My Trash

Two years of trash: 
Four months of trash:

Two months of trash:
One month of trash:




177 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Thank you so much!! It has been an amazing journey! I am so happy to be able to share my experiences :)

      -Lauren

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    2. when are you going to do another workshop ...to learn how to create tooth paste with natural ingredients... i love what you are doing , i hope we can all follow your example!

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    3. So proud of what you are contributing to the environment!

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  2. It's such a slap that trash comes from organic products!

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    1. What is she doing when she have her Periode? What s she doing with all of her used tampons ect.?

      betti.mehecske@gmail.com

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    2. What is she doing when she have her Periode? What s she doing with all of her used tampons ect.?

      betti.mehecske@gmail.com

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    3. From what I've read from other non-waste creators, many use a menstrual cup https://hu.wikipedia.org/wiki/Menstru%C3%A1ci%C3%B3s_cs%C3%A9sze

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    4. I'm surprised that today people still ask this question - on no-waste hygiene products. I'm not blaming people, I'm blaming marketologists that were supposed to spread the news about earth-wise alternatives.

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  3. WOW! hope to be able to produce such a small amount of trash one day! thanks for the inspiration!

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  4. This is amazing! So inspiring!

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  5. Did you find a way to reduce trash coming from medecines when you get ill?

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    1. Hi Jul,

      To be honest, I don't really get sick. If I do, I just go with natural remedies like shots of apple cider vinegar or making tea out of fresh ginger with lemon for my stomach or for a cold. I know that isn't really the answer you were looking for, but truthfully since switching to this way of living and eating a lot cleaner and healthier, I really don't ever have the need for medicine - but I am a huge fan of going the natural route if I do :)

      Hope this helps!
      Lauren

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    2. Jul,

      Another suggestion is getting handkerchiefs instead of napkins or tissues if you do get sick. Saves a lot of waste from nose blowing haha

      Lauren

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  6. It's safe to assume you use a diva cup or something of the sort during menstruation? If so, can you review that product? Or place a link if you've already done so? I've been curious about finding a new method for some time, but don't know anyone that has actually made the switch.

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    1. Hi! Yes I use a Lunette Cup - this is a post I did of it on my friend Alden's blog, Ecocult. http://ecocult.com/2014/men-avert-your-eyes-the-sustainable-lady-thing-that-will-change-your-life/

      I LOVE it. It is the best thing ever.

      Hope this is helpful!

      x Lauren

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    2. I love the NaturCup - the site is in spanish, but I figured out how to buy it anyway... hope it sends to USA too. Otherwise it's for you European people out there :)

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    3. im using organic cotton tampons... and only use a few a year - any comments?

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    4. I use organic cotton tampons (without applicators), as well. I tried the DivaCup for a year and wanted so badly to love it, but I frequently had small leaks and some close calls of big spills. I usually ended up using a thong panty liner with it, so I feel like the applicator free eco-tampons end up being the more sustainable choice for me.
      -Molly

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    5. I, too, wanted to love the DivaCup, but it was really uncomfortable and I had to give up on it. I've been using Sea Pearls natural sea sponges for years now and love them (except their cleaning between changes can be an issue if you don't have access to a sink in a private bathroom). For an in-depth (but not for the faint-of-heart reader) review of these, visit: http://raisingmyboychick.com/2010/07/sea-pearls-menstrual-sponges-a-review/

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    6. I have a Lunette cup too and have found it to be really comfortable and easy to use! I had a few leaks for a couple months but have now figured it out. Cleaning between changes has not been an issue because you can usually make it about 12 hours and therefore do it at home- morning and after work or before bed. A few of my friends have switched over as well and it's all worked out okay. I highly recommend it!

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    7. The cup may be the wrong size for those who have leaks, or you may need to change it more often. I just did the first week with the diva cup and I had no leaks even though it was too big for me (I need a shorter one) but I found I had to empty it more often since I have a heavy flow. It did take 2 days off my normal 7 day period thougj, bonus, I think it's the suction it creates each time you change it. But an alternative to this, that is newer, and less wasteful is the natural sea sponge tampons that can be used for a few periods and sterilized. Hope this helps.

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    8. I have been using the MeLuna Cup for about a year. Despite loving the concept, I never grew really fond of it, as I could always "feel" it. Instead of going back to tampons, I decided to give the Lunette cup a try. It was love at first... well, not exactly sight, but you get the gist. ;-) I have been using it for the past six months and the only thing I am sorry about is the fact that I didn't use one for the past thirty years... However, with yet a decade or so left until menopause, I am glad I made the transition. If you are not feeling comfortable with your cup, it might either be the wrong size, shape or material for you. I can only recommend trying a different one, it's really worth it.

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  7. You rock! I have followed the Zero Waste Home blog for a couple years and I am so glad to have found your blog. I love reading about real people who make it a reality. Thank you for sharing. It is so inspiring.

