Here we go again

Happy New Year Everyone!!!! Kyle and I decided to try one more time to have an absolutely garbage free household for one month. We tried from April 2004- November 2005 and then gave a concentrated effort from November until January 2006.  During that time we never succeeded in totally cutting out garbage, but we only produced about 2 black garbage bags full which we kept in the house for the duration of the project. For a year, we took a break- a chance to relax, cool down, re-organize etc. We did not go on a garbage binge (though some days it felt like it to me), but continually produced about 1 small grocery bag full every two weeks.  Now it’s 2007 and we’re back in business! Anyone want to join us? If so, here are some tips:

1. Carry a garbage free kit with you that includes:

a hankie, some plastic bags, a Tupperware container, a reusable tea or coffee mug in a cloth shopping bag or backpack.

2.  If you don’t know what it is already, figure out what you vice or your comfort food/activity is. Don’t try to cut it out -making no garbage is a big enough project without without exoerience withdrawal. Figure out how to make it or buy it without producing garbage. My vice is chocolate so I found a place to buy it fair trade and package free (Dufferin Grove Market) or just package free in bulk stores.

3. Pre- plan

Going garbage free is easier if you think ahead. Make sure you have the groceries you need before the bulk stores close, bring snacks with you, make bread and crackers for the week on Sundays4. Get to know people in markets, at stores etc. Tell them what you are doing and if they are supportive, go back frequently. It will be much easier on you! You can refer to my lists of trash free friendly businesses for a start! 

5. Email me!!! I’ll help you and you can help me. If we have a community of people, it will be sooooo good!



Filed under starting out, tips

9 responses to “Here we go again

  1. Hey,
    I just read you article in the Globe! This is a worthy idea. I’ve already generated more garbage than I should have this year!

    I started to think the same thing yesterday as I bought a roll of toilet paper, made of recycled paper, from Grassroots, that was wrapped in paper – ugh!

    I only eat unprocessed food so don’t buy very much, if any packaged foods so that’s a start.

    Let me know more!

    Way to go!


  2. patrick

    Hi. I too just read the Globe article. Good luck in your worthy aim. It may be difficult but with dogged determination, I think it can be a reality. I try to keep my garbage to a minimum and recycle and compost. I keep worms in my apartment and they will eat a lot of stuff that is organic. BTW, this is the first blog I have ever checked ou.
    Good luck.Patrick

  3. Enjoyed the G&M article. When you mentioned the glass milk bottle and having to use plastic caps to cover the bottle, it took me back to my life as a
    child on the family farm. When the milk was put into the bottle, we had cardboard caps that fit on the top of the bottle. At least they were used over and over, after washing them, and kept stored in a special container just in case we needed a spare for a neighbour.
    I was raised on milk right from the cow, so to speak, and even use to help running the seperator so we could have cream going into one bottle and milk going in the other. Your story has made me more conscious of recycling and we do fairly well here in Guelph. Cheers, RA

  4. Jennifer

    I was very inspired by the G&M article.

    Currently, I am breast feeding my 5 month old son and I am in awe at the simplicity of providing food as nature intended.

    It also makes me reflect on the fact that not that many years ago the only waste we produced came from our bottoms and how far we have strayed. It is crazy that it is so difficult to live as we were intended.

    Good luck to you two.

  5. I’m trying to figure out to reply to each of you individually but I haven’t yet. Urrg, anyhow this will do for now. Thank you, thank you, thank you! You are all wonderful
    Garry, I get that same toilet paper. Sometimes I use the paper it’s wrapped in as wrapping paper for presents. People like it (or at least pretend too).
    Yaaaay, blog virgin. That’s so nice.
    Ruth Ann and Jennifer-Thanks for your stories and comments.

  6. Elida Schogt

    Dear Sarah and Kyle,

    I was very inspired when I read about you in the G&M yesterday. So much so, that I think your quest is worthy of a film.

    I’m a Toronto-based filmmaker. To date my work has been personal, experimental documentary. If you like to see a description of my films go to: – follow the links to catalogue and type in “Schogt” for filmmaker. My films have dealt with history and memory but now I’m eager to tell a story that deals with the present and future.

    A film about your efforts could go a long way to informing more people of ways to cut down on waste and to profoundly change their approach.

    I imagine a film that would speak to an environmentally conscious audience that is already making an effort to change, but isn’t able to (willing to?) shake things up as much as you two are. Through your example, the film would inspire people to make concrete changes in their lives.

    Let me know if you’d like to meet and talk about the possibility of a film like this.

    If you’re willing, the next step would be to approach the NFB for funding. The NFB has been interested in supporting my work for some time now – we just haven’t found the right story. I think “nomoregarbage” might be it!

    That’s all for now.

    Kind regards,


  7. Congrats on your Globe and Mail article! I was very inspired when reading about your “no garbage” goal. I am surprised at how apathetic people are in this city regarding garbage and efforts of this sort to reduce garbage should get more publicity and support from city officials and government. I live in an apartment building in Toronto and it angers me how hard it is to do composting or even recycling for that matter! It’s great to hear that citizens are taking matters into their own hands to reduce waste. Hopefully, this will become a widespread trend.

  8. Tanjah

    What do you do about eliminating dirty baby wipes? I have three little boys all still in diapers. You can’t compost baby wipes. Any suggestions?



  9. I use soft cloths instead of cloths and wash them. You can get a wipe solution to put on them to make reusable wipes.

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