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Charlottesville Woman Takes on Zero Garbage Challenge

By: Myles Henderson Email
By: Myles Henderson Email

March 4, 2010

It's one of those chores that we just hate to do, taking out the trash. But what if you never had to do it? That's exactly what one Charlottesville woman is doing.

Last year Rose Brown started the Zero Garbage Challenge. Her goal was simple 365 days, 0 garbage. "The main ways to reduce garbage, I found, are what I buy and how much I can compost." says Brown. Recycling, reusing, composting, and finding items that contain no packaging are the key.

For Rose it's all about thinking before you buy. "I use to go grocery shopping and it would take me half and hour, at the beginning of last year I would spend at least and hour in the grocery store just staring at stuff and wondering what kind of packaging is that."

So after a year of smart buying, recycling, and many visits to the backyard compost pile, how did she do? Just a small bag about 8 by15 inches holds 12 months of garbage. "Most of it is little pieces of plastic that were maybe hidden or I didn't see them in the store." A burnt out headlight bulb, an assortment of fruit stickers, and a toilet float are just a few of the items that made it through. The whole bag weighs less than 1 pound.

Brown says, "I think once we are aware of what is normally just taken away a made invisible to us, then it impacts what we decide to buy or how we decide to throw things away."

If you are interested in learning more about the Zero Garbage Challenge there is a workshop this Sunday, March 7th from 1-3pm, at Ivy Creek Natural Area. Please RSVP to zero.garbage.challenge@gmail.com. For a detailed look at Rose's 2009 Challenge visit her blo.


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