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    1. Hi Erica!

      Wow thank you so much! Bea is fantastic and such an inspiration. I'm really glad you like my blog as well, it means so much to me :)))

      I hope you have a wonderful day!

      Lauren

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  8. and how about the toilet paper? that is also a trash, that later goes into and poisons oceans!!!! I am glad that there are still more and more people concious like you, but we shouldnt be forgetting about everything else that later on goes and polutes the ocean.

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    1. Simona5 - Do you have any advice on how to deal with it? How do you reduce/eliminate it?

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    2. You can use washable dry or wet wipes :) a great place to start is to look through www.cheekywipes.com

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    3. I use 100% recycled and biodegradable toilet paper. It breaks down in water - also it is broken down by bacteria in the waste water treatment process - not oceans.

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    4. A bidet is something to look into.

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    5. just a note, as you're probably aware but maybe some of your readers aren't, there is a difference between 100% recycled and 100% recycled, post-consumer paper. What is often considered 'recycled' includes virgin materials leftover from other processing points, while post-consumer is purely recycled inputs. ... you're doing a great job! Congrats.

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  9. Have you sourced toilet paper that does not come in a plastic package? I noticed that you recommend a recycled TP product, but I don't see the plastic wrapper in your trash photos. Just curious if you know something I don't about TP that's not wrapped in plastic.

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    1. You can buy 100% recycled Seventh Generation toilet paper in paper packaging, but it is more expensive than buying a case that is packaged in plastic - however, the grocery store I shop at recycles the plastic packaging that comes over the toilet paper. Still, it's not great.

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  10. Excuse me, how do you get things like vinegar, baking soda, toilet paper, or even meat without some kind of packaging?

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    1. I buy them in bulk at my local natural foods store.

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    2. unfortunately there are many areas that do not have any of these...

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    3. I can tell you about vinegar. It is really easy to make. All you have to do is chunk up some fruit (it doesn't even have to be particularly fresh), put it in a bowl, and stir the heck out of it. Cover it with a clean cloth and stir a few times a day for a two to three weeks. Strain it and voila! A perfect salad vinegar. For a stronger vinegar, you can add sugar and stir it for a few more weeks. I think white vinegar is made from sugar water, but I haven't tried it yet.

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  11. I am wondering the same thing as Natasha and Mindy...

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  12. Hey there! Respect, you're doing an amazing job!
    I really want to follow your example, but I was wondering, what do you do when going to the toilet?


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  13. There is toilet paper that comes in paper wrapping--the tp itself is also recycled and biodegradable. Vinegar and baking soda come in recyclable paper carton and plastic bottle. Meat though...that's a tough one. We've asked at the butcher counter in the grocery store for them to only wrap in paper and they say they "are not allowed." Buying at a farmers market is a good option.

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    1. Get one good plastic back and reuse.

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    2. or hunt your own meat - it comes in natural package - skin hair feathers etc.. ;)

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    3. Sorry, but eating meat can never be zero waste! You may manage not to bring waste into your own home, but behind your steak, burger or sausage, there are thousands of gallons of water, tons of manure and CO2. I like the zero waste concept, but it should be more than a challenge about who manages to bring as little waste into their home as possible. If you really care about it from an environmental point of view, you'd have to consider stop eating meat altogether. Dairy products as well, actually, but that's where I draw to line, thus I'll never be able to live a zero waste lifestyle. But you have to start somewhere, huh?

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  15. Sophie (from the Netherlands :) )Monday, November 24, 2014

    Thank you Lauren, you're one of the pioneers and I will enhance your lifestyle. Thanks for putting up this website. Right now I recycle other people's trash into usable things, just to make people think about all the trash that's actually a lot more worthy than most think. The transition has begun slowly, but it started!! And you're one of them who truly proves it. thanks thanks thanks again!

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  16. Replies
    1. Hi! I am vegetarian, but I believe it is everybody's personal choice. I would like to emphasize that this blog is not about how to eat or what choices to make but how to live so you produce as least trash has you can. :)

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    2. Yeah but looking at a from a purely environmental stance, vegans have a far smaller ecological footprint. (you can learn about that here http://www.cowspiracy.com/facts/ ) So if you truly want to make as little trash as possible and do the most for the environment, then veganism is the way. I'm not perfect either though haha, I make my fair share of trash. I think what you're doing is amazing, we all have something that we can learn from each other. I'm definitely going to move towards what you're doing in the future.

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  17. As I was looking at my packed lunch today, I was wondering how you pack up things for a sack lunch. What do you wrap your sandwich in? If you have things like carrot sticks or a couple cookies or something, what do you wrap them in? I use waxed paper for some things, but I don't think you use plastic containers. How do you do it?

