Trash on Your Back was the show's first experiential program, she said.
About 20 people from around eight states participated in the challenge, including Matt Bogoshian, a senior policy counsel for theU.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and Jim McGrath, chief executive of Green Schools National Network.
On the last day of the challenge, the Huntington Beach participants met at the pier with the results. Sue Gordon from Rainbow Environmental Services helped separate recyclable and non-recyclable trash, and Huntington Beach High School sustainability teacher Greg Goran helped the team weigh the trash, Dehm said.
By carrying the trash bag all week, Carchio said, he realized that there are items and habits he could eliminate, like extra coffee cups.
"Say you had a Starbucks coffee and then you threw the cup away, and then you go back to Starbucks to get another coffee and then again to get a third coffee," he said. "Well, there's no reason to use three cups."
Realizing how much trash he had in his bag, Carchio couldn't imagine how much trash is accumulated by everyone.
About 4.4 pounds of trash per capita were generated each day in 2010 in the U.S., with only 1.5 pounds of that composted or recycled, according to Dehm.
In 2008, the U.S. spent $11.9 billion sending trash to landfills, she said. Cutting the trash by half could save $6 billion a year.
The participants joined in a conference call Monday and discussed their experiences on the radio show.
"It was enjoyable for me because I learned a lot about personal responsibility," Carchio said. "It has to start with you, if you're going to make a difference."
For Huntington Beach, it's even more important for everyone to be conscious of their habits, he noted.
"Our beaches are the jewel of our community," Carchio said. "This is our livelihood. This is how we make our money. If those beaches are not clean, no one is going to come here."