When Lauren Singer decided to use a mason jar as her personal trashcan, she probably didn’t expect it would gain much attention. But every major outlet from Vox to MSNBC wanted to know more about the woman that could fit years worth of her non-compostable items into a 16 oz glass bottle.
I mean, it's commendable. The closest I've come to a social experiment like this is when I leave receipts and gum wrappers at the bottom of my purse for a month.
Today, Singer is known for more than her Four Years of Trash: One Jar project, which is now in its fifth year, she's also the founder of a store dedicated to zero waste called Package Free. Their mission is to offer customers simple and effective ways to eliminate or reduce the trash in their lives. The shop offers everything to live a sustainably from items like the obvious Stainless Steel Water Bottle or the surprising non-toxic, vegan fragrance-free candle (since many scented candles release hazardous chemicals).
As the author of the lifestyle blog Trash is for Tossers, Lauren remains dedicated to her cause by paying attention to details. When vendors reach out to her she vets them to make sure every part of their product is package free or at least recyclable. A majority of the sellers manufacture their goods in New York State. Practices like these help reduce their carbon footprint since shipments are often sent to their Brooklyn Store. And all online orders are packaged in plastic-free and eco-friendly materials.
Package Free’s Williamsburg store follows the same practices. Coffee cups, stationery, and kitchenware have no excess bubble wrap or casing surrounding them. There’s a section where customers can refill jars with laundry detergent made by Singer, herself. Employees even write out “price tags” on small pieces of rectangular cardboard with a black sharpie to avoid waste.
Does this mean that everyone should carry all of their trash in a jar to end unwanted garbage buildup? Not exactly, but with issues like The Great Pacific Garbage Patch continuing to make headlines little things can go along way.
Choose a few items or ideas that you could realistically incorporate into your everyday life.
Right now, I’m eyeing the #GIVEASHIT tote and an article on how to be a "eco-conscious" traveler from her Trash is for Tossers website.