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    1. Buy cute boxes! There are steel boxes, nice jars or, okay, I have a cute plastic one that I will use forever with foxes on them. They came in a set of 4 small to large! I know plastic is not the best but I allways drop my jars :(

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  18. how do you go about eliminating huge amount of toilet paper ? you're doing a great job and all. But even if it's unbleached, recycled and can't see it after it's flushed down the toilet, it's still waste.

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    1. Toilet paper reduction.

      For people that have grown up in the West only, this could sound a little gross. However, in my own experience, I have seen a majority of people in the Middle East and Asian Subcontinent wash with water after using the toilet.

      A bottle or jug is kept in the toilet, but modern fixtures are also available. You can keep a small personal towel to dry yourself at home, if you feel you need it. Washing hands thoroughly afterwards keeps you safe from transferring bacteria.

      Culturally speaking, however, only the left hand is used to wash themselves, hence, people will eat/ perform religious tasks etc using the right hand only.

      I imagine the same method is used in many developing countries where toilet roll is not available/ affordable, or before it was invented.

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  19. The little stickers that come on produce are edible. The paper, ink and adhesive are all food grade. So, technically, you could eat them and your body would process and eliminate them from your trash. While I'm not sure if that would be a good idea, if they're edible, maybe you can find another way to dispose of them responsibly and keep them out of your trash jar.

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    1. hey Anonymous - I bet your trash doesn't fit in a jar - you are just being a smart ass so get off the girls page and let her continue helping the environment that YOU are wasting space in.

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    2. Actually, I was being informative and helpful. Most people don't know those stickers are food grade and edible and I figured she was one of them considering they were in her trash jar. I felt that information would be helpful to her because her goal is to eliminate the amount of trash she produces. That information could help her dispose of the stickers in a different way and would therefore reduce the amount of trash in her jar which is her goal. I completely support Ms. Singer and felt that by sharing this information I would be helping her and her readers. I'm sorry but you read something into my comment that didn't exist.

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    3. I don't know if all stickers are edible as they always appear in my garden when I use my compost so I am assuming that some are plastic as they don't decompose. Same problem with some tea bags.

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    4. Yes. A lot of these little stickers are plastic, and pointlessly go. You can tell by stretching the edges; paper ones rip.

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    5. thats a very good idea!

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  20. Is in this 'trash' all the recyclable stuff recycled? Or can you still recycle some stuff.. which is still not 'trash trash' right :) like the receipt!

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    1. I actually read somewhere that you can't recycle receipts since it is thermal paper and thermal paper can't be recycled.

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  21. You are simply amazing. It takes a lot of dedication to what you truly believe in to accomplish this lifestyle. You are in inspiration. Keep up the great work.

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  22. how often do you wash your hair ? how do you do it? do you brush your theet ?

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    1. She makes her own products as in DIYs.You can google and it would probably fascinate you that almost all of the body products you use,from toothpastes to moisturizes,you can make your own products and save a lot of money.It's also chemical-free and good for your body. Just search 'how to make your own toothpaste' or 'how to make your own body scrub' or whatever you want and you can save yourself a lot of packaging waste and money. This is one of my favourite concepts brought up by her.

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  23. Lauren, congratulations ! You are fantastic !! I'm brazilian and still learnig how to speak english and sometimes I need to ask a help for a electronic translator to understand all words in your blog but it does not prevent to understand your message and dream. I live in São Paulo and everyday see people complain about water shortage, trash in the streets, etc.. but no one trying to do something to solve the problems. You live your ideals and is a exemple for all. The world needs more Lauren's...

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  24. Thank you for this article, always motivating to see other people on the same path we chose. Feeling less lonely ;) About toilet paper and toilet in general, we could mention the dry toilet also called composting toilet. It doesn't require any water (and does not pollute any water, no treatment needed !!) and you can use the compost you produce to grow vegetables or other plants (afterwards, when the composting process is over of course, so when it's looking and smelling like earth only). Ours is homemade and we've been using it with pleasure for the last two years, thereby also avoiding to have to buy compost for the garden. For French speakers/readers, here's an article that includes several resources about our own toilet experiment: http://www.mise-au-vert.org/toilettesechepowa/ (the whole blog includes a lot of green/alternative daily experiments).

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  25. It's so cool. But, tell me: what do you do with absorbent and toilet paper? I know, it's personal, but I was curious about.

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  26. Amazing! One small jar, and thats it.

    Thanks for sharing this.

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  27. What is one supposed to do with things like paper packaging with food on it? Compost or recycle? The question behind the question is: Can you please link some sources so that we can figure out what we can do with our waste? I've been working on this for a full year, and I'm still only down to 1 wastebasket per week. I want to do better.

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  28. I've read all the comments above and think this (quite personal) question hasn't been asked yet: what do you use for birth control/protection from STD? Would love to hear if you have any sustainable tips on this topic!

