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Live Waste Free

A Minimal March

 

    March has come and gone and I think it was my least wasteful month yet! I am genuinely impressed with my efforts. I am beginning to feel much more confident in my choice of lifestyle and I feel less strained in making educated decisions. Before, I used to feel almost deprived. As though I was refusing myself, stuff that I enjoyed, in the name of reducing my waste. I decided to not dwell on this and change my views. I now look to my cravings for inspiration. For example, a big thing I miss are chips. It is crazy how often I crave those crunchy-salty delightful crisps. Now whenever I get these cravings, I seek out an alternative. I make popcorn and put on some popcorn toppers that you can find at bulk barn or can make yourself! I also have turned to crackers or other chip like snacks that I can find in bulk. Pretzels are also wonderful craving cravers in moderation. All found in bulk! YES!

     One thing I struggled with, yet again is cheese. I’m trying you guys. I really am! For my dad’s birthday, we had him over for supper and I know how much he likes brie and how rarely he eats it. So I served some up with crackers as an appetizer to help make his day more special to him. At the time, I could not find it in bulk, so I bought two wheels for the occasion (we had multiple people come over that day). Other occasions, I chose to make vegan nacho cheese, which is incredibly simple, delicious and I found all the ingredients in bulk! I just need to focus on the change that I want to make and stop making excuses. I will get there sooner rather than later. I just know it!

     For now, let’s take a look at what’s in my jar this month. Unfortunately, I did not have an opportunity to weigh it, but it was significantly less in terms of volume! I am so encouraged to continue applying everything that I learned and implement it into my day-to-day life.

1-   Two Brie wrappers (dad’s birthday mentioned above).

2-   Plastic that went around some organic bananas. I feel this is crazy that organic items need to be marked with plastic wrapping. It’s quite unfair.

3-   Vegetable stickers. I feel as though these always sneak into my home. I try to choose veggies without them. Time to start shopping more often at the farmers market!

4-   Dryer sheets. Last month I upgraded to compostable dryer balls. These were the last two I had. Now that they are all used, I will not be turning back!

5-   Sticker from a shampoo bar. I shopped quickly this day and just grabbed the bar. When I got home, I saw a sticker. Woops!

6-   A ring from my milk. This particular day, there was no bulk milk in stock, so I bought milk in a glass jar on consignment. This milk brand had a small plastic ring around the cap. Overall, I’m happy with how little milk I actually bought this month. I am getting better every day!

7-   Dryer lint. As summer approaches, I’ll be using my dryer less and less. Aside from line drying or burning this (which I do not fully feel comfortable with because of the micro fibers in my clothing), I have no solution for this item.

Much less than the previous 2 months and I am so happy with this!

     I also want to take this opportunity and say that I decided on not doing a jar for the months of April, May and possibly June.  We are moving and I have started packing everything up. Although, I still do everything that I can with food and being responsible to dispose

of anything old and unwanted, there is bound to be more trash in this process than can fit in a jar. I just know it.

(Just below, you can see all the trash I’ve produced in my three months)

     I like to think that minimalism and Zero Waste go hand in hand. Minimalism being the state of mind and being content with what you own and Zero Waste being the actions we take in living this way. There is however, a first stage before the two that I am working on; decluttering. I have begun selling old furniture that I do not intend to use in the next apartment. I am also taking this chance to purge whatever I do not use/want in order to create a more open flow of space in my home. Once we are settled in our new place, I will take it back up again. I pinky promis! 

     Of course I know that some people prefer to have things around them to feel comfortable, and that is fine for their lives and it is fully their choice. I had also lived that way for the majority of my life. Moving forward, I am choosing to go the opposite route that I have for so long. My idea is that through decluttering, I will learn to appreciate more what I do have. I do not need many belongings to feel happy. Already through this process, I feel much calmer. I feel less stressed and spend much less time cleaning. Once I am settled, I will practice more minimalist and Zero Waste, just as I had before and continue to be accountable for my waste. I will also be making more eco-friendly choices in terms of furniture and household items.

        I hope you enjoyed hearing about my March and my plans for the immediate future. For more tips and tricks, head over and like my page on Facebook Live Waste Free. Where you will get daily ideas to keep you going on the Zero-Waste path. Or follow me on Instagram @livewastefree for random pics and funnies!

 

Live Waste Free

A Faulty February


     Another month has come and gone. It was filled with new experiences and its fair share of struggles. February was a ROUGH one for me. Many personal issues made it hard to focus on my goals to reduce my waste. I had a hard time with being motivated to meal prep and to make some choices that I know I should have made. I found myself down and simultaneously overwhelmed with everything at once. My personal issues played a large factor in this month’s trash. 

 

Below is my official list from February 2018:

1- The seal to a salad dressing. I was hoping that since t

he bottle was glass (and I intend to reuse it for more dressings) that it wouldn’t have a seal. I was clearly wrong.

2- 4 small plastic coffee creamers from work. My milk happened to run out on one particularly tough day (I do bring my own to work that I buy from bulk) and it was one of those days that called for coffee.

