Zero Waste Challenge

Zero Waste Challenge Week 2 – Our First Weigh-In



We have officially made it through our first week and are moving forward with our second. As you can see from the picture above, this first week was all about remembering to weigh trash, recycling, and other items!


Here are the results from our first week:


[insert graph]


Our advisor checked in with us mid-to-late last week and gave us the reminder that we’re probably already taking note of behaviors and habits, but that it is important to keep going as we normally would until the first four weeks is up. That way, we can get the most accurate weights possible.


So far, the trash and recycling we accumulate inside have been fairly easy to remember to weigh. It has been items we are selling/donating, or trash in our car, for example, dog poop from the backyard, and a couple other items that have been more challenging to remember to stop and weigh.


When we started this challenge, I wasn’t really aware of any of the statistics regarding how much trash the average person (in the US) produces in a day/week/etc. I did a little bit of research and the majority of what I found said that Americans produce about 4.4 lbs of trash a day on average.


Here is where we fit into that equation:


[insert math formula here]



If this is your first time here (welcome!) or if you need a refresher as to what it is all about, here are the details:


Our family was one of about 50 households to be selected in our local county’s second zero waste challenge. This challenge aims to help households reduce waste and develop sustainable zero-waste habits. The challenge also will help the county explore challenges families/households face when attempting to reduce waste to help them fulfill a goal to reduce all waste produced by 75% in 2030.

Here are some specifics about the challenge:

  • The challenge is 8 months long.
  • The first 4 weeks will be spent weighing our waste.
  • The last 4 weeks will be spent weighing our waste to compare with the first 4 weeks.
  • We have been assigned a staff liaison to help coach us throughout the challenge
  • We will be required to attend waste-reduction workshops throughout the challenge to help us learn different strategies and receive hands-on training on waste reduction.
  • We will have assistance in creating a customized waste reduction action plan
  • We have already received a scale to weigh our trash, and will also be receiving a compostable bin, compostable bags, and help guides.
  • The challenge ends on April 30, 2018.


We started the first of the 4-week waste weighing on September 13, 2017. Our first meeting is the second week of October.


Overall, we are excited and very grateful we get to be part of this challenge. We expect to learn a lot to improve our environmental footprint, and also pass along that knowledge to our son, E.


I will be posting about our entire journey for the next 8 months. I hope you follow along with us.


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9 Comments on "Zero Waste Challenge Week 2 – Our First Weigh-In"

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Congrats on Week 1. I wish more grocery stores in our area other than Whole Foods (too expensive) had grains, beans, spices, etc in bins so I could purchase what I need instead of buying prepackaged only to throw out the packaging when I get home.


[…] Week 2 – was our very first weigh in, and I shared statistics on how much waste Americans produce each day. […]


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[…] Week 2 – Our first weigh in […]

Tricia Murdock

What an incredible endeavor! I will have to follow along to see how it goes!