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You’ve got to include labour in the costs of recycling

Kathryn Kellogg, a 25-year-old print shop employee, spends four hours a day on her lifestyle blog Going Zero Waste. She posts on Instagram, engages with Facebook followers, and writes about homemade eyeliner and lip balm, worm composting, and shopping bulk bins – anything to avoid unnecessary waste. Her trash for the past year – anything that hasn’t been composted or recycled – fits in an 8oz jar.

Kellogg is earnest, enthusiastic, and admittedly still figuring out what it means to be zero waste. The aspiring actor has also weathered her fair share of criticism. “I’m not even that big yet and I get so much hate mail,” says Kellogg, who draws 10,000 unique page views a month and has 800 subscribers.

Four hours a day on a blog and 10k visitors a month? 80 visitors per hour of work?

That’s not cost effective really, is it?

12 thoughts on “You’ve got to include labour in the costs of recycling”

  1. My blueberry bushes aren’t cost effective but I enjoy the effort I put into the few pints* I’ve gotten so far. Of course although I know the joy of raising my own crops I wouldn’t expect everyone else to do the same.

    *I have no clue what exactly that is in the new measurement but at best an old pint is four of the new containers.

  2. @Andrew M,

    Actually it’s great that we get people obsessive enough to do this. It’s a joyous combination – an essentially free society with instantaneous, global, trivially-expensive communication. So we get nutters who can try things out at the fringes, take things to extremes, and report back to the rest of us so we can decide we aren’t having any of it.

    The problem is not people going to ridiculous and inefficient extremes on their own time, it’s the risk that nanny dictates we shall all toil hours a day to the same inefficient end (which hasn’t happened. Yet).

    But bravo to the experiment. Sometimes crazy people are right (if not on this occasion).

  3. She walks lightly to leave no footprint of having ever been here. I assume she’ll want no tombstone.

  4. aspiring actor …. “I’m not even that big yet and I get so much hate mail,”

    So, all this is really about self-promotion

  5. On the other hand, she’s managed to get mentioned in the Guardian, which may not be a badge of honour to people here, but if you’re into gaia/woo/hippy shit that’s a big deal. Lots of people are fighting for that.

    And that might even translate into money. I wonder if there’s a thing here a bit like fashion youtubers. You get paid to basically promote products by brands. If you can promote overpriced eco shit, maybe you can get paid by those companies.

    Or maybe she’s just looking for some way out of being a print shop employee and is just sitting in front of the TV in the evenings and doing this and trying things and hoping it goes somewhere. I doubt she’s foresaking other, better opportunities, and who knows what she’s learnt? If it opens up a door into PR or marketing, it will certainly have been worth it over say, what she’d have got giving up work to go to college.

  6. It should be pointed out that, like the coal powered, “zero emission” electric car, she is responsible for plenty of trash. It’s just elsewhere, people preparing things for her, and the associated trash is just out of sight.

  7. The fact that she gives or sells her rubbish to others to recycle rather than putting it in a bin to be collected by the council doesn’t stop her from generating waste.

  8. Composting is all well and good if you have a use for the compost, some friends bought a house recently and at the bottom of the garden were 3 large compost wooden bins all which were full, they had to pay someone to come and haul it all away

  9. If she only generated 8 oz of shit in a year she should see a doctor.
    Or maybe it’s the Gaudrian version of set aside.

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