the film

The clean bin project is now a feature film! An award winning  documentary, the film follows our year our trying to live consumer and waste-free and explores the larger issues of garbage in North America.  Featuring interviews with renowned artist, Chris Jordan and marine pollution expert, Captain Charles Moore, the film presents the serious topic of waste reduction with optimism, humour, and inspiration for individual action.

The clean bin project is currently playing a festivals and in select community screenings. Visit the official movie website at for more information!

You can also check out our progress on our Facebook Page or view our  official trailer below!

Vodpod videos no longer available.


72 responses to “the film

  1. Wow, I am so impressed with this movie. You guys are really doing a great thing here. I can’t wait to see the final product. I like the part about how it used to be crazy to see someone smoke inside, and maybe that is the same thought change that could happen here. That is brilliant! I definitely think something like that could happen. Let me know when you guys are finished with the film. I have many classmates who would love to see it.


    • Jen CleanBin

      Thanks for the comments. I really like the smoking analogy too. It’s like littering. It used to be normal and now it’s socially unacceptable. I hope not recycling becomes the same.

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  4. Wow! What you guys are doing is amazing. It’s exactly the kind of thing everyone will need to do for our region to get anywhere close to zero waste.

    I work for Metro Vancouver (formerly called the Greater Vancouver Regional District), who are currently asking the public just how much waste we as a region should be diverting. Here’s a link to the consultation sched if you’re interested.

    Also, we’ve developed a web-based tool to help connect people with opportunities to donate (reuse) and recycle materials they no longer want, diverting them from the dump … … if you like this tool it would be great if you shared the link with your blog subscribers.

    I look forward to learning more about the real-life barriers and showstoppers you encounter in your efforts to truly achieve zero waste.



  5. Catherine Demarchi

    Awesome, touching, moving video. Keep up the good work. You have inspired myself and my family to cut down on waste. We have also decided to not spend any money on anything except if absolutely necessary. Thank you!

  6. Lauren

    I just watched the trailer for your movie, and I am so excited to see the end result. I think that this is an important project not just for people of our generation (we who grew up with the three R’s drilled into us from the beginning), but also for my parent’s generation who, in many cases, seem to find the act of reusing, recycling, composting etc…too time consuming, and dirty.
    Thanks for taking on the task of producing zero waste, and more so, for taking the initiative to film and write about your experiences.


  7. karine

    wow…you guys are amazing….I’m totally inspired! I saw the article in the MEC magazine and now I just can’t stop reading your blog. Can’t wait to see the finished film too!!

  8. This looks GREAT! Can’t wait for the finished product!!

  9. Lace

    I saw you in the MEC magazine too, and I am so excited to see your project! It’s inspiring! I recycle, but you take it to the next level. I’m excited to follow your progress!

  10. You had a really great idea! I’m from Quebec province and I heard about what you were doing in the MEC catalogue. I truly believe your film should be seen on TV or in theater. I imagine the reactions of companies if many people ask to get their stuff without packaging!!! Really cool!!!your work has an influence on many others, and that will eventually make a big difference. Thank you! You made my day…:-))
    I’ll definitly post a link in my blog to yours!

  11. Chella

    SO inspiring!!!

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  13. Wow, great trailer. I am really interested in watching the documentary, when do you plan to release that?
    It is interesting, you said on the video that you remember a time when you would have just tossed your McDonald trash out the window. We have been doing a lot of hiking since spring finally arrived. On many of the trails that are more accessable, we have found so much fast food garbage. It is so sad to see so much of this waste in our back country:(
    I think society has quite a ways to go still, but it is efforts like yours, being shared and shared, that will aid in making the shift to a more contiencious society.
    Thank you for this great work!

    • Jermony- We’re hoping to have the trailer done by the spring (2010), but it all depends on how much filming we get done in the next two months! I do agree that our society has a ways to go, but I’ve also seen how fast people can change. (who are these people who eat fast food in the back country anyway?)
      Thanks for the support!

  14. Rachel

    Thanks to both of you for this great project. Hopefully it will make its way to Ottawa!

    And you are making a difference. Just this past weekend I found myself walking through a huge grocery store, loudly ranting to my husband about how I didn’t want “shrink-wrapped mushrooms!” We regularly confuse cashiers by using reusable mesh bags or reusing plastic bags for produce and bulk foods, and my husband is trying to work out a way to reuse the shipping packaging we already have to add insulation to the house (not sure about that one yet :D).

