amazing blog!!

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  6. What do you do with your contact lens packages?

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    Replies
    1. Mine come in plastic so I recycle them.

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    2. How can you recycle plastic? The whole point was not to use plastic...I don't get it

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    3. The whole idea is to create zero waste not zero plastic. If would be nice to never use plastic again, but some things you just can't get around, like contact lens solution. Don't use plastic, but if you can't get around it, recycle.

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    4. You could try investing in hard contacts that last for years if your prescription does not change

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  7. Thx for your inspiring articles!
    A couple of weeks ago, I had an interview with a Dutch designer who works with the zero-waste-method for her collections, I think you'll like it!

    (http://maryshoppings.wordpress.com/2014/11/13/145/ )

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  8. I would like to write in English, but I need to train a lot yet, so sorry for the Google Translator errors . =D
    I am vegetarian for almost 10 years and thought I was doing my part , to watch the report in Fantástico/Rede Globo (Brazil) , when I discovered that I can do even more ! Congratulations Lauren, you really can inspire people and this will be my goal for next year !

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    Replies
    1. Thank yo uso much for your lovely and inspiring comment :))

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  9. I truly believe that in practice , what Lauren does, it's what can heal and save the planet for our future generations.

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    Replies
    1. Wow, thank you so much Vivian. This means a lot to me.

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    2. That's true. I wish everybody where like you.

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  10. I read your comment about your plastic contact lens holders. I was recently part of a recycling presentation at my work and found out a lot of interesting information about recycling small plastic items. In the Portland, OR area they ask that you not small pieces of plastic or things that can be crushed and mixed in with paper, because it will not actually be recycled. How exactly do you recycle them. Have you done research into where your recycles go that you put in your recycling bin?

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    Replies
    1. I am very interested to hear the response to this!

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    2. I don't see a response yet. Depending on one's city, many recycling facilities are not equipped to handle all types of plastics, and they end up in the landfills regardless. As Greg posted, an example is small pieces of plastic. Toothbrush bristles, although they are plastic, are too small for hand sorting and end up tossed (you said you recycle them). The reality is that not everything they is placed in a recycling container is recycled. Sadly, you may still be leaving a larger footprint than you realize.

      Great ideas and attempts, though!

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  11. Hola lauren es una labor maravillosa la que realizas dando a entender que no somos ajenos a los cambios del planeta y que desde cualquier condición en la que nos encontremos podemos contribuir grandemente para sanar el presente y el futuro del planeta... tu belleza física resalta la grandeza de tu corazón.. dios te bendiga att: un admirador de Colombia ;)

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  12. Have you heard of tire homes? You pack used tires with dirt and use them as the insulation for your home. I had an earth science teacher back when I was in high school, who built his entire home from tires. I've read where cans and bottles are also used. I wonder if you could submit your small collection of trash to be rammed into one of those tires.

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    Replies
    1. This is the best suggestion I've ever heard!

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  13. Hey Lauren, I just stumbled upon your blog a few days ago and I think it will change my life! Thank you! It is really impressive that you manage to life (almost) waste free.
    So all in all, is it more expensive to live a waste-free lifestyle?

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  14. Absolutely! A youtube channel would be great.

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  15. Hello Lauren, make a nice collage on a picture-frame with glue and sell it by an auction....and contribute the money to an ecological-group......my idea! And no trash! Have a nice year....and greetings from Berlin, Germany!

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  16. completing two years isn't that much easy one, you done a great job and all the best dude.

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  17. Hello! Truly inspiring. Just wondering (and forgive my cluelessness)...do you ever get takeout? Is there a way to incorporate zero waste?

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  18. Have you ever tried eco-bricks? You only have to fill a plastic bottle with all those plastics you can´t reuse. Wraps, stickers, plastic film, etc. There are people that colects them to build houses. Here´s just a sample http://www.greenbusinessguide.co.za/eco-brick-exchange/ , I´m sure there´s someone in NY doing the same. Good luck!!

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  19. Congrats on your feature in NY Magazine!

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  20. You can make a scrapbook with all of it!

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  21. Almost everything. I need to be so much more aware of this. Thank you for bringing this topic up. I make an effort to keep my waste down. I recycle but everything just has way to much packaging. I'll get things and it will be full of the dreaded peanuts as well. It's awful. I can't bring myself to throw them away and I don't know if they are recyclable. The worst is when it's from an ecofriendly company.

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  22. I'd make a piece of folk art out of it and hang it on my wall!

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  23. wow, this is amazing! you're an inspiration.

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  24. since produce stickers are supposedly edible, they might be compostable too . . .

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  27. I'm extremely late to this party, but since your blog and youtube have gotten so popular, I bet you could glue all this trash down onto an upcycled canvas or piece of cardboard or wood and make a piece of art. You could even sell this piece of art online or in an auction and donate the money to a good cause like ocean clean-up. If you framed it, I bet lots of posh buyers would be into a creative reminder that the ability to create less trash is within reach. Just a thought- my upcycle ideas are always "make art" though lol

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