About

You can contact us through this blog or email me at nomoregarbage (at) live (dot) com. Make sure you put an appropriate subject title so I don’t think it’s spam.
No More Garbage is about our (Sarah McGaughey and Kyle Glover’s) attempt to eliminate our household garbage production. We began in 2004, trying to get 31 consecutive days garbage free. We didn’t succeed, but we did keep the garbage we accidentally produced and after a year and a half, that was just under two black garbage bags full. We took a break for a year to rethink and regroup and now we are at it again, hardcore. From January 17th to March 1st, we will be garbage free. Kyle can make as much recycling as he wants and I can make one small bin full (about 6 litres). If I do end up with any garbage, I decided that I will wear it (like a hair shirt) and Kyle is convinced he won’t get any garbage.

We are looking for people to join us-you can make your own rules, we just want support. Plus being garbage free is time consuming and it would be great to have a community to share tasks with (I’ll make the rice milk, crackers and hankies, you make tortilla’s, bread etc.)

***Note: We have accomplished our above stated goal. I reached 31 consecutive days on Februrary 23rd and Kyle reached it on March 2nd. In the false starts, we collected 5 pieces of garbage, some of which are still waiting to be converted into something useful. I didn’t wear my pieces as a hair shirt- I decided I had enough guilt as it was. During the 31 days, we discovered I was pregnant and decided to make an exception for medical garbage, so we didn’t start over for needles, or bandaids or other medical trash aquired at the doctor. We still care about reducing garbage and we make about one small bag every three weeks. We found being completely garbage free in todays society wasn’t always the best choice ecologically, so now that we have completed our goal,we are trying to live with the smallest eco footprint possible in all aspects of life.

Over the past few years, I’ve found many green businesses to shop at (see Trashless Toronto) and picked up a few tricks of the trade, feel free to use this blog as a resource. Also, don’t hesitate to share your knowledge with me!

38 responses to “About

  1. Cate

    I read the G&M article, and think you2 are an inspiration! I never BUY the paper, I read it whilst sipping coffee from a ceramic mug. The last time I was this affected was when the AGO (jezz, I haven’t been in T.O. in a decade) had a show on recycling, and some woman had knit a roomfull of THING from sweaters she’d unravelled. They had a small roomful of busted glass you could WALK on to reduce it to sand again and a piece of bubblegum stretched from floor to ceiling. Can we get resourceful, you bet. Can we stop the garbage dumps from polluting pristine watersheds?? Welll, we better get busy. But from someone who was at the Earlton RAlly to stop the Adams Mine some years ago, where the coalitions were of farmers blocking the highway with slow moving tractors, the 1st Nations community, NorthWatch, moms with toddlers and a seething arena full of powerful speeches, and an encampment on the tracks which some old time farmers were prepared to dismantle, I’d say….maybe. Luv ya. Play on…from Sudburia.

  2. patrick

    Hi
    I almost forgot. My dear Mother who is no longer with us, used to turn all the old plastic shopping bags and stuff into mats and other things by crochet or some other such knitting form.
    Reguards. Patrick

  3. Daryl

    Hey Sarah and Kyle,

    Just read the article in the Globe today, thanks for passing along the info. Glad to see your project has renewed enegry and support. Seems like a great start to the year and the project!

    All the best,
    Daryl

  4. Holy Guacamole! Thanks for all your comments people. I am super stoked!
    Cate, that AGO exhibit sounds great, and I think I was behind some of the tractors on the highway during that protest.
    Patrick, I have a shopping back made of shredded, crochet shopping bags. It’s pretty cool and very sturdy. I carry my ice skates in it. I think my mom bought it at a craft sale.
    Daryl
    Come on, make no garbage too-you know you want to!:)At least you could design an amazing no trash logo. May be it can be a tatoo on a boy scouts bicep;)

  5. Joshua Barndt

    Hey,,, Your awesome!!! Garbage sucks and sure does seem to be never-ending. It’s good to hear someone is figuring out ways to eliminate in from their lives. I’m actually an artist from Toronto, currently living in Montréal. For the past 5 months I’ve been focusing my work specifically around my personal garbage and that of my neighbors. I’d love to send you some photo’s of the stuff I’ve been creating. I would also like to ask you guys a few questions,, off the blog if that’s possible.

    Ps. Have you come across a specifically amazing book which do a good job of covering the many issues and problems related to domestic trash. (really indepth if possible)

  6. Thanks Joshua
    I’m an artist too. ooooo ahhhhh, what a coincidence. I would like to make a book like that, but haven’t found one yet. There is a book about dumpster diving in New York that is supposed to be quite good- I just need to remember the title.