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  29. Thank you,this is really inspiring!!

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  30. Gracias por preocuparte por hacer un mundo mejor!! �� desde España te mando saludos

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  31. My wonderfull daughter introduced me to you blog, very informative, interesting and well put together, keep up the good work !!!!

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  32. just a question: do u use mooncup for your period?

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  33. That's amazing! Thanks for sharing your way of life with us!! :) Impressive!!!

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  34. You are a role model and are very beautiful too ...

    from the end of the world .. Chile

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  35. Love to see that you trash includes some remnants of companies I love - Equal Exchange bananas!! At least it tells a story of supporting small scale farmers and a better food system.

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  36. I'm assuming you compost too....?

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    1. Hi Lizzy!
      Yes, here is a post I wrote on this topic:
      http://www.trashisfortossers.com/2013/06/composting-in-city.html

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  37. I just saw you in a nationally televised TV show in Brazil .... Congratulations to your initiative to make something good for the planet!

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  38. Hello! I saw a reporter here in Brazil about your life's style. It's amazing!!! Congratulations Lauren! Thanks for showing that. I hope change my life's style too. I got one question... How do you use get rice, beans, milk or all of that products that come in some package in supermarket? I mean, thinks that you can't produce at home. Thanks Lauren!

    Greice Nascimento

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  39. Hello! I saw a reporter here in Brazil about your life's style. It's amazing!!! Congratulations Lauren! Thanks for showing that. I hope change my life's style too. I got one question... How do you use get rice, beans, milk or all of that products that come in some package in supermarket? I mean, thinks that you can't produce at home. Thanks Lauren!

    Greice Nascimento

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    1. Hi Greice! I am also trying to decrease my waste in Brasil... and I find that "lojas a granel" are the most helpful - these stores where you can buy natural products and grains etc by weight. I get my rice, beans, lentils, chickpeas all there (and quite often it is so much cheaper!). You can take your own cloth bags or glass containers and talk to the sales people, to allow your packaging! That's what I do. Good luck! As for the milk, I still haven't figured that one out...

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  40. now i u try to do what you do, whant so mutch to be vegetarian

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  41. Greice, a Lauren compra a granel. Com certeza vc encontra no Brasil tb.

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  42. Thank you for inspiring us!!

    Kisses from Brazil!!!

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    1. I am so happy that my journey inspires others :)

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  43. Hi Lauren...congrats!!! you are doing a great job raising awareness about consumerism and solid waste management...though the article I read said that you still use napkins, so, I as wondering if you ever heard about the mooncups?

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    1. Hi! Yes, actually I made a post on this topic:
      http://www.trashisfortossers.com/2014/08/lets-talk-menses.html

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  44. Hi Lauren!
    Thanks for the inspiration, i'm a environment science student also!!
    Do you know where to shop in San Diego,CA? please let me know if you know a place.

    Hugs.
    Itzel.

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    1. Itzel, unfortunately not at this moment, but you can check back on "Where To Buy" for updates.
      Lauren

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  45. What do you do with the cardboard from the toothbrushes?

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  46. Congratulations Lauren. You are quite amazing. Regarding the mason jar, may i ask a question? I don't know if you go to a fast food place. If you ask for a coffee, they would have to measure it in their paper cup before pouring it into the jar, right? In that case, I am guessing they may be discarding the paper cup. Or do they just pour coffee directly into the jar? Thanks.

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  47. Hi Lauren - as a pretty ardent recycler, you have inspired me to try to do more! I bring my recycling from home to where I work because our city doesn't have a recycling program. I reuse styrofoam cups and then recycle them as well. I save toilet paper rolls to stuff dryer lint into for kindling. But it does amaze me how much more I COULD be doing now that I have read your articles. Thanks for trying to help save the environment. I'm considering donating to your kickstarter campaign - am wondering how effective your detergeant is? Thanks!

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    1. Hi, I am so happy you found inspiration here! I have been using it for over two years and it works as good as any other detergent soap- minus the yucky chemicals.

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    1. I am inclined to agree with the above comment, although I wouldn't be so harsh to Lauren. Instead I propose, we ask Lauren for her opinion on the same matter.

      @ Lauren: Would you think you are indirectly contributing to industrial waste by spending considerable wealth on rare products from non-sustainable industrial corporations? In other words, do you think your model is scalable to a large population, such as that of a community with inherent large economic inequalities?

      Most average (i.e. not wealthy) people spend most of their income on public services and basic commodities that everyone requires such as electricity, rent, water, food and communication that are currently available only in non-sustainable forms. Are you cutting down on these as well? For example, You may not be using plastic spoons, but spending sufficient clean drinking water to clean your silverware.

      What are your thoughts on effective government policy towards sustainability to more effectively control all human effects on the environment? Thanks and keep up the good work!

