Sustainable Dave started exactly one year ago to save and manage all of the waste he has generated as a consumer.  He has attracted a lot of attention for his feat and to his blog: 365 Days of Trash. You can find his story in many of the major media, including the New York Times, Time Magazine, and NPR.

Here are the rules he’s been living by:

The Rules

1. If something is waste that I have generated, I’ve got to deal with it. If I buy something for myself, the packaging is mine to deal with. Hopefully this will entail figuring out what it is made of, what would happen to it if it were “thrown away” and what I will be doing with it.

2. Any waste that I generate that can be recycled, will also be saved. Recycling is better than “throwing away” but it still takes energy and creates waste so I think accounting for recycling will be an important factor.
3. Any waste, which for health reasons (dog poop, medical waste from doctors visits, etc.) cannot be saved, will at least be noted and examined regarding the impact of its creation and disposal.
4. Food preparation has been something that I have been struggling with as I have a wife and two daughters who are not undertaking this experiment. Since food will be prepared for the family at times, I’ll have to figure out how to account for this and will be as honest as I can be in my accounting as I go along. In order to make up for any possible discrepancy in this area, I have decided that when out with my daughters, I will be responsible for any waste they generate as well.

5. Finally, I know there will be gray areas that I haven’t thought of, and some of this will have to morph as I go along. That said, I think the golden rule is going to be “when in doubt, it’s my responsibility to deal with”.

Ok, so maybe we’re not ready to tackle our 365 days worth of trash this year. So how about a One Week Trash Challenge?

Can you sustain that?

Happy New Year!