‘No Impact Man’ seeks to make big ‘Jubbling’ impact – BI Review

Bainbridge Island Review – Bainbridge Island WA resident Van Calvez wants to see everyone reduce their trash and he is leading the charge by example.  The photo of Van includes his garbage output for all of 2005; it fits in one zip lock bag.  I could do this too if the zip lock bag was the size of a house but still, I’m Jubbling and my goal is to try and make that house-sized zip lock bag smaller every year. It seems Van feels the same way and reached a point where he couldn’t reach ‘Zero’ waste so he now focuses on helping people make lifestyle changes to reduce the amount they throw out.

We contacted Van and here are his top 5 tips for reducing your trash output:

  1. Compost – eliminates the stink in garbage, makes garbage dry and much less unpleasant.
  2. Recycle More – take a little extra time to spot recyclables in your garbage.
  3. Buy in bulk – avoid disposable, single use containers; switch to reusable containers.
  4. Cook from scratch – focusing on fresh, raw, whole, local foods.
  5. Analyze your garbage – keep an eye on what is going into your trash.

In effect, Van Calvez is more than achieving his goal of ‘Zero Waste’ by helping others reduce theirs. Van also recommended trying to go zero-waste for one week. After separating all of the recyclables and compostables, check what’s left “to see if there is a way to not generate this trash in the first place?.” Van is a proponent of buying in bulk too:

“I encourage people to look for opportunities to reduce their recyclables as well. The difference between reusable containers vs. single use recyclable containers is huge. If a person reuses a container 10 times, the consumption of resources and energy is roughly 1/10th that of a single use container. 100 times = 1/100 the consumption, etc. Every time I reuse something, that means one less thing that needs to be manufactured.”

‘No Impact Man’ – Full BI Review article.



  1. […] Waste Two years and 8 cans of trash per month ago, I posted an article about Van Calvez, “No Impact Man,” and his efforts to reduce his yearly waste to an amount that fit in one Ziploc bag. His advice was […]