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    2. Lauren, please do not let unfair criticisms by anonymous commenters get you down. A step at a time, Anonymous. "Advocating for policy change" is not something that Lauren can do on her own. She is doing her best as an individual, to be environment-friendly. Large scale changes need more people - and I wish you would help provide ideas instead of just criticizing her efforts and labeling her a "privileged environmentalist". Yes, I am aware that the laundry detergent that Lauren sells is...more expensive than generic brands, but I also know that there are recipes available online for homemade toothpaste, etc

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    3. Even if you don't go 100% Lauren's way you can pick up some ideas and use some of these to inspire you to leave a smaller foot print on the earth. Even if you just start looking at the packaging of what you are buying. Bring some cloth bags to the grocery to put your oranges and apples in instead of the plastic bags. Use reusable bags when you grocery shop. Buy organic when you can. Use glass not plastic. There are so many things anyone can do to lessen their carbon foot print on this earth. Grown some veggies in pots, start a compost pile... these aren't hard things to do. Just responsible things to try and do.

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  49. this a great idea, you need to take it arround the world the trash iits consuming us! i will tray to I to promote it in Colombia and Spain, but like all great ideas have to start with yourself, you're a great example for many people especially for me. congratulations for taking this step

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  50. This is very inspiring. Going to reduce my waste as drastically as I can. For the food stickers, you could always grab that one apple that never has a sticker on it (I'm very good at that; cashiers hate me) and then note on your phone the number, then when you get to cashier, read her the number to type in. Avoid that tiny sticker!

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  51. Hi Lauren, I live in Sonora, México and I'm just discovery your page. Is amazing. I would try to do the same in my house. Thanks for your experience and récipes.

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  52. it's really great what you're doing! i starting to do the same, but i don't know what do you do when female issues come????

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    1. Hi Mica, I hear you! Here is what I wrote on this topic:
      http://www.trashisfortossers.com/2014/08/lets-talk-menses.html

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  53. dont use kotex or tampax, contaminous, danger.. use toallet of cotton or dive cup o lunar cup, seehttp://www.mamanatural.com.mx/2014/12/que-es-y-por-que-es-bueno-usar-la-copa-menstrual/, or http://goddessofsacredsex.com/2013/03/17/the-sacred-power-of-menstrual-blood/ or http://menstrual-cups.livejournal.com/

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  54. Really inspired by what you're doing. I get so depressed and anxious when I see what I'm throwing into the garbage every day. I've taken little steps to reduce, but now I see how much more I (and the rest of the world) can do. Thank you for sharing your story!

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  55. So I was wondering, what do you do about toilet paper and "feminine hygiene products".

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    1. Hi Austin! I get biodegradable toilet paper. You can get organic cotton tampons and here is link for a post I did on this topic:
      http://www.trashisfortossers.com/2014/08/lets-talk-menses.html

      x.Lauren

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  56. I'm of mixed feelings.

    On the one hand, this shows that a low waste lifestyle is possible, at least for a few people.

    But right now, many people do not have the same access to such means and products, do not have the time, energy, ability and money to make their own substitutes. Meanwhile most people will buy the more wasteful products because they are cheaper.

    It is possible for us as a society to move towards a very low impact, but it is going to require a major shift in consciousness. Lastly, there is more to waste than simply consumer products, but the waste of everything we use, including utilities and services that we use - from footpaths to electricity.

    Sadly, I don't have much hope for a low-waste society unless there is a big shift in consciousness away from consumerism/capitalism.

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  57. you are amazing and changed the way i look at rubbish immediately

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    1. Thank you! I am so happy my lifestyle inspires others.
      x.Lauren

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  58. I have no problems with people trying to waste less and live a better life styles but I have big problems with peoples making claims about things that they don't understand. Lauren was saying that she is "so sick of why the f*uck there are so many chemicals out there". And in the video there are people trying to pronounce different chemical names. Give me a break, did you even learn any thing from chemistry in high school? Everything is made from chemicals and chemicals do not have to mean bad. For example, water is hydrogen oxide, baking soda is sodium bicarbonate, paper is a type of polymer .... I feel like it is a scam to ask people to donate money for her to make her "chemical-free laundry powder" and what ingredients would be in it? She has no ideas what she is talking about in terms of ingredients of products and their effects on human health.

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    1. Well, it feels a scam because it is. I've been making my own detergent, of the same three ingredients she uses, for years now. Why that detergent, a recipe all over the internet, wasn't a part of one of her videos, I'm not sure. Where it could have been a video that can share information to help others save money and do a good thing, while still giving her a profit from YouTube ad revenue, she instead opted to not share and just keep the money. Could have been a win win, but instead just a win on her end. Hopefully people will just check google and realize that the information is out there.