3- Plastic tag holder from a new shirt I bought. 90% of the time, I do second hand clothing, but this once I allowed myself to buy a new shirt. It came with one of these tiny tags.  

4- A paper/plastic bracelet from the spa. I had a wonderful day with my mom at the spa this day, but it came with a bracelet showing that we had access to a specific space.  

5- A Bandaid.

6- The sticker came off of my squeezy toothpaste container. We refill the toothpaste from bulk and reuse the container. I don’t like putting toothpaste into a jar because I’m too lazy to scoop it out. This keeps it easy and is reusable.

7- 2 cheese wrappers. We decided to buy this extra large cheese from a bulk store and we cut it and froze it in slices, to avoid smaller packaging while saving a bit of money. Next month, this shouldn’t be a problem since we still have a bunch left.  

8- A package for a tea from a restaurant. Again, I was hoping for the best, but it still came in this packaging.

9- Protective plastic from another sauce. Bought in a glass jar that I intend to reuse and refill at my local bulk stores.

10- Fruit stickers.

11- The handle from my brush that I keep at work. It broke off 🙁 The head still works and I intend to keep using it until it fully gives up.

12- Toothbrush bristles. We have bamboo toothbrushes, but the bristles are plastic. In order to put the handle into the compost, we need to remove the bristles.. *I’m open to any suggestions in finding a toothbrush that uses natural bristles* HELP!

13- Dryer lint.

14- Dryer sheets. I’m happy to say that we finally used up the last of them! We’ve since switched to using natural wool dryer balls. So there will not be anymore after the March jar! 😀 YAY!

     So that’s that for February. A total of 49 grams of trash. I’m finally feeling better and more centered and realigned with my goals (thank you meditation and yoga). I’m going to keep moving forward and continue to try my best at reducing my personal waste. I have decided to add a few extra goals to the list as we’ll and see how it all goes. 

March 2018 Goals:

  • Reduce my intake of dairy products. Many years ago, I decided to go vegetarian because I didn’t want to be a part of the problem with the amount of waste that factory farms produced. I’m finally at the point where I feel comfortable with reducing my dairy intake in a step to even further reduce my carbon footprint.
  • Get the hang of making my own sauces. I love cooking and do a pretty good job, but I can always improve and get creative with it.
  • Meal prep more.

     To see how the next month unfolds, or for tips and tricks to living Zero Waste, head over and like my page on Facebook Live Waste Free. Where you’ll get daily ideas to keep you going on the Zero-Waste path.

Or follow me on Instagram @livewastefree for random pics and funnies!

Live Waste Free

Begun with a Bang! -January's Waste-

    

Hey Hey! So if you’ve seen my blog post from the beginning of the year, you’ve seen that 2018 is the year of accountability for me! I decided to dive head first into the deep end and go all in! I started a trash jar and am learning so much about what waste I still have in my home! Some things just crept up and I had no clue! Now that I’m aware, I’m actively seeking alternatives and have found a bunch for the most part. I had a few guidelines before I began (listed here) and I tried hard to stick to them and let me tell you, It was not as simple as I had hoped!

     One of the most popular questions I receive from others who want to cut their waste is ‘where did you begin’? My answer is often the same. Do a trash audit. See what you’re using the most of and find reusable options or try to live without that product. It’s easier than you think to analyse, but trickier to stick to the principles. This is how I’m looking at my trash jar now. Being able to collect it all and see exactly what I have, I know to look for my alternatives.

     Some products in the jar (which really, is now a plastic clam-shell from strawberries my husband bought) were things that were already in my house, but that broke or were finished because I used it. Oh and a lot of fruit tags Those sticky suckers really know how to cramp my style.

Here’s the bigger than-I-thought-it-would-be list:

1-) Plastic wrapping from our toilet paper

We used to buy our tp from Costco and still have a few months supply left, because ya know – Costco. Since I use it, I kept the bag to show that I am contributing to waste. Our goal is to find a more sustainable toilet paper wrapped in paper or is naked (not impossible to find). Also, once we move, we’re going to look into a bidet. I’m actually quite enthusiastic for this upcoming change!

2-) Plastic bag from milk

The store I usually buy my bulk milk from had none left this particular day. Which would not have been the end of the world, however, I had a cake to make that called for milk. Typically, I would have just waited it out, but I had a deadline and I was unable to wait this time. Next time, I wait for them to re-up on their order before buying the packaged variety.

3-) Plastic from a co workers coffee gift to us

A friend brought our office back coffee from his trip to Trinidad. It came in a small plastic pouch, so I kept it. Since I thoroughly enjoyed this delicious treat!

4-) Stick from cat toy

Cat’s toy broke. We’re still using the other part. But this was the end of the stick. One day, I swear, I’ll make her own wooden toys, but for now, she’s stuck with this broken toy she loves, a few balls of yarn and more boxes that even she can handle.

5-) Miscellaneous plastic wrapper

I cannot remember, for the life of me, what this is from and it’s really bothering me! GAH!

6-) Vegetable stickers

I try to look for naked fruits and veg, but sometimes they sneak in. No one’s perfect right?

