Sunday, June 29, 2008

Day 69 of our Green Year: One Garbage Bag Challenge

Here we are in Day 69, and the decision has been made to completely limit our garbage. We got the idea from our friend Jennifer at Mother's Going Green, who has taken part in the one can a month challenge. This means they only have one garbage can full of garbage per month, which is about two to four bags a month depending on how large the can is.

Layla and I thought this was such a good idea, that we have decided to do the same, except we will be going for one garbage bag a month. That means we will be recycling and composting everything we can, keeping an eye on packaging and everything to ensure that we do not exceed one garbage bag per month. This is actually a really tough challenge because our society has evolved to be very wasteful. Everything we buy, even the stuff that is limited package and organic, can still have a lot of packaging to it.

Our society generates so much garbage, it is truly astonishing. In Canada, which is one of the worst per capita offenders, it has become an epidemic. Here are just some alarming statistics.

  • 40 percent of all solid waste generated in Canada is from household garbage.
  • Each person in Canada generates 383 kilograms of waste. In other words, that is 30 garbage bags per person in Canada.
  • 12 million tonnes of waste is generated by residential homes each year.
  • Only 2.5 million tonnes is recycled.
Ultimately, our goal is to be zero impact. Selectively buying what we can to keep garbage out of our home and ensuring that we recycle and reuse everything that comes into the house. It will be a happy day here when the garbage truck has nothing to pick up, ever. Until then, we will only be using one garbage bag a month starting this week.

Also, Layla and I bought a solar powered light for our garden. No need for batteries or household electricity here!
Do you have any suggestions for limiting garbage? Do you want to join our One Bag A Month Challenge? Got pictures of you going green? Email us at!