The Johnson Family, courtesy Be a Johnson
Bea Johnson, environmental lifestyle blogger and author of Zero Waste Home, says her family of four's household garbage output plateaued about three years ago and has stayed the same ever since: one quart per year. That's not a typo. During a phone interview, I ask her what's in her "waste jar" for 2013 and she pauses briefly as she rummages through the few debris. "A laminated fishing license, a few bits of plastic from an electrical repair, a piece of cable from my son's bike, and a lollipop stick-probably someone gave it to my son and he couldn't refuse, I understand." That's three months of garbage. It would include butter wrappers too, the one food item Johnson buys in packaging since she found it was too expensive and impractical to make, but she's saving them for an art project.
The average American produces over one thousand pounds of garbage a year, and ten years ago, Johnson, her husband, Scott, and two young sons were blithely dragging their overflowing 64-gallon trash
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