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  59. Just seen this on Care 2 Care and, like a lot of respondents, impressed with Lauren's efforts and those 'anonymous' critics with the 'right-on' politics are hopefully doing their bit as well, because this is such a massive problem in society that we all have to do whatever we can to put a stop to it, before it puts a stop to us. I will pass this on to 3 people from Northumberland Wildlife Trust here in Newcastle, England, who have just spent January 'goingplasticfree'. Peter P.S. apologies for also being 'anonymous' but I don't know how else to get this thing to work!

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  60. Lauren I think you have some great ideas. I love that you are inspiring people without any government money or laws forcing your views on others. This is what the world needs most - freedom to be inspired. Thanks for making me re-think what I can do better!

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  61. As an older woman who struggles with incontinence, for which there are no "cups" available, what
    "recyclable" do you suggest to capture urine?

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    1. These products have had great reviews! I have tried and loved reusable panties with leak protection

      http://www.dearkates.com
      http://www.shethinx.com
      http://www.knixwear.com/pages/our-technology

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  62. OK, I've got a question. Did you get sick in those two years? And didn't you use any medicine? Because it's always in plastic. Thank you.

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    1. i would assume that the plastic bottles are recyclable. that's how i "dispose" of mine.

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    2. I didn't get sick, but I had to use few supplements. So the tops are in my trash jar, but I recycle the bottles.

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  63. So impressive! but one question. If any trash is generated by someone but the ultimate generator is you, in this case, do you consider the trash as yours? I mean, for example, if you are invited by your friends, you would eat some food with them. Even though you did not generate the trash directly, the trash will be generated by your friends. I am just curious about this issue. This is not criticism!!

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  65. FYI- in the picture labelled 'one month of trash', those bar code stickers that come on pieces of fruit and vegetables are edible, and need not be thrown out.

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    1. Here is a simple thing that everyone can do no matter where they shop. It's demonstrable and sends a message. Whenever you can, bring your own non plastic bags and storage containers when you go shopping. Fill your cart with as much unpackaged stuff as you can but then get the things that are packaged that you need or want. Then before taking it home, liberate as much from it's packaging as possible RIGHT THERE IN THE STORE. Do it out of the way but visibly to others. Consolidate your goods in the bags and containers that you brought. Then take all the packaging you have sloughed off bundle it neatly and LEAVE IT AT THE STORE. Ask a cashier of manager to please recycle it properly. I have done this for a couple of years now and I have never been refused. I use some plastic bags and containers for certain things. But I use the same ones over and over and over. I often happily explain to people what I am doing and why, encouraging them to try it next time. This is within anyone's power to do. Shopping with the kids? Get them to help. It's very doable and only takes a little courage of conviction. You may draw some mild attention but that's half of the point. If it gets done en masse and a large number of people start doing this, imagine the message it would send. It reverses the problem sending it upstream and not downstream (sadly often literally) The stores would then have to deal with it and they would demand less packing and different shipping methods from the suppliers. The entire model would change to accommodate a public actively intolerant of excessive waste in their homes and in than industrialized consumer pipeline. "REFUSE the REFUSE"

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    2. I've worked as a cashier in north america. This does nothing to reduce waste. The cashier will throw it in the trash and everyone in line will think you're insane or a prick for making her deal with your garbage. You are also more likely to be suspected of shoplifting and banned if you are ripping the packaging off your items in the store. "TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR YOUR TRASH".

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  66. Fantastic! Inspiring. Congratulations for living in the City of NY without trash!
    Come to Paris, my hometown, where everything is packaged except produce at the outdoor markets, and teach us!

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  67. Hey. What do you use for contraception. Srr if this question is to personal.

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  68. Hi Chantal! I believe this is something we can talk about openly. I actually talked about contraception in this post: http://www.trashisfortossers.com/2014/09/turn-me-on.html
    Hope that helps,
    x. Lauren

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  69. Hi Lauren, I don't see any trash about make up. I have read that you use "RMS" beauty products. Are they recycable ?
    (sorry for my little english)
    I use M.A.C. products, and they have a "back to M.A.C" option, we can gibe them back their bottles for example.

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  70. Hi,
    ...saw you on german tv today -Galilei big picutre.

    love it !

    I sew clothes like myself. I was looking for new ideas and I thought my bag close to fruit and vegetables without plastic to weigh itself. Unfortunately, there was huge trouble because the seller thought it would be a balance Tara factored in and my bag had a false weight . Chiffon sewn exactly the same 2 grams . Shit happens ... Stay tuned ! Very cool ... Greetings from Germany city ​​Bochum Sonja

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  71. Hi Lauren,
    also saw you on German TV at Galilei big picture - very inspiring! Brought me some new ideas - Thank you! Already found the page Ecocult - very progressive too, great!!!