    Keep up the excellent work!

    • I love a good grocery store rant. And, yes, I know what you mean confusing cashiers (“this is actually bulk oats, not raisins, I’m just reusing the bag”). At the end of the pproject I’m going to buy a whole set of reusable mesh bags, so the cashiers can see what’s in there (also reusing the plastic ones can get a bit smelling if you don’t dry them out properly).

      I’m not sure about the insulating capacity of shipping packaging, but let me know if it works out. Thanks for the support!

  15. Erica

    So glad to see Vancouverites taking a stand on this issue. This is the wake-up call that our society needs! Kudos.

  16. derrick kanashiro

    I can’t wait to see your completed film. I hope you do a tour across Canada to help promote a waste free living. So what do you plan to do once the year is up? Any encores coming?

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  18. Tracey Weldon

    Meet you both at the RCBC Conference in Whistler and was both amazed and inspired by your project. I can’t wait to see the final film, and would love to plan to show it to by colleagues during National Waste Reduction Week in Canada.

    Keep up the amazing work. And to Jen, that grocery shopping experience, I’ve been there many many times, just waiting for the courage to say something….

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  21. Mark

    Hi Jen,
    What is the expected release date of the film? Looking forward to seeing it!

    • Mark -Uh, we’re working on it. I’m officially saying “next year sometime” to be safe. Grant gets really busy in teh summer with other film and music projects, so the doc is on hold for a bit. Don’t worry – we’ll come through in the end!
      Gayle – I second your recommendation. We relly liked that film and hope that our film will be able to resonate with audiences as well as that one did. That is awesome that your church has a green team! Nice work!

  22. Gayle Neilson

    I just heard about your project – awesome! I’ve been trying to curtail garbage for a good 20 years (3 Rs, compost, etc.) and encourage my family to do likewise. I look forward to hearing about your documentary. As chair of my church’s Green Team, we will definitely show the movie when it comes out. I encourage everyone to also see “Addicted to Plastic”.

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  25. Susi

    Yay! It IS worth it – because you inspire others to follow 🙂

  26. Wow! I love your project. The world, especially America, is not as passionate about the environment and recycling as you and I are, but in time with more awareness and education, I hope things will take a turn for the better. Keep up the amazing work!

    – Maurizio Maranghi –

  27. Marga Salvador

    Dear Jenn,
    I just watched your trailer and I loved it. I got the hint from another page “No impact man”. I’m trying to learn ways of reducing waste and being environmentally friendly all worldwide. I must say your challenge was a big one, but if we think of our parents (at least mine, I live in Spain and they are from the postwar)one realises that they managed to live with so little. Now it’s harder to avoid all that waste. I’m looking forward to your film to learn from you.
    One more thing, could you post recepies for homemade soap, dishwasher and stuff like that?? I do most of them at home, but I’d like to have new varieties.
    Lots of succes with the movie.

    • Hi Marga,
      Thanks for your support. The more people in our networks, the more empowered we feel. You’re so right about our overconsumptive society – it really is a recent thing, and I strongly believe it’s not too late to go back.

      There are some recipes for laundry soap etc at It is a work in progress, and I keep adding more; although, I should clarify that I didn’t make bar soap during the year. I had such a collection that I never ran out.

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  29. WOW!! It’s finished!!

    I didn’t know the film was out!!

    Can’t wait to see it! Here in Slovenia too! 🙂

  30. Jenny

    Dear Jen and Grant

    I saw your movie in Calgary last night and thought it, and its message, were excellent. My husband and I try to live a waste free life (we have about 1 Safeway size bag every 2 months between us). It was great to see that you are working so hard to get the message out there – in a way that people can appreciate and see clearly how they can begin to make their own contribution.
    I found the movie inspiring, thought provoking, funny, sad and superbly put together. Congratulations to both of you for what you have achieved and all the best for your Canadian Tour!

