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365 Days of Trash - Sustainable Dave

One mans attempt to throw nothing away for a whole year. 'Sustainable Dave' caused headlines back in 2008 when he decided to store all his waste in his basement. A great reminder of the impact that one person can have on the environment.

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In an effort to demonstrate the impact that one person can have on the environment, “Sustainable Dave" collected his own trash for nearly a year and kept a blog about it.  

For an entire year in 2008, Dave Chameides didn't take his trash out. Instead, his basement has became his own personal landfill where he recycled and even started his own wormery - which apparently barely smelled.  

A sample blogposts (from Oct. 6, Day 279 out of 365) goes:  
“1 bag of hair from haircut — put out on lawn for birds,” “1 plastic wrapper from ice cream — garbage” and “2 aluminum tuna cans — recycle.”

I find Daves initiative truly inspiring - although I'm not sure my housemates would appreciate me trying taking on his challenge in our small shared flat. It does make me think about how much waste we create on a weekly basis. I does however make me keen to at least try the Zero-Waste Challenge, so stay tuned for updates about how that goes.   

Does Dave's impressive project make you want to try the Zero Waste Challenge (Recycling/Collecting all your waste for an entire week)? 

Are there perhaps some small tricks of Dave's we could all try at home?


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Hmm... seems it take a crisis to spur people to action! Found this article, apparent after having enough, members of the local community took matters into their own hands (see link and highlights below).

I wonder what could be done to create such urgency otherwise?

Indifference from the national government, local bureaucratic incompetence, and organized crime syndicates have all had a role in the Naples’ trash crisis. But residents within the city and throughout the Napolitania region have taken matters like waste diversion, recycling, and beautifying their communities into their own hands. Local activism, which takes the form of flash mobs, guerilla gardening, and innovative job creation, is certainly inspiring. But what is occurring in Naples could teach citizens around the world about how apathy from both government and business cannot be deterrents to revitalizing communities.

Many organizations are rousing up Napolitanos to tackle trash that still piles up in the 2600 year old city. Ambiente Solidale, a local NGO, coordinates with other local activist groups to distribute recycling containers to residents and businesses. The unemployed, unskilled, and unwanted workers in turn are hired to sort through everything from clothing to glass. The activism has not only reduced Naples’ tricky trash burden but has provided economic opportunity for those who most need it. Some cities outside of Naples even have a higher recycling rate than the well-heel cities in northern Italy.

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