Going Trashless

by Monica Koenig

Have you ever had this experience?  One harmless little trip to the grocery store or one stop for take-out practically fills my entire trashcan with waste to toss or recycle.  All this waste contributes to climate change, but, as I tell myself guiltily, it can be hard to feed a family from the grocery store without leaving an impressive pile of stuff to throw out.  Many times I’ve thought, “I’d like to do something about all this trash, but it’s just the way it is.  What can one little person do?”  I’m delighted to say I’ve found a different way.  A local company named Trashless calls itself the “milkman for everything.”  The milk I order every week comes in glass jars that I set out again empty next week for return… like it’s 1950 and I’m Mrs. Cleaver.  But with Trashless it doesn’t stop with milk… pantry items, produce, even meal kits and take-out are delivered in containers that get picked the up the next week and reused.

I’m particularly bothered by plastic waste, so I kept track of my trash and recycling for a few weeks and made notes about the products I buy that come packed in plastic.  Now my family regularly buys tortillas from Trashless and there’s no plastic bag to put in the recycling.  I buy a pound of spinach every week that comes in a box I return for reuse.  Apples and potatoes come in cloth bags that get returned and reused.  My Wells Branch neighbor, Natalie, also a Trashless customer, says, “I love reducing my waste and carbon footprint, the care Trashless takes in picking out high quality and ethically sourced foods, and how easy they make things by delivering right here in the neighborhood.”

I know Natalie because she comes by my house on Surrender Avenue to pick up her Trashless orders.  My house is a Pick-Up Point…all the deliveries for our neighborhood arrive at my house and neighbors stop by to pick up their orders, no delivery fee required!  Not only does it save money, one neighborhood Pick-Up Point allows deliveries to be made in fewer stops, using less fuel and lowering the carbon footprint of delivery.

Other zero-waste initiatives are always in the works at Trashless.  The Trashless Reuse Army is a network of volunteers – including my neighbor Natalie – who collect ice packs, lightbulbs and dead batteries that will be picked up by Trashless and recycled or reused.  From a program promoting reusable coffee cups to a new system to make take-out zero waste, Trashless really stands behind their mission.  I’m glad to answer any questions you may have at monica.koenig@yahoo.com.

Just FYI, your donations of lightbulbs, batteries, or ice packs can be dropped off at Natalie’s, 2312 Klattenhoff Drive, or at my house, 2115 Surrender Avenue, which also serves at a Pick-Up Point for deliveries.  Please visit www.trashless.com for more information.

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