  31. DT Rustemeyer

    Dianne and I saw the movie in Vancouver as we were visiting family and heard about it from Jen’s folks. As a relative I was proud of the work and committment Jen and Grant made. Their efforts have made us realize we can do lots in our new home in the Cariboo. We just put in a composting toilet in the cabin, dug a grey pit for water, are rebuilding the compost that has sat for ten yrs. All of our renos to the lake house are energy efficient and the plumbing is low flow on a new well. We have started to find all the recycle places in town and are now searching out the places to buy foods will little or no wrap. Its a start and we will do more as we learn more – thanks Jen and Grant

  32. Michele Vicentini

    Hi Jen,

    This is Michele who stayed in your parents home.
    I would like to congratulate you for your project. Here in Brazil I showed the movie for all my friends and my family, and now in my home my mom started to recycle the most of our garbage. I’m very happy, because everytime I said to her: “We need to recylcle the garbage!” But here we don’t have a good program about this. And when she saw your movie she changed her mind. Now my family reduce a lot the plastic bags!! The problem is that Brazil starts now to prohibit the use of plastic bags.
    I would like to say thanks, because your movie make the diference in my house, in my family and in the World.
    Bye =)

  33. I have had the great fortune to see your final cut of this, I’ve done the captioning and just sent it to the editor to review.

    In my 11 years working in the biz, captioning local content, this has been one of the best-crafted, best-edited, complete “project” documentaries I’ve seen from a local independent project in that time. You guys nailed it on all component levels, then there’s the CONTENT… not to mention your noble goals.

    What a fantastic accomplishment. I loved you guys’ banter and interaction, the info, the variety of content.

    I wish you every success and I’m glad I got to have a small role in it. I’ll be trying to see how I can make some small changes for big results in my own life. Thank you for the food for thought.

    Believe me, I’ll spread the word. Go get ’em!

    • Wow – thank you so much for your kind words Steffani! It really means a lot coming from someone like yourself who sees so many films. I have to give a lot of the credit to Grant (as you would have seen from the credits), but we are both really proud of the film and are super excited about the enthusiasm we’ve been encountering so far! Thank you in advance for the work you did on it too!

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  35. Awesome film. You guys should come over to Gibsons BC and see what we are doing here? Bring your camera? You have demonstrated how individuals can make a difference. We can show you how a community is making a difference. Buddy+Barb

  36. Maddy

    I just saw the film in Newport Beach where I know it was a part the film festival a few months ago. Totally inspiring!!! I just graduated high school but I look forward to implementing a few of the ideas in the film in college- thank you!

  37. Jenny

    My boyfriend and I just watched the film last night in Newport Beach, CA and loved it! It was so inspiring! The one thing we are starting off with is eliminating our use of plastic produce bags, and we will now use re-useable. I think I will also be making my own Christmas wrapping bags this year. What a great idea! I was wondering, though…why didn’t you make something out of your broken dishes? You could have made a stepping stone for the garden or glued them back together and potted a plant in it…

    • Right on Jenny! Once you try the Christmas bags, you’ll never go back! You’re so right that I could have made a stepping stone or something, but the deal was that if we hadn’t done something with it by day 365, it had to stay in our garbage – no holding on to things for “future” projects 🙂

  38. Adélaïde

    I have just seen your movie and I find it very inspirationnal, a very good influence on people and on me.
    Your idea and your “competition” are a lot of fun and make people think everybody can makes a real change.
    This is the reason why I think you should get your movie worldwide.
    I was talking about your blog and movie to one of my friends in France and she is already excited ! If you need any translation in French for your movie, here I am 🙂
    And for my baby step into this project, I have decided to beg my building intendant to have reclycle bins and not only for papers… !!!

  39. James

    Positively inspiring. I live in a very small town in northwestern B.C. and we had the good luck to see your amazing movie (twice!) this past week. Because of the interesting content, it wasn’t until the second viewing that I was able to observe what a technically well-made documentary it was! Must be a huge job putting it all together. And, Jen, your resolve, focus and mature attitude was outstanding.

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  42. Wanda D

    Saw the film yesterday at the travelling community film festival. Terrific! I am like-minded and always appreciate a beautiful piece of work to remind me to carry on.

  43. Royce R

    I saw this movie in my school and it inspired me too be more resourceful and think before I act, I think it is so cool what you guys did and am now way more conscious when throwing something away. At the start of the film, I thought it could never be done but you guys roughed through it and that really showed me what we can do if we try.

