Episode 36: Could You Live a Life Producing No Trash? Michelle Pellizzon Has Been Doing it for Seven Months

July 14th 2017

Sarah Gray

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Despite my best efforts to be eco-friendly (composting, recycling, using energy-saving light bulbs, etc.), when it comes to the amount of waste I produce on a daily basis, I'm a trash monster.

Today alone I have produced a grocery bag's worth of waste that will go to a landfill or into an incinerator. I've left behind a trail consisting of a Goldfish bag, food waste that I won't be bringing home to my kitchen compost bin, a plastic to-go container that cannot be recycled, multiple cough drop wrappers, several post-its, probably five tissues, a tampon wrapper—and the day is not over yet.

For Michelle Pellizzon, a health and wellness writer, nutritionist, and health coach, taking stock of her daily trash production was the first step in going what is known as "zero waste," or producing no waste that can't be recycled, reused, or composted. In January of this year Pellizzon collected her waste in a canvas bag as she went through her day—straws, leftover food, wrappers.

The exercise was eye-opening.

Pellizzon is now in her seventh month of producing very little trash (sometimes, it's unavoidable, like when traveling, or moving apartments). She upended her usual lifestyle (one where she didn't recycle) and replaced it with cloth bags, mason jars, a worm compost bin, cloth hankies and rags, homemade cleaning supplies, and yes, even biodegradable condoms.

On this week's "Got Your Attention," Pellizzon explains to Senior Editor Sarah Gray why she decided to go "zero waste," and shares tips and resources so you can get started yourself. 

Follow more of Pellizzon's "zero waste" living on Instagram @betterbymichelle. And if you have any guest suggestions for this podcast tweet at co-host Sarah Gray @sarahhhgray or @attn.