  7. Hey Sarah, hey Kyle!

    My name is Drew, and I am producing a new daily TV show on CBC called LIVING IN TORONTO – it’s a lifestyle show, a guide to better living in the city. Like many others, I read with great interest over the week-end your ‘no trash’ manifesto, and I think it’s great. So great, in fact, I was wondering if you would be willing to be on our show to talk about the issues, and what the two of you are doing / have done…?

    Thanks!
    Drew

  8. Belinda

    Hi Sarah & Kyle,

    I also learned about your project through the globe and mail as well. Trying to live a garbage free lifestyle IS a lot of work. But I think just the concept and start of your project has done a lot of good in many many ways already.

    Getting people to think about reducing garbage, and getting people to start the dialogue and discuss about the hot topic of ‘garbage’ is great. Hopefully they will also turn in to actions.

    & I agree with you that recycling is not a solution. The key is to ‘reduce’ first, then reuse, and then recycle.

    Lastly, thanks for sharing all the tips in your blog. It is very resourceful.

    Keep up the good work!!!

    cheers,
    Belinda

  9. Anony Mous

    Yeah Sarah
    Anonymous in Edmonton is very interested in what you are doing and has been for a while……….
    I would like to share a memory of a Sarah (age 12 or 13) In superstore; communicating very loudly with her mother regarding some styrofoam plates and cups that were being purchased for the motorhome prior to a several week camping trip.
    Her mothers input to that particular conversation went roughly like this. “Okay smartass. Either I buy the disposable dishes or you do all the dishes for the duration of the holliday. To Sarahs credit she followed through and did every dish except when he old dad snuck back and did them up (also anounymously)
    Whatever you want to do Sarah I always knew that you could do it. We should have named you Perserverence.
    Signed—-anonymous in Edmonton.

  10. Troy

    Hi Sarah,

    Congrats on all the noise you are making. Keep up the good work! Cannot see you on the Gil Decon Show.

    Troy

  11. hey it’s this Monday on the Gill Deacon Show.

  12. Audrey Kostiuk

    Saw your interview with Gill Deacon. I have an answer for your bag drying needs. I have designed a baggie dryer that holds 9 -18 various size bags to dry naturally. My environmental illness has been the mother of invention for me. I also have a registered design for a bottled water cover that keeps out the light which helps to stop bacteria from forming in the bottle and cotton cool bands that provide cool comfort on the neck or head in the hot weather. Great to see all the interest in your efforts. Blessings Audrey

  13. Rebecca Young

    I missed the Gill Deacon show, but saw the link to your blog on her site after the fact. I’m fascinated and inspired. 🙂

    Last year I did a month on local food only – I think I’ve discovered this year’s challenge.

  14. Dick Packham

    Hi Kyle, remember me?

  15. Liz/Emma/Lydia

    Hi Sarah!
    We are students at The Bishop Strachan School and just heard you speak (creepy that we’re on your blog already and you left 5 minutes ago… we know). Thanks so much for coming in and talking to us about your project.
    We just made a pact (seriously…hands in and everything) to try and not have any garbage for a week, starting next, next Monday (we need prep time). We’ll let you know how it goes…but we really admire what you’re doing and are inspired by your efforts to help the environment.
    Personally politically yours,
    Liz, Lydia & Emma

  16. Oh that’s so great, thanks!!! I agree you do need prep time. Try to find all your favorite things package free and use up things in the house that have garbage before you start. Please let me know if you have any questions. If you blog about it, I’ll link to you. Either way, please keep in touch-I’d love to hear about your progress. One more thing-don’t be discouraged if you do get some garbage-it’s really freaking hard to eliminate it completely, but just trying will increase your awareness and help you to reduce. Oooo this is so exciting!

  17. Pingback: What and Why? « Say No to Trash

  18. Jake Stout

    Hey Kyle…. Long time, huh?? Anyhow, Shelly Kennedy just found me on Facebook and let me know about your project. Very very cool. I hope that it works out for you.

  19. Pingback: Plastic Garbage « Yukon Chatter Bug

  20. we are a couple living in Montreal, Quebec and expecting our first child too. since we are teenagers, we try to live without garbage. we think it is very hard to do so, especially here in North- America, where plastic and a lot of garbage goes with everyday life. we have no car and people look at us as we would be from mars.
    we recycle and compost everything we can. this year i started my own gardening with compost soil. it works well.
    i have one garbage bag a month and i sew all my own bags to do grocery. (atelierkompass.com)
    i really was inspired by your article in Today’s Parent. go on and hopefully more people will try out our lifestyle.

