Lauren Singer is on a mission.
The spunky 23-year-old has spent the last two years living a Zero Waste (ZW) life. Singer is so good at it that all of the trash she’s created since then fits in a 16-ounce Mason jar. That’s right: two years of garbage in one jar.
In her amusing and inspiring blog, entitled trash is for tossers, Singer documents her ZW lifestyle and explains why it all started in the first place. As an environmental studies major at NYU, she watched one of her schoolmates bring lunch to class every week, contained in an undue amount of disposable packaging. This weekly ritual induced the sentiment that millennials are the earth’s future and “…here we are with our trash, messing it up.”
According to Duke University’s Center for Sustainability and Commerce, the average American produces 4.3 pounds of waste everyday. That’s more than two and a half times what it was in the 1960s. What’s worse is that approximately two-thirds of this trash could be composted rather than sent to the thousands of overloaded landfills in this country.
In an interview Singer recently did with New York magazine, she said one of the top three things you can do to reduce waste is “…[t]ransition out purchased products and learn to make things yourself.” (Apparently, producing your own toothpaste is one of the easiest ways to make a fresh start.) Which is why Singer is progressing from micro to macro by founding The Simply Co., a company that makes homemade, environmentally-friendly laundry detergent. It was so successful on Kickstarter, The Simply Co. met their target of $10,000 in just 48 hours — and then went on to yield four times that.
Singer explains the fillip to this endeavor in her compelling video: “There are over 85,000 industrial chemicals out there and the majority of ones that are in use today have never even been tested for safety. In fact, cleaning product manufacturers aren’t even legally required to list their ingredients on their packaging. So we really have no clue what’s in them.”
In contrast, The Simply Co. uses only three ingredients in its laundry detergent: baking soda, washing soda and castile soap. If you’re feeling crazy, you can go for the scented version with a fourth ingredient, deriving its lavender fragrance from organic essential oils.
So, for those of us who don’t have time for or are intimidated by the prospect of making our own cleaning products and feel guilty about being part of the problem, think about buying this planet-loving merchandise – but you’ll have to get in line because it’s already sold out.
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