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Climate One: Net Zero Living

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A styrofoam takeout container in the trash.
A styrofoam takeout container is seen in a trash can on Dec. 19, 2013, in New York City.
Spencer Platt | Getty Images 2013

Net Zero Living: ways to reduce the amount of trash you generate, and how to design or retrofit a home to conserve energy.

Conservation begins at home — literally. Designing and operating a home that generates as much power as it uses is rapidly becoming a reality.

Meanwhile, cities around the country have made zero waste a goal for their landfills. Can it be done? What steps can we take to reduce the trash on our collective backs? 

What is it really like to live trash-free? 

"You get these trash goggles," said Samuel McMullen, a University of Michigan student who has set out for a year of zero-waste living. "Once you've done it even just for a day, you start seeing trash everywhere." He's the co-founder of Live Zero Waste. 

Other speakers include:

• Diana Dehm, founder, Trash on Your Back.

• Kevin Drew, Zero Waste coordinator, San Francisco Department of the Environment.

• Lauren Hennessy, sustainability outreach manager, Stanford University.

• Ann Edminster, author, "Energy Free: Homes for a Small Planet."

• Daniel Simons, principal, David Baker Architects.

• Sven Thesen, owner of a Net Zero home.

• Greg Dalton hosts the Commonwealth Club of California's Climate One series. Produced in association with KQED public radio.

To listen to the program, click the audio player above.