The 5 Cardinal Rules (that I made up for myself)

Hello, hello, hello ! Welcome to my blog !

For those of you that don’t know, I have never been one to make “New Year’s Resolutions” for myself. . . mainly because I never really stick to them, but also because I could never really nail down a S.M.A.R.T. goal I could get behind. . . UNTIL NOW !

Welcome, ladies and gents, to Sam’s 2017 New Year’s Resolution – The Year I Became Less Trashy. Inspired by people like Lauren Singer and Colin Beavan, I have decided to make an effort to live with less trash in my life – and maybe even go totally trash free by the end of this.

In order to keep myself on track and have attainable goals, I’ve laid out a Specific, Measurable and Timely month-by-month plan:

  • January: at least 5 days trash free
  • February: at least 5 days trash free
  • March: at least 7 days trash free
  • April: at least 10 days trash free
  • May: at least 10 days trash free
  • June: at least 7 days trash free
  • July: at least 10 days days trash free
  • August: at least 12 days trash free
  • September: at least 12 days trash free
  • October: at least 15 days trash free
  • November: at least 15 days trash free
  • December: at least 20 days trash free

So, what do I mean by “Trash Free”? Basically, it means that I will not buy / use anything that will end up in the garbage (i.e. it cannot be recycled, donated, composted, or reused).

Also, to help me stay focused on my goal, I have made 5 Attainable and Realistic Cardinal rules for myself to help me reduce my trash in 2017:


1. Know Thy Trash : the average American throws away 4.5 lbs of trash each day . . .and although we only represent 5% of the worlds population, we generate 30% of the worlds garbage . . . so, my first rule is about understanding WHAT is in my garbage in the first place. Yogurt lids, packaging materials, old pens, and anything that CANNOT be recycled, composted, reused, or donated. Because unless I know whats in my garbage, how the hell am I gonna reduce my garbage (can I get an amen) ?

2. BYO_ : Bring Ya Own EVERYTHING. Bring reusable bags to the store, bring a mug to the office for coffee, bring my own silverware to work so I don’t use plastic utensils, bring my own water bottle to fill at a restaurant, bring my own food container to places that allow it. . .this will help reduce ANY need for plastic bags, disposable coffee cups, plastic utensils, and other wasteful, non recyclable things.

3. Phase & Replace : I like to consider myself a grounded woman. . .and it didn’t seem realistic to go ZERO TRASH right off the bat, especially living with 2 cats and a Carl (who is being incredibly supportive and helping me think of ways to reach my goal). So, with that in mind, I am going to “phase out” some things in my apartment / life and replace them with more sustainable options once they’ve lived their lifespan. For example, I have an electric toothbrush with 3 unused heads left. I am going to use those heads until they run out, and then “replace” it with a bamboo toothbrush ! Same with hair products. I will use them till they are gone, and then make my own and reuse the bottle ! This makes things a little more manageable and also forces me to evaluate if I really need to replace that item.

4. Track the Tricks : This year, I am going to keep track of all the “no trash” knowledge. This includes the recipes I make (like candles or toothpaste), the restaurants I find that don’t have wasteful packaging, the office hacks I find, the composting company I use, the addresses to thrift stores . . . EVERYTHING ! Because routine will be key for me, and writing it down makes things A LOT easier !

5. RRR&D : You all know this one. “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle” . . . AND DONATE ! I am going to Reduce the “things” I buy (no more silly chotchkies for me). I am going to Reuse old candle containers, old hair product bottles, and anything else I can to help curb my intake of trash. I am going to Recycle the heck out of EVERYTHING – and if it means carrying my recycling home from the office, so be it. I am going to Donate what I can. I recognize that I am very fortunate to even take on this resolution – so I am more than happy to share what I have with others who may not be so fortunate.

I am so excited (and nervous) to take on this task ! I will be posting my progress, tips, tricks, and recipes here, so stay tuned for more updates !!

Also, I would love to hear about your story to reduce your own trash !

Stay (un)trashy,



2 thoughts on “The 5 Cardinal Rules (that I made up for myself)

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