There are people who talk about reducing, reusing, and recycling — and then there’s Maren Engelmohr.

Engelmohr, a St. Louis architect with an impressive set of green credentials, her husband, and her two children are embarking on a year-long “waste diet,” and are challenging you (and me) to do the same:

The Waste Diet is a campaign to encourage people to reduce their Household landfill waste. Our household is committing ourselves to not sending any waste (or very minimal waste) to the landfill for the entire year of 2008. We are challenging every household in the country to try it for at least one day, one week, one month, or one year. Join us in our quest for less waste.

Do you know how much waste your household produces? I decided to measure ours and in one month alone, we sent over 240 lbs of waste to the landfill! I’m not so proud. We also generated over 100 lbs of recyclable waste including glass bottles, plastic, metal, aluminum, cardboard, etc at our local recyclers. Let us know how much waste you send to the landfill and what you are committing not to do in 2008 (click on “The Challenge” tab for more info).

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If we can do it, so can you. Our household is comprised of a family of 4 who live in a suburban town in the Midwest. My husband and I have full-time 8-5 jobs and our 2 children attend the local public elementary school. We have a dog and 2 cats. We live in a 4 bedroom house on a suburban infill site about 1/4 acres. We own 2 gas-guzzling vehicles and use electricity to run a plethora of convenient appliances. We do, however, live in a brand new green home (see “About Us” for more info about our green home) which is the inspiration for our quest. This will truly be a challenge for us. Our hope is to find environmentally friendly waste solutions while not drastically changing our lifestyle in the hopes that we’ll offer ideas and inspirations to others.

Take The Waste Diet challenge. Measure your household landfill waste for one month and send us your results along with your “Waste Diet” goals for less waste in 2008. Click on “The Challenge” tab for more info. We will post stories and results on our website We want to hear from you!

I’ll be trying to follow Maren’s example, and tracking her success. Check out her website for more information.

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