    Warm Greetings from Germany, city of Dresden. Diana
    @ Sonja: And many greetings to Bochum ;-)

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  72. WOW Lauren, this is amazing. I just saw a outcut from your life in a german tv series and i think you and your ideas are brilliant. I realy want to try this too. sure - it is a hard way - but you managed it. I will start with making my own toothpaste and bodylotion - i think thats amazing. <3 thanks for your ideas ! greetings from Germany - Daniella

    www.frlweiss.de

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  73. Where are all the receipts? I am living in a similar way but I also save lots of water and energy.

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  74. Whaow ... We are so far for this but we are trying !
    Thanks for your inspiring blog

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  75. w o w!! Lauren Singer admire your sustainable life style from half of the world, Thailand.
    Yes, I am Thais who live in Thailand which as a great King who provide knowledge and
    philosophy of Sufficiency Economy. You may all ready know but if you are not, please search

    The Sufficiency Economy is a philosophy developed by King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand through his royal remarks over the past three decades.

    My family did most of thing that we could from H.M. The King's philosophy.
    * grow our own foods and herbs in our backyard and our farm.
    * produce and sell household products as you did, using herbs from our backyard and farm.
    (our famous natural soap for sensitive skin people)
    * produce and sell clothing from natural material for all people who love nature.
    * grow forest in our farm to produce more fresh water to earth.
    * using renewable energy as solar cell, biogas from waste (left over foods).

    But one thing that we learn from your sharing experience is Zero Waste, it is possible.
    We start off less trash first this year, and try to make less waste as much as possible.
    Thank you for your courage and sharing!

    If you have a chance to visit Thailand, please contact us we can share thing and show you
    what we did more in the land of smile. Thank you for keep the earth clean and safe, Cheer!

    Phatsakorn Jiravaraphan (Oudh)
    phatsakorn168@gmail.com

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  76. really inspiring what you do... i was wondering about shampoo... what do you use?

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  78. So cool! I just started a two-month plastic ban, and these visuals are so encouraging.

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  79. I saw your Ted talk recently and got really inspired. I've always been a DIY enthusiast but not confident in the products that I made. Somehow in the middle of college I just lost motivation and gave up to consumerism. Now that I am a graduate, I find I have time to rethink my life and I do not fall back to a consumerist lifestyle. I'm embarking on minimalism. I'm already a vegetarian and cook most of my food so not much needed there but I do use a lot of cosmetics and cleaning supplies that potentially contains harmful compounds. But I still have my suspicions on the quality of DIY cleaning products. Do these products really deliever as good as the ones on the shelf? I guess I'll give it a try and hold back my judgement until then!

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  80. Hey Lauren!

    I feel so happy to have watched your talk at TEDx Talks!

    Here in Brazil is a little bit harder to find altrenatives for waste, but from now on I intend to try as much as possible.

    Thanks for doing all this and making it work!

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  81. Thanks a lot! You inspired me to try & live a zero waste life myself!

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  82. This seems like a lot of hard work just to throw away less trash. I am too lazy to change my wasteful lifestyle. LOL

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    1. Perhaps your lifestyle is a waste of your life. LOL.

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  83. Hi Lauren,
    it is amazing what you are doing and I hope to do the same. I found out about your blog a couple of weeks ago and I have loved making some of your organic products and i'm using far less trash than I used to! Thank you!!

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  84. I really have to ask this. Do you have albums? What happen to all your photos?

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  85. Hi from Russia! Found your page nearly a week ago. It's so inspiring! Thank you very much! Your example made me to think about changing the lifeslyle of my family. Of course I'm just making the first steps but I'm sure that it's just the beginning of the long and interesting journey. And your advices helps a lot! Thank you!

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  86. Hi Lauren,

    I saw your blog and youtube videos a year back and from that day I am telling everyone about you and what you are doing. Nothing to say but just a big THANK YOU. You are one of the inspiration in my life. Most of the people may not understand what you are doing, but just keep going to save the earth for future generations. You are bringing the change in people's thinking. I will suggest you to watch COWSPIRACY in Netflix, and share your opinion.

    Thanks,
    Yashwanth Reddy

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  87. Lauren, people like you give me hope that someone else can give his best for a better world just like you. When I saw the photos on this page I couldn't believe that a person is capable of such eco-friendly attitude towards waste. I have to admit that after seeing your blog I took the decision to try the zero waste type of life myself. I hope if I manage to do that the idea will be passed forward. Please don't give up on the idea of this way of life that way more people will be moved by such initiatives :)

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  88. Hi Lauren, I just watched your Tedx talk,what you are doing is awesome! Now, I am aware that how much trash I had produced for these years, and I feel bad for what I did. From now on, I'll try my best to eliminate unnecessary waste. Thank you for reminding me to protect our planet.

