Man Resolves to Throw Nothing Away in 2008 As part of his ever-growing efforts to be more green, Los Angeles resident Dave Chameides will attempt to keep waste to a minimum. Any garbage he does make, he plans to keep in his basement.
NPR logo

Man Resolves to Throw Nothing Away in 2008

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/17778816/17781727" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
Man Resolves to Throw Nothing Away in 2008

Man Resolves to Throw Nothing Away in 2008

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/17778816/17781727" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

MADELEINE BRAND, host:

A few months ago we talked to Dave Chameides about how he converted his car to run on veggie oil instead of gas. Well, now he's going even further. His New Year's resolution: throw nothing away in 2008. That's right, for the whole year.

We went to Dave's house to get a before picture.

Mr. DAVE CHAMEIDES: So, yeah, we're in the kitchen of our house, and to be honest, we're probably in the room that scares me more than anything in the entire house.

(Soundbite of laughter)

Mr. CHAMEIDES: If I was a bachelor living alone, this would be a very different experiment than if I'm living with my wife and my two kids. (Unintelligible) my wife makes dinner for us and it's spaghetti and the spaghetti comes in a package. There's this weird, like, what do I say is mine and what do I say is theirs with certain things like that. I mean, you'll look in the refrigerator and all you see is plastic, plastic, plastic, plastic, plastic. And a lot of this, the truth of the matter is, there's not a lot of ways to get around.

I'm looking into, like, milk, getting that delivered possibly and, you know, sort of the old-fashioned way, you know, and things like eggs. I mean, some of them you've seen come in that Styrofoam stuff. We get the ones that are sort of cardboardy. And I'll show you in a little bit, we have a worm composting system.

(Soundbite of footsteps)

Mr. CHAMEIDES: This is actually a California basement. I grew up in Connecticut and anybody in Connecticut who heard me calling this a basement and saw it would sort of laugh at me.

(Soundbite of laughter)

Mr. CHAMEIDES: But in California, you know, you have these little 8-foot-by-20-foot or 15-foot space. You know, I've sort of cleared out some shelves and put a couple of bins down here, not really knowing what I'm going to need and what's going to happen.

(Soundbite of footsteps)

Mr. CHAMEIDES: This is our - beginning of our worm composting system. You see some of the worms moving around. But actually, my kids love this. They always want to come down and pet the worms.

You know, leftover little bits of salad. Like you can actually see, I've torn up some paper because you have to put some paper in here from time to time, coffee grounds. This is kind of hopefully be the way we deal with a lot of edible wastes. They'll actually eat about a pound and a half of stuff a day.

(Soundbite of footsteps)

Mr. CHAMEIDES: I'm going to (unintelligible) I'm going to waste. There's no way I can't. Hopefully by the end of the year I'll have tackled a lot of those problems. What am I using that's problematic? What kind of waste is it causing and how can I get around that? And by blogging it and sort of sharing it out there, other people can then go, oh, well, you know, I use this and I can do that instead and it's much better.

BRAND: Dave Chameides lives in Los Angeles with his wife and two daughters. Producer Eve Troeh visited him there at his house. Dave is blogging about his year of throwing nothing away and you can find a link to his Web site on our Web site, npr.org.

DAY TO DAY is a waste-free production of NPR News with contributions from Slate.com. I'm Madeleine Brand.

ALEX CHADWICK, host:

And I'm Alex Chadwick.

Copyright © 2008 NPR. All rights reserved. Visit our website terms of use and permissions pages at www.npr.org for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by Verb8tm, Inc., an NPR contractor, and produced using a proprietary transcription process developed with NPR. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.