7-) Plastic clam-shell from strawberries

Husband bought, but I ate some. I took accountability for it.

8 -) Lint from dryer

This one’s a bit weird I know. I just don’t think that lint from the dryer is compostable since my clothes have microfibers. I make an honest effort to buy more responsible clothing, but a lot of my old clothes that are still good have these fibers. What I try to do is avoid washing more frequently. It extends the life of the clothes and the majority of them aren’t even dirty. So why wash them? I’ll happily re-wear sweaters, work shirts and jeans for as long as I can! Underwear and socks are a different story, but I have enough to tide me over until I wash my next load in a few weeks. In the summer I hang dry my clothes, so there will be no lint there, but the wintertime is a bit trickier to hang dry. It would take more energy to heat the room it’s in to hang dry items, then it is to run the dryer. I feel that washing less helps this overall impact.

9-) Plastic screen protector from my cell phone

Came with the phone a few months back and finally peeled off. I’m going to be careful to not damage it, but there’s a chance I’m going to get a glass cover protector. I’d rather extend the life of the phone by keeping it protected by buying sturdy products.

10-) Foamy cover from an ibuprofen bottle

I’m human and sometimes have pain. I try hard not to take pills, but other days I can’t help it. My consumption has gone down considerably and maybe one day I won’t take any at all!

11-) Medical tape from some blood tests I had

I couldn’t figure out if it was compostable. I don’t think so. The cotton ball was fine, but this I kept incase. The rest is pretty self explanatory and unavoidable

12-) Floss

I recently found a fully silk one, but I will finish what we have before converting. Rather than wasting a product that’s still usable.

13-) Wrapper from vegetables that were essentially loose

This wrapper held together a bunch of spinach. Its a wire wrapper but covered in a material I can’t quite distinguish. So rather than wishfully recycling (or wish cycling) it, I kept it.  

Not Pictured or Weighed

  • Bag of chips from work

We buy office snacks and I ate quite a bit of these snacks!

  • A small packet of butter from a family supper

I use the leftover butter from a small packet my husband had (at a family supper) and I forgot to bring home the small container. Boo! Avoidable completely!

     Total weight for January batch of waste, including the container itself was a whopping 50 grams! Seeing as how it’s the first month of being accountable, I’m quite happy with this. I’ve learned a lot and fully intend to implement what I have learned. Stay tuned to see how my February goes and how my will power will hold up against Valentine’s day candy! <3

     To follow more closely my journey to being accountable, or even for tips and tricks to living Zero Waste, head over and like my page on Facebook Live Waste Free. Where you’ll get daily ideas to keep you going on the Zero-Waste path.

Or follow me on Instagram @livewastefree for random pics and funnies!

Live Waste Free

New Year – New Goal

Happy New Year everyone and welcome back! I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday, full of rest and happy memories.

Let’s hop right into it shall we… resolutions. Hate them or love them, we all have dabbled with one or two in the past. I have learned that they do absolutely nothing for me. Whereas some thrive with them. What I enjoy more is trying to make more healthy choices overall: get outside more, less screen time, remembering that self care is important. These small actions are things that I strive for on the regular, rather than setting one specific resolution. I AM however trying one thing that’s fully new and I’m so excited to share. In the past, I have done everything that I can to avoid waste, but sometimes, slip ups happen and I try to go with the flow. This year, I have decided to be fully accountable for my waste. Yes, that means that I too now have a jar sitting on my counter where I will be able to keep all of my waste. I call it my “Oops” jar. I’ll be going through it each month and auditing it in hopes to cut the waste out the next month.

I have a few guidelines that I am adhering to in terms of this jar:

  • Anything that I have in the house already will be disposed of regularly. It’s absolutely minimal anyways since I’ve been cutting my waste now for a few years. I truly believe that within the few months, it’ll all be cleared out and everything will be complete!
  • What my husband brings in is his own. He does a pretty good job with his waste as well, but it’s my thing, not his. I am only accountable for myself.
  • The cat food and litter. The bag for the food is the largest we can find and paper. No problem recycling it. The litter box is recyclable, the bag gets reused for recycling then goes into recycling. The trash litter will get thrown away. It’s unfortunately not compostable, so I’m stuck trashing it.
**If anyone has any ideas to change up this routine, I‘m happy to listen!
  • My business is separate. It’s focused on Zero Waste products to help eliminate trash, but there are small bits here and there. HMMM… Maybe I’ll make a separate jar for this too! Only time will tell!
  • Anything ‘new’ coming into this house will need to be “alternatively new”. Clothes, kitchen appliances, books for schools (I really hope this one will be possible!) will need to be second hand items or repairing anything to the absolute max!
I know this seems like a lot, but it’s really quite fine. I’m so excited to see how this year unfolds! You have no idea! Stay tuned to see how this month unfolds!

Anyone else out there have any Zero Waste themed goals for the next year? Feel free to share in the comments!

As always, for more tips and tricks, head over and like my page on Facebook Live Waste Free. Where you’ll get daily ideas to keep you going on the Zero-Waste path.

Or follow me on Instagram @livewastefree for random pics and funnies!