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  89. Hey, Lauren. I really love what you do. Your Zero Waste Living really inspired me for my core. And I am really interested try something like in my country (Bangladesh). I have watched all the videos of you from YouTube and some other people who have went zero waste. But I am really confused about Homo Composter, how to make it and how to manage it. Can you please make a video/ blog about it ? I figured that approximately 70% of my daily waste is food waste. Here in Bangladesh, Plastics are not used as much excessively as USA. I hope you could help us out with it.

    If my personal experiment work out, I have plans to promote my cause to build awareness in my Country. Waiting for your reply. Thanks in Advance.

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  90. I just saw your TED Talk.... inspiring and making me believe , that yes we should at least give a try. Trying the same , hard to manage but it is fun... thank you will write more if find any difficulties.

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  91. nice work, Lauren, this will revolutionize les accros the globe ,it is good that zero-waste has solution for almost everything, keep it up

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  92. I don't see a contact lens bottle in there. Are you sure you're being honest about your "trash?" Or maybe you tossed the bottle in a public trash can.

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  93. Hello Lauren, I just discover your blog and it has inspired me. I am from Spain and I live in a really small town. Actually I produce a lot of trash but I consider myself a "green" person, that doesn't make sense, don't you think.
    I would like to start my zero waste journey. Thinking about how to do it, I've seen a problem (I'm sure you can give me a good solution), here, where I live, there is literally nowhere to buy unpackage products but groceries and also there is no second hands shops (I have been really angry about that since I discovered them).
    Any tip for a beginner with her place no helping?

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  94. you are so inspiring and amazing. i noticed the amount of trash ande waste people were producing around me and was asking myself "why" before i noticed i was the same way also, just like you did. you inspired me to make a change in my household and hopefully in my community one day.

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  95. Hi ! Thanks for sharing your experience, it's amazing. I'm sorry if you already replied to that question but I wonder how you deal with all the ticket that restaurants, coffees, bars or other places like cinema are giving to you. Is this paper recyclable ?
    Another question about the kitchen trash : how do you do with yogurts ? Do you do it yourself ?
    Thanks !

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  96. Hi Lauren I learned about you from school and I think what you have done is amazingly awesome! You are truly an inspiration and I too shop at second hand stores such as Good Will and The Salvation Army! Thank you for showing people that they can make an easy change to a healthy and earth friendly lifestyle! :)

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  97. Hi Lauren! You have inspired my family to drastically reduce our trash. We have a city composting program, but it says specifically not to put the dryer lint or the dust from sweeping or vacuuming the floors into the compost. What do you do with these things?

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  98. Hello Lauren Singer,

    Just a small cruosity. What about hygienic peds?

    Thank you

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  99. How do you avoid general plastic waste when buying products such as furniture?

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  100. My wife and I totally admire you, Lauren! We are working on minimizing our waste for few months already, and your blog is a big inspiration for us. Mi wife is even thinking about trying zero waste, and I'm sure she'll do great with this, because she believes in what she does. As a person who's dealing with waste management, I consider it my personal cause is to encourage people around me to minimize their waste as much as possible and to recycle more. My opinion is that we should all be conscious about our waste, and that there should be more people like you, who give good example to the others with what they do. Regards :)

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  101. I love what you are promoting and am in that initial phase of rethinking my family's product use and wanting to change everything right now! I just bought the Diva Cup and am so happy with it. I plan on implementing many of your suggestions. But, I would feel better about following you and giving you nothing but the glowing praise, as many above, if you could offer some clarification. Are you using the term "trash" only for things that cannot be recycled? I feel like your examples of your monthly trash are misleading because all of the products that you buy to make your homemade products come in something,no? I am not aware of bulk baking soda, etc... Your site makes sense if you are not including cardboard,glass or plastic containers (that the castille soap comes in) as "trash" items but otherwise it makes me feel a little hoodwinked (for lack of a better term, sorry!) Even the photo of you pouring the detergent in your ad for The Simply Company-from a giant glass container that the products didn't come in. I admire what you are promoting and you do so much more than most, it would just be nice and a little more truthful, if you addressed this question or had a photo of the products you do buy and what they come in.

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  102. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    1. Sorry Lauren madam . I mistakenly deleted my comment . I am writing the comment that I wrote.
      " Hi Lauren Madam. Do you remember an interview conducted by Steve Sherman, Livingmaths ? I was also a participant there . Here is the digital proof .

      www.slideshare.net/TessaJaison/interview-with-lauren-singer

      My first blog post was also about you .

      http://wowtessajaison.blogspot.in/2016/03/greening-world.html

      If you comment at it, it will be a great .

      This is my blog .It will be a great privilege for me if you comment at any of my blog posts .

      www.wowtessajaison.blogspot.in

      Please add me as your contact in Skype . I have send you a request . "
      Tessa Jaison .

      Delete
  103. I'm so so so impressed with the trash in 2 years of yours, how can... @@ I need to learn more and more from you
    gmail account login

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