Sunday, February 10, 2008

Packing It In -- To Save the Landfill

Fellow packrats of the world unite! In our own small way, we're all trying to save the planet.

Ari Derfel likes living with his garbage. He hasn't thrown anything away in more than a year, but he insists he doesn't suffer from any compulsive hoarding disorders.
Rather, Derfel views the bins of bottles, boxes, leaflets, cartons, and wrappers he's stacked in his Berkeley, Calif., home as fruits of a continued meditation about sustainability.

Derfel, 35, is joined by a handful of bloggers who are going to extremes to keep their trash out of the landfill. Motivated by global warming, they say they are fed up with promiscuously packaged, toxic products and other evils of conspicuous consumption they say are trashing the planet.

These pack rats are stashing their trash at home and then writing about, photographing, and even weighing it. They belong to a growing cadre of " lifestyle bloggers" who provide a personal angle to broader issues covered by big-name ecoblogs such as

To avoid packaging, Derfel and other trash bloggers tote reusable bags to the grocery store, carry reusable water canteens, and buy in bulk. They even count their nail clippings, rip off the paper tablecloths from chic restaurants, and fly home with waste from Hawaii vacations. Composting food scraps for garden fertilizer keeps them from dwelling with a vermin-infested stench. "Not In My Backyard" environmentalism it's not.

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