A Year of Trash: My Jar Runneth Over

I started 2016 thinking I could limit my own personal landfill waste to just one jar. The year is coming to an end and the truth is I couldn’t. My trash since January fills one big jam jar, and then some. 

And considering I made a good deal of trash on a month of summer trips, I probably really filled three or four jars.

For our family as a whole it took four months to create ten pounds of trash (collected in a dog food bag). We filled another one mid-summer and a fourth is about to reach capacity. (Again, this is not counting our “road trip trash”.) I got lazy about tracking the recycling. I never weighed it, but I know we took seven 13-gallon cans of glass/plastic and six 13-gallon cans of paper to the recycling center this year. 

Our grand trash total for 2016 is approximately 40-50 pounds of landfill waste and thirteen (13-gallon) cans of mixed recycling. (The avarage American family of four creates 5,000-ish pounds in a year.) We didn’t eliminate as much recycling as I hoped we would, but at least it was recycling! And in any case, we reduced our overall waste drastically compared to the “pre-Near-O” years, and that’s the most important thing!

Looking back at our year of trash has inspired me to do an even better job in the coming year…