  21. I found out about you through the Today’s Parent magazine. I was surfing around YouTube today and found an instructional video for making reusable bags from plastic grocery or garbage bags. I feel bad about throwing grocery bags out, and I’m often too lazy to take them in to the library or back to the store. But this project sounded pretty cool to me. You melt the bags by cutting off the bottom and handles and then folding them so they are eight layers thick. Place between two layers of wax paper and iron on the cotton setting or slightly lower. Then you just sew the pieces together to make tote bags, messenger bags, etc. Our mayor here recently talked about banning plastic bags (I don’t blame him – they fly around town and make a mess), but while I still have some, I’m going to make reusable bags to take with me to the store. I was wondering if you had heard of this method – I know you probably won’t ever take plastic grocery bags from the store, and I may not do it again, but if someone found some or had old ones they weren’t throwing away or using, they could do this as well.

  22. That sounds cool. We do have one bag that my mom got us at a farmers market. It is woven from other plastic bags and it is awesome. It is very strong. I use it to carry my ice skates and Kyle uses it for his work boots!

  23. I will have to try that, too. I have a huge stockpile of grocery bags…my goal, of course, would be to have some good sturdy reusable ones so that I can stop getting them from the store. I read an article in our local paper yesterday regarding the plastic bag issue, and the author said, really, if the stores would start offering paper bags in lieu of plastic (like they used to), some people may go back to that. I don’t know much about the environmental effects of using paper bags, though…I’d rather just have sturdy re-made plastic or cloth bags.

  24. Just wanted to let you know that you and a recent art-from-garbage show here where I live (Fort St. John, BC) have inspired me to start paying attention to what I throw away. I am also trying to declutter my home and give things away when I can rather than throwing them away. The art made from garbage is so interesting to me…I’m working on a few things now along with using my plastic bags to make stronger totes. The only problem now is my house is becoming more cluttered…:)

  25. Tim Packham

    ME LOVE YOU LONG TIME!!!!!!!!!!!!

  26. Hey Sarah,
    Just wandet to say, I have enjoyed reading your posts and thanks for your wonderful blog!

    Best wishes
    J. Smith

  27. The wonder washer looks pretty cool – how well does it deal with ‘chunks’?

    They say that even washing a load of diapers uses way less water than it takes to manufacture the disposable kind.

    http://www.maineclothdiapercompany.com is a great site for baby stuff

  28. Mrs. K,

    As for your clutter . . . check out if local food banks, community centres, day cares, etc. can use anything you have. You may be surprised to find out that someone else is just dying to take those hundreds of shopping bags off your hands.

    Sarah-Marie

  29. Hi Sarah & Kyle – I’ve just stumbled over your site, having become almost rubbish/garbage free over in the UK. Congratulations on everything you’ve achieved. I look forward to popping over once in a while and sharing tips. In the meantime, keep up the great work.

  30. Mr. Oris

    Just stumbled onto this page today while surfing for info about Toronto. I remember back in 2006 how much you were struggling to eliminate garbage (sorry about all the Coffee Time cups!) It’s inspiring to see your dedication. Hope all is well with you and the little one and that you continue to inspire people to rally around a garbage free way of living.

  31. Heather Azima

    Hi Sarah,

    I know you practiced EC with Aurora and had a lot of success with it. A friend of mine is making a documentary and is looking for a pregnant woman who plans to practice EC so she can film her from the beginning.

    Do you know anyone or are you pregnant again?

    hope you and family are well.
    H.A.

  32. I am not pregnant again and don’t plan to be any time soon. I do know someone- I’ll just have to ask her if she is interested.

  33. Dick Packham

    Yo Kyle,

    Sorry you missed Tim’s wedding.
    Was a hoot.
    Shot a bottle rocket out my arse.
    Still hurts.

    Peace.

  34. Hey “Dick”
    You should try to contact Kyle through face book or something. He doesn’t really look at this blog much. It’s my project really. Hope your arse is healing sufficiently.
    Sarah

  35. My wife and I have been living an almost zero-waste life in Vancouver for the past couple years. I posted a couple videos on my YouTube channel here: http://www.youtube.com/user/justintilson from some of the things we’ve figured out. More on our blog: http://thetilsons.com/index.php?s=waste

    I’ve found it’s pretty easy to maintain now that we have our new ways of living figured out.

    Keep up the great learning and living.
    Justin

  36. Congratulations Sarah and kyle,
    I can’t even imagine how you are doing this. I dream of a waste free world. My family does not aspire to the same goals which makes it a lot more difficult. I have an organization, Skraptacular where we strive to increase environmental awareness by working with children and adults to transform trash into art all while teaching concepts of waste reduction and smart consumerism. I look forward to reading more of your posts. Hats off to you guys!

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