Tis the season for festive fun, parties, spending time with family and friends and trying to bring lots of light and spirit to a dark cold season. It’s also the season to produce more trash than ever! Between Thanksgiving and Christmas, Americans (and I’m sure this applies to other countries as well) contribute an astounding amount of trash to landfills. Specifically, during December, the US produces … Continue reading 10 ways to have an eco-friendly, zero waste holiday
Having a visual representation of trash we produce can be powerful and compelling. It can showcase just how much trash is produced by a single person or action, as is the case with these examples: 1 million disposable cups – the amount used by airline flights in the US every six hours Rob Greenfield wore his trash around NYC for 30 days A local Vermont student … Continue reading I’m quitting the jar (sort-of)
UPDATED 2018 Hi there! Thanks for visiting. I no longer recommend this product due to the actions of Simply Co. owner Lauren Singer and her business Package Free Shop on Instagram and elsewhere. On several occasions Lauren and Package Free Shop have deleted and blocked people who have tried to start reasonable discussions about privilege, representation, inclusion, diversity and supporting BIPOC. Silencing their supporters and … Continue reading The Simply Co. Zero Waste Laundry Detergent Review
It’s Plastic Free July! Let’s celebrate! Refusing to use single-use plastics and reducing your waste goes hand in hand. The good news is that participating in Plastic Free July is pretty easy. Easier than many transitions towards zero waste, in my opinion. If you’ve ever thought “I don’t have time for that” or “I could never attempt zero waste,” this is the challenge for you. … Continue reading Join me for Plastic Free July
My husband and I are currently in the middle of a Zero Waste Whole 30. We’re trying to complete the challenge without producing very much landfill or food waste. First check out my tips on how to shop for a Whole 30, zero waste style. Once you figure out which stores in your area will allow you to bring your own bags and containers, you can … Continue reading Zero Waste Whole 30 Recipes
My husband and I cook with butter (and ghee) quite a bit. We love to cook and make almost everything at home and I’m not ashamed to admit: butter is a staple. In this way we’re very much like Bea, one of the leaders of the zero waste home movement. She famously (at least to me!) re-used her family’s butter wrappers from one year for a huge art piece.
Here are the zero waste/less waste/package-less butter options that I’ve found:
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Today we’re shopping for a Whole 30, but this is how we grocery shop all the time to reduce our household garbage. These ten tips will help you reduce the amount of food packaging you bring home … and then have to throw out.
Read about the “Zero Waste Whole 30” I’m doing this month here. Yes, I’m doing another Whole 30. I know. But it’s because I love it. #cantstopwontstop
To find local stores in your area that have a bulk section, visit the Zero Waste Home Bulk App (mobile and desktop-friendly.)
Join me for a May Whole 30 … zero waste (or low waste) style! You do not have to commit to zero waste to join in. Let’s support each other through a Whole 30 and share ways that we can reduce our waste throughout. I’m doing a Whole 30 starting May 1, 2016. Join me and let’s share our favorite tips, recipes, and ways to complete … Continue reading #ZeroWasteWhole30 Starts May 1, 2016 – Join Me!
Three months of living with a focus on reducing our landfill waste on the books! We still have a lot to learn and we’re still tweaking our different systems, but in general this lifestyle works for us.
Here are some random thoughts and musings I’ve jotted down this month. If there’s anything specific you want to know, please leave me a comment or email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) and I’ll do my best to cover it in a future post.
- The thing that shocks me still is how many “pre zero waste” things we’re still working through and have yet to have to find (or try) the zero waste or less-waste alternative for. Our last tube of toothpaste is still going strong, for example. Possibly because we’re just noticing our consumption of everything and using less?
- We still have some shampoo and conditioner in a bottle left, but I cracked into my shampoo bar about a month ago anyway. Shampoo bars are a revelation. I was nervous that it would be like a body soap. But it’s not – the one we’re using has a lovely lather and cleans my hair really well. In fact, I think my hair is healthier and shinier now. We’re still using conditioner at home since we have a bottle but while traveling I was just using the shampoo bar and then running a tiny bit of Argan oil through my ends and it worked well.
- We’re still working through our big bottle of liquid laundry detergent but I’m going to be trying out a purchased zero-waste option soon. And then I’ll try a DIY version.
- I will not be changing our cloth diaper laundry routine. Our current routine really works for us right now so I don’t want to mess with it too much by trying a new detergent, etc. Perhaps I’ll do some experimentation but what we do now is easy and works well for us. My daughter will only be in diapers for another year+ so maybe we’ll just stick with the not-perfectly-zero-waste system that works for us. At least the packaging is recyclable.
- I’m hysterically terrible at my zero waste “elevator pitch.” It’s ironic since I talk and write for my job (PR). My husband thinks its because it’s so …BIG… to me. And I’m a little anxious about seeming like I’m being preachy. So I just kind of falter and stumble around. I’m so incredibly passionate about living this way. But, it’s a lot to talk about, especially given the fact that most households throw out a bag or more of trash a week, and now we’re only producing a jar a month. It’s hard to condense the changes we’ve made into a few sentences. However, I think this is important as more and more people challenge themselves to reduce landfill trash. So, I’m working through a few elevator pitches and I’ll share them with you soon.
- Challenging the status quo isn’t as scary as it once seemed to me. I tend to be passionate about the things I believe in but even so, it was a little intimidating to think about constantly “butting up against” wasteful practices and trying to change consumption habits. Starting small has been helpful. I’ve kind of made it a routine to reach out to local businesses and restaurants after I visit to suggest more eco-friendly practices such as not auto-printing receipts or automatically handing out plastic straws. I may not always get a response, but the responses I have gotten have been positive. Mostly along the lines of “Huh, good idea, we just always did it this way and never thought to change.” I feel the same way, actually! I used to accept so many single-use disposable items into my life before without thinking. Now that I know the alternatives and know how easy it is to reduce my waste, it’s second nature to refuse. But it isn’t second nature to many people and businesses. And that’s okay! You don’t know what you don’t know, right?
- I don’t think I could ever go back to buying packaged food. The only thing we really “miss” is the occasional bag of chips. But even then, I’m not sure the taste or experience will be that exiting.
- So many zero waste things are second nature now, I forget to post about them, even. Many of the changes we’ve made took so little time and effort to adopt. It’s not that I can’t remember what it was like to have paper towels or other typical single-use household items, but our lives just aren’t really impacted at all by the zero-waste counterparts. It’s boring, but true.
- I’m having a hard time convincing certain people that I am not judging their choices or being judgmental. I am just living my life and trying something out. If I’m on a diet and you’re not, that’s okay with me. If I’m on a diet and you’re not and it makes you feel guilty, that is frustrating but I don’t know how to help. I’m not sure how me guilty for making someone feel guilty is that productive, if that makes sense. Either you’re confident and comfortable with your choices or you’re not. I am certainly not always comfortable with my choices but I am just trying to live a life I am happy with and that I can sustain for a long time.
Without further ado… here’s a picture of our March 2016 trash jar. Now that I’ve started sharing pictures of my trash with you, apparently I can’t stop. 🙂
While we definitely jumped right in to attempting a zero waste home, there were a few big steps my family took over the last few years that made the transition to reducing our waste a lot easier. We made a lot of changes in our home when we fully committed to going zero waste in 2016, but we weren’t necessarily starting at “square one.”
Here are the four things we did in the past few years that helped our journey to a zero waste home: