trash santa cruz county
June 2019

Try a Trash Challenge: Green Living June 2019

By Meredith Keet of The Zero Shop

We first discovered the Zero Waste movement about 6 years ago when we heard about Bea Johnson and her family of four producing only a mason jar of trash over the course of a year.  Our minds were blown!  How in the world did they accomplish that? We began to puzzle over every aspect of our lives and what changes we could make to lessen our trash.

trash santa cruz county

We started with a week-long challenge to see how little trash we could produce.  We found a jar (ahem, a large one!) and kept it on our kitchen counter to provide us with a visual reminder of the challenge every day.  The trash challenge forced us, as well as our kids, to think and talk about each item we put into that jar and if it could be reused, repaired, recycled, repurposed, composted or if there was a waste-free alternative we could use going forward.  We found that the lessons learned in that week had lasting effects on our habits, even when we didn’t limit ourselves to a jar. 

Very often it is hard to know where to start when considering decreasing your waste, and creating a trash challenge for yourself and your family can be an excellent stepping stone on your journey toward creating less waste.  If a week seems too intimidating, then start with a day-long challenge or even an hour!  The point is to allow you to see what waste you are producing and to take a moment to consider how that waste could be avoided going forward.  And remember, you don’t have to produce ZERO waste to have an impact, just shoot for producing a little bit less, step-by-step.  

Starting a Trash Challenge?  Tag us in your Instagram photos @thezeroshopsc so we can follow along!

The Zero Shop is now open at 101 Capitola Ave. in Capitola Village

You can also find us online at

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