The prize drawing for this challenge is no longer open, but tackle it anyway to reduce your trash and make the world a healthier, more beautiful place!


Connecticut landfill. Photo credit: United Nations Photo, Flickr

Connecticut landfill. Photo credit: United Nations Photo, Flickr

According to the most recent EPA statistics, the average American generates 4.38 lbs of waste every single day. In 2012, that added up to 250.9 MILLION TONS of municipal waste in the US alone. Although these numbers are an improvement compared to recent years–the percentage of waste that gets recycled has jumped from 10.1% in 1985 to 34.5% in 2012–the amount of trash we generate is staggering and ends up in landfills never to decompose, or worse, it ends up destroying wildlife and in places like the Pacific Garbage Patches.

Two Years of TrashDespite the horrifying amount of garbage we’re strewing about the planet–not to mention the energy it takes to produce it–the solution to this problem is fantastically simple: Stop producing waste. It may sound crazy, but Lauren Singer of Trash is for Tossers and The Simply Co. proves it’s entirely possible and relatively easy: She’s lived the past two years producing so little waste, it all fits into a single mason jar >

[READ MORE: Trash is for Tossers’ Lauren Singer: Living and Traveling with Zero Waste]

That’s why this month we’ve teamed up with her and the team at Life Without Plastic in celebration of Earth Day for our next 30-day challenge to #WasteNot! We encourage you to take one small step every day to reduce your trash production and enter via the entry methods below for your chance to win a custom #WasteNot reusable tote full of a zero-waste starter set from Life Without Plastic! Scroll down to see more about the prize. Starting is easy: Examine the trash you already produce, then take these steps to reduce it.

  • Switch from single use products to these Trash is for Tossers’ zero waste alternatives and the collection of products in Life Without Plastic’s online store
  • Purchase products with reusable or recyclable packaging (or no packaging at all!)
  • Make your own package-free and nontoxic cleaning and personal products
  • Compost food waste
  • Donate clothes and home products you no longer use to Goodwill, Habitat for Humanity ReStores, or similar organizations
  • Shop at secondhand stores
  • Upcycle things you can’t recycle or reuse into awesome Pinterest DIY projects
  • Bring stainless steel or glass utensils and containers with you for eating out in restaurants that use disposable items – See Lauren’s zero-waste lunch kit and Life Without Plastic’s lunch and takeout products
  • Buy in bulk, local and organic
  • Nix plastic. It’s toxic and often can’t be recycled. Use instead more sustainable metal, glass and wood alternatives – See Life Without Plastic and Trash is for Tossers’ list of sustainable product stores
  • Ladies, switch from pads and tampons to a menstrual cup
  • Stop using Keurig pods. Just stop.
  • Don’t forget your pets’ products! Look for nontoxic products that can be recycled, including their packaging.

[READ: The Ultimate Eco-Friendly Gear Guide]


Entering is simple: Take one step to reduce your trash production once a day for as many days out of the 30-day challenge as possible. Every day you make a positive change between April 17 and May 16 at 11:55PM EST, share it on Facebook, Twitter and/or Instagram using the hashtag #WasteNot and tagging Travel Well Magazine (@travelwellmag on Twitter and Instagram.) Photos are encouraged, and we’ll repost many of your entries.

Each contestant can enter once per day on each of the three social networks for a total of 3 entries per day, up to 90 total entries for the 30-day challenge. You are welcome and encouraged to post on each network additional ways you’ve reduced trash more than once a day (the less trash we produce, the better!) but only one post per network will qualify toward your entry total. On May 17, qualifying entries will be tallied, and the winner will be announced via the Travel Well Facebook page, so be sure to like the page and follow us there.

Note: We’re on the honor system here, so please be true and honest to yourself and your fellow challengers. If you don’t complete the challenge for a given day, do not post that you did, but do make a promise to yourself to do better the next day!


Zero-Waste Starter Set from Life Without Plastic

Life Without Plastic (LWP) is the one-stop online shop for safe, high quality, ethically-sourced, Earth-friendly alternatives to plastics for everyday life. LWP is committed to education and advocacy on the plastics issue and acts a hub for information on plastic and plastic alternatives, while also offering ways for anybody to take action to reduce their plastic footprint on Earth.

#WasteNot Zero Waste Starter Set PrizeTheir awesome starter set includes:

  • A stainless steel folding spork with a cotton LWP carrying bag
  • A stainless steel airtight and watertight 5.5″ storage container
  • An adjustable Juco sandwich bag
  • An organic cotton mesh produce bag
  • A plastic free wooden vegetable brush

And it all comes in a custom printed reusable #WasteNot canvas tote!

Why we love this prize: Not only is their starter set plastic free and a wonderful replacement of single-use items, it helps make cooking, eating and shopping for healthy food easy! What could be better?


So, are you in? Start with an easy #WasteNot activity by inviting your friends to join you!



Follow our cosponsors for even more great waste-minimizing products and resources:


Trash is for Tossers: Facebook  |  Twitter    The Simply Co.: Facebook  |  Twitter    Life Without Plastic: Facebook  |  Twitter

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