‘Trashy’ documentary stresses importance of cutting down on waste

Former TV anchor spends a year going “zero waste” for new documentary “Trashy: A Zero Waste Film”

A former Orlando news reporter made a big lifestyle change to cut down on waste.

All of Heather Gustafson’s trash is in one big clear bin.

“This is all the trash I’ve thrown away since January 1st,” said Gustafson an Orlando resident. That’s because she has gone “zero waste.”

So what does that mean? She has made it her goal to drastically reduce her trash output for 2021. For one year, all of her trash must fit into her plastic bin.

That’s it. One bin. One year.

It’s not easy, but she was inspired to do so after she learned about how much trash is already floating around in the ocean.

”For me that was learning about the great Pacific garbage patch which is a trash island floating off the coast of California, it’s twice the size of Texas,” Gustafson said.

She felt so passionate about this problem that she completely changed her life for the cause.

The Emmy award-winning news anchor, left the TV business to make a documentary, called “Trashy: A Zero Waste Film” documenting her year of going zero waste and why people should care about the billons of micro and nano plastics polluting our planet.

”Overtime, through the sun and salt and the salt water they’ll break down but they don’t evaporate,” Gustafson said. “They’ll get smaller and smaller and smaller into some micro nano plastics which are the size of a sesame seed.”

And we ingest them — through the air, water, seafood and other food.

”Scientists think that we are eating about a credit card worth of plastic every single week,” Gustafson said. “That’s a clothing hanger in a month. Then I think by the end of the year it’s estimated about a tire.”

In her documentary, Gustafson not only shares tips on how to make small changes to go zero waste, but also talks to people around the globe on how they are finding ways to send less to the landfill and that floating trash island.

”So we are breathing it in, we are eating it in our foods and at this point it’s inevitable,” she said “You have plastic in your body. I have plastic in my body. So the one thing we can do it limit the amount of plastic we are putting out.”

“Trashy: A Zero Waste Film” is still being filmed through the end of 2021. Gustafson hopes to have it in the film festival market by 2023. Her goal is to get it on major streaming services and into schools.

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About the Author:

Sarah Acosta is a weekend Good Morning San Antonio anchor and a general assignments reporter at KSAT12. She joined the news team in April 2018 as a morning reporter for GMSA and is a native South Texan.