Have you ever looked in the trash cans scattered around your house? What's in there? Paper towels and tissues? Food? Plastic packaging? There is a lot of stuff in our garbage cans that doesn't really need to be there, and EnviroMom's One Can A Month Challenge is going to help you reduce the amount of garbage your household generates down to one curbside can a month. Really! Well, if you've got a kid in disposable diapers, maybe not, but you can start now so that by the time junior is potty-trained, you'll have dramatically decreased your household waste.
In July 2008 we challenged our readers to do it -- we walked through each room of a typical household and identified the waste generated and ways to reduce, reuse and recycle the waste in order to keep household garbage destined for the landfill at a minimum. Both of our families of four only set out one 32-gallon can of garbage each month, and we figure that if we can do it, anyone can do it.
The key to this challenge is to take it s-l-o-w. Don't panic. Don't try to make all of these changes in one day or one week or even one month. Think of it as a journey, and focus on one room at a time. Take the time to incorporate new routines and systems into your household and talk to your family about why you are making these changes. Read our post on the importance of Reduce, Reuse, Recycle to understand why household waste reduction is important for the health of the planet and your family.
When we talk about 'one can' we mean the garbage can you are currently putting out each week. It doesn't matter what size it is -- the challenge is to see whether you can reduce the amount of garbage in that can. If your garbage hauler doesn't offer once-a-month service, then challenge yourself to only fill that can 1/4 of the way each week.
Ready to take the challenge? Add your comment below to signify your commitment to at least try to reduce your garbage. Check out our archive of posts from the One Can A Month Challenge and see if you, too, can reduce, reuse and recycle enough waste in your home down to one curbside garbage can each month.
Here are all of the challenge posts, room by room: