Earth is our home and if we don’t take care of it, who will? Sustainability is growing in popularity as more people embrace a simpler life and work to reduce their individual environmental impact on the planet. Yes, some people take it to the extreme, but if its healthy and beneficial to us all, what harm is there in being uber-eco friendly?
Lauren Singer is one such uber-eco friendly person who has taken sustainability to a whole new level. Lauren runs ‘Trash Is for Tossers,’ a ‘no-waste’ lifestyle blog where she shares tips, advice and best practices on how to reduce the waste we produce and thus, our individual carbon footprint.
Singer, a former Sustainability Manager at the New York City Department of Environmental Protection, committed to a zero-waste lifestyle three years ago and since then, has amazingly, created next to no trash since. Lauren explains her position on waste:
How do I define ZERO WASTE? To me, Zero Waste means that I do not produce any garbage. No sending anything to landfill, no throwing anything in a trash can, nothing. However, I do recycle and I do compost.
The EPA reports that Americans produces an average of 4.4 pounds of trash per day (that’s each by the way), but bucking the normal waste produced by most of us, Lauren has managed to fit all her trash from the past three years into a single 16-ounce Mason jar (yes, you read that right).
Lauren says: “I would like people to take away that we can all, regardless of our background, our beliefs, where we live or our socioeconomic status, take simple steps to reduce our environmental impact. It is simple to say no to a plastic straw or carry a reusable bag,”
Singer’s passion for personal environmental sustainability took root three years ago when she was a senior in environment studies at NYU:
“One day after class I went home to make dinner and opened my refrigerator and saw that everything in there was packaged in plastic and I felt like a total hypocrite,” Singer told the Huffington Post.
As Elyse Wanshel with HuffPost reports: “So, she slowly took baby steps toward sustainability. She started out by finding a grocery store with a machine that ground fresh peanut butter on site and brought her own re-usable jar. Soon after she switched her lifestyle, Singer was producing so little waste, she was able to fit three years’ worth of her trash into a single 16-ounce mason jar:
Most of the space in the jar is taken up by a hot-chocolate wrapper, two macaroni and cheese wrappers and a Band-Aid, Lauren told New York Magazine.
Singer admitted the only time she truly created waste during the last few years is when she got a bad case of poison ivy, something she’s highly allergic to.
“I tried natural remedies and they didn’t work. Went to the dermatologist, and they gave me topical steroids that come in a tube. I ended up being able to recycle the cap, but I wasn’t sure about the actual medicine itself,” she said.
As Huffpost reports, since she started her blog three years ago, she launched a successful Kickstarter campaign to start her own business called Simply Co., which sells a line of “handmade, organic, vegan” laundry detergent, and spreads the word about simple sustainability on her blog.
Here are some of Lauren’s fantastic tips she shared with Huffington Post:
1. Use glass containers, reusable cloth bags and a stainless steel lunch kit instead of plastic:
2. Search for products that lighten your footprint, like bamboo toothbrushes that come in paper packaging:
3. Keep re-usable bags in your car or folded in your purse or back pocket:
Lauren also suggests:
4. Instead of buying wrapping paper, get creative with paper you have lying around the house.
5. Make your own DIY beauty products:
Please share this story so more people can be inspired by Lauren’s incredible mission to clean-up our planet.