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
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.
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