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365 Days of Trash: Meet the Garbage Man

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Many of us have recently taken heed to the call to be more "green" in our lives, from easy day-to-day things such as employing reusable bags, to larger-scale endeavors, like switching to hybrid cars or going car-less entirely. And now that we've turned our calendar pages to January 2008, many of us are pledging (aka the dreaded "resolutions") to make the year a greener one.

Well, Los Angeles' Dave Chameides aims to have us all beat in the going green department--at least in the trash division, that is. He's going to try to throw nothing away this year. That's right, nothing. Nada. Zip. Zero. Zilch. Instead, he will store whatever refuse he creates in his own basement. He's chronicling the endeavor on his blog, where he's also included his rules for this self-governed challenge. Chameides' first rule of thumb: "If something is waste that I have generated, I’ve got to deal with it. If I buy something for myself, the packaging is mine to deal with. Hopefully this will entail figuring out what it is made of, what would happen to it if it were “thrown away” and what I will be doing with it." He also plans to store recyclable material, since it, too, creates waste.

Chameides says he's doing this to see what kind of an impact he has overall in regards to the waste an individual creates. He explains on his blog: "My hope is that, as the experiment takes shape, I will be able to quickly ascertain what waste I can simply cut out through choices, what waste is necessary but that can be dealt with in a sustainable way, and what waste I just simply can’t do anything about." Though this might call to mind a real-life Oscar the Grouch--albeit a happier human version--"Sustainable Dave" isn't necessarily relishing the idea of surrounding himself with his own trash, just learning from what he creates. Ultimately, it goes back to the core idea of personal responsibility, something many of us might want to mark on our own list of resolutions for 2008.

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