OMG, huge zero waste fail 🙁
Seems like everyone’s talking about zero waste lately. I mentioned last year I was working my way towards less waste, but this last month has been a great big zero waste fail.
Since I fractured my jaw, I’ve been eating soup from a box, almond milk & coconut milk from a box, and using facial wipes (Ursa Major’s are made from bamboo and are biodegradable, but still…).
I have tried to make my own pureed soups, but my immersion blender doesn’t get them nearly pureed enough (which does matter, actually) and we don’t have a vitamix, so…boxed soups it is. I cringe every time I have to throw one of those away, and it’s often, since that’s basically all I eat. Normally I don’t use much almond or coconut milk, or I would make my own, but I have been using boxed versions of that as well. Ugh. Fail.
It’s not all bad though…
I did stock up on straws early on, since that’s the only utensil I can eat with lately. My favorites are the Straw Grace glass straws – I use those at home for soup – but I also have some Sipwell stainless steel straws that I keep with me in my bag if I need to get a juice out or something). Before my accident, I was already making an effort to avoid straws while eating out. It’s REALLY tough sometimes though, especially if you forget to ask for no straw and they bring it anyway. Ugh.
I do always have my s’well water bottle full of water with me so I don’t have to buy water while I’m out, and if I know I’m going to Starbucks I’ll bring a reusable cup with me. Otherwise, I try to buy only drinks in glass containers and if there’s no recycling nearby to drop it in when I’m finished, I bring it home to put in our bin. (that’s something I desperately miss about Austin; there were recycling bins EVERYWHERE, outside of Target, malls, etc., that there was really no excuse for not recycling drink containers. Here, not so much…)
For more than a decade I’ve been bringing my own grocery/shopping bags with me (by BAGGU of course!!), so I’m really proud that I NEVER take a shopping bag, no matter where I am. And while grocery shopping if what I buy doesn’t fit in the bags I have with me, I will carry them out without a bag, or stuff the extras in my purse (why I carry a big bag!!). Taking a paper or plastic sack from a store horrifies me. Although…I do still use plastic produce bags for some things. I don’t use bags for a lot of things, like onions, bananas, potatoes, etc., but I need to get some reusable produce bags ASAP.
For Slowre packaging I reuse my Stendig wall calendar for wrapping items, and try to re-purpose my Amazon boxes when I can. Otherwise, I use Ecoenclose poly mailers which are made from 100% recycled materials.
A couple of fails in the bathroom lately too:
Christophe Robin shampoo bar – Ugh. I used this for longer than I should have, but it’s not good for my hair – it never looked clean, and felt weighed down, and full of product, even though I hadn’t used any. Has anyone tried any of Lush’s shampoo bars with success?
For face cleaner, I’m still using this Indie Lee brightening cleanser, but I have used an Osmia facial soap in the past and liked it, so I may go back to that after I’m finished with the Indie Lee. I love the Indie Lee cleanser BTW.
I also use throw-away organic cotton rounds for my witch hazel twice a day, and once those are out, I won’t buy anymore, and will try these reusable cotton pads.
I have had some success switching over to bar soap for hand soap that I buy in bulk at Whole Foods, but I still keep pumps around for guest areas. I’ll probably stop doing that