  44. MARTHA S

    What an awesome commitment, very inspiring. I always believed in recycling, reusing and composting, but I did not realize how much waste I was throwing away. In general, I think the mass corporations and huge advertising brain-wash the public into buying all the junk that they do. It’s sad when some of it is able to be recycled but most is just tossed away. I believe The Clean Bin Project will educate many people, like myself, in committing to be more careful in what we buy. I also just read “Plastic Free” by Beth Terry and this has also inspired me.
    If someone said that one person can not make a difference, I would tell them they are wrong.

    • Thanks for your kind words. We are continually inspired by how many great zero waste programs and people we meet – Beth Terry is definitely one of those people. And you’re right, I don’t think it’s malicious, it’s just that most people just don’t think about their waste. We hope we are making a difference and educating people; more and more people are requesting that their schools and libraries buy our movie, and I think that goes a long way as well because then people can “see” the impact. Cheers!

  45. I Just saw your movie with my girlfriend in Argentina for the Green Film Festival! We have been engaged by several projects this past years, but your movie achieved something unique, it brought concern to our very hands and feet! We have always been great admirers of art and music, and I have only experienced few artists that made me feel not only as an expectator but involved deeply mentally and physically in their work as yours did. I will post a review on my Art’s Blog soon, I wanted to thank you for your great job in this film and also to mention that we enjoyed Grant’s music a lot, excellent video editing and direction! Please continue your journey, this is definetely the right path the one chose with Grant. Saludos de Argentina!

    • Thanks for your kind words! I give Grant full credit for music selection and scoring and technical editing (we both had a hand in choosing what stories to tell and how to tell them). We are definitely continuing the journey, and hope you will too!

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  50. Ann

    Hi guys. My husband and I watched your documentary yesterday and we loved it. I mean.. it is depressing, REALLY depressing to realize just how much waste we produce and where it ends up. We have been trying to cut back on our garbage and waste for many years and I agree when you say that there are days when you just can’t help it but to question yourself and your goals and wonder whether your efforts are relevant at all (specially when as you cut down on your purchases and increase your recycling, you see a neighbour or the person in front of you at the line up buying a ton of stuff or using double plastic bags for their groceries..

    But please don’t give up. This world needs more people like you. I NEED people like you to keep me motivated and inspired. I can see things changing around me and I do hope that by the time our daughters grow up, our efforts will be reflected on the planet they will be inheriting.

    Once again, I loved you project and your idea and please do not ever get tired of following this awesome initiative !!!

    • Thanks for the kind words Ann. It’s true, even those of us who are already on the zero waste path need affirmation every once in a while.
      Nice to hear from like-minded people! The more children who are raised thinking zero waste is possible, the more likely it is to become reality!

  51. Lester Easton

    I just saw your documentary on the knowledge network. It was very inspiring!! I live in the Vancouver area, and felt very proud of you guys, great job on the movie and living the idea you had. I have known this for awhile- what we are doing to the planet. But I have felt like there isn’t much we/i can do, because waste is part of the system and the economy we live in. I have been recycling and composting for many years, and also bringing fabric bags to the grocery store. I want to do even more now. I will build a compost bin in my yard now. But I want to get more involved and would like to help you guys and spread the word….. Let me know how I can help, and get more people involved ?



    • Thanks for the feedback Lester – We’re excited that you were inspired to do more! It would be fantastic if you could let your friends know about the film (it’s streaming free on the Knowledge Network website this month). We have a sporadic newsletter that goes out that might be of interest:

      If you’re really into the food waste/composting side of things, you can also support our new project, Just Eat It by spreading the word about that film too: (email sign up at the bottom of the page)

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  54. Shari

    Hello guys! My kids and I just finished watching the clean bin film and we thought it was amazing. The ocean plastic and the baby birds brought tears to my 10 year old sons eyes. We are now busy discussing what else we can do to create less waste and are trying our hands at composting starting today.
    One tip for your website is to reuse school supplies. My 3 kids have reused things like duo tangs, binders and even notebooks with the used pages ripped out for the new school year for years. I refill only what is absolutely necessary. Yes. They’re the kids with the stubby pencils and half erasers stuffed in their older siblings pencil case from the year before. It also saves a ton of money and time for school supply shopping. 😉

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  57. Neus

    Hello! There are subtitles from this movie in Portuguese ?

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