Oh heyyy, it’s May! That means we’ve completed four months of our zero waste challenge. It’s really becoming second nature and that’s so cool. Here are some random insights and musings I jotted down this month. Feel free to shout out any questions in the comments.
This month we still almost filled a jar – mostly receipts and random bits of plastic packaging – from a bottle of oil, etc. A plastic spatula cracked in half so that’s in there. Ugh. A razor head is in there too – my next to last one ever, hopefully! I am on my last one right now and I’m going to replace my trusty Venus with a safety razor. I have my eye on one by Oui but I also like the idea of just grabbing one off ebay* – or there’s even a popular one at Target*. They are built to last so there are lots of good quality secondhand/vintage ones out there.
- To jar or not to jar? Showcasing my landfill trash in a jar isn’t necessarily showing you the whole picture of my waste, but I will continue doing it because I think it’s a good illustration and tool right now. Will I continue doing it forever? Who knows. I buy things in bulk that come in a bag to the store. In the case of bulk spices, a relatively small bag. I don’t ask the store for a cut of the bag to put in my jar. I have attended parties and gatherings where cheese or other food was packaged and I’ve eaten it. I’m not at the point where I want to ask family and friends for the plastic wrap for my jar. Maybe someday or (some days) I’ll decide to refuse anything at all that came in packaging, but it’s not where I am right now. We drive a car (infrequently, but still), and we get repairs, we get the oil changed. The discarded motor oil isn’t in the jar. I am constantly asking for “no straws” and getting them anyway. And then too often I forget them at the restaurant. So, there are a few straws that *should* be in my jar but aren’t. Also we sometimes recycle things – that could be considered single use because recycling is very resource-intensive. Is a banana peel that I just throw in the compost without trying to salvage other cool uses/benefits single use and wasteful? To some people, maybe. So, the jar a partial picture at best. We’ve cut back dramatically and I’m so happy with where we are, but we’re not perfectly “zero waste” by some definitions. But in my heart I feel like we’re a zero waste home and I’m proud.
- I’m realizing that “REFUSE” is definitely the most powerful of the Rs for me right now. If I don’t receive something I don’t want, I don’t have to figure out how to deal with it.
- I’m also realizing that since I have SO MUCH LESS trash (yay!) I really can spend more time trying to figure out if it truly is trash or if it can be recycled/reused. I used to think that the “big name” zero waste leaders and bloggers were a little silly running all over town to specially recycle one small thing. But now I get it – you have so much less stuff to contend with so you can really pay attention to what’s going to the landfill.
- I still think that zero waste and minimalism are both well suited for each other and at odds. More on this later…
- I’ve probably accidentally composted more fruit stickers that I’d like to admit. I think I’m going to come up with a “sticker spot” somewhere in my kitchen where I can stick them while I’m running around.
- I’m not feeling super great about our dog food options but we’re getting there. Our current food bags can be recycled (er, down-cycled) through TerraCycle. It’s not ideal but it’s better than racking up a bunch of bags that have to go to the landfill. We have kept 2-3 of our old bags (also not in our jar!) because they are really heavy duty plastic and have a resealable top so I think they are useful to have on hand for the rare occasions when we need a “trash bag.” We currently have one that’s being filed up from this year’s total landfill waste – I just dump our jar o’ trash in there at the end of each month.
- We’ve tried a few flushable bags for dog waste though and I’ll have a review of those up soon!
- I really need the Whole 30 I’m doing this month. I let myself fall a little too far into the jelly bean jar the past month or so (really since I did that Whole 14 back in March) and I’m feeling SO sluggish. Ready for that energy boost! Which will come in handy soon because…
- And now, for our BIG NEWS: (No I’m NOT pregnant, haha!) …We’re buying a house! We don’t have the keys yet but all the big hurdles are out of the way so we’re 99% sure it’s a “go!” It’s a 950 sq ft 1920s home. It’s not “tiny” by any means but a nice small size that we’re excited about. Stay tuned for updates on how we’re trying to make our move and updates/repairs to the home as zero waste and eco-friendly as possible. During our last move we produced bags and bags and bags of trash and this time that’s just not happening.
That’s it for now! Let’s chat in the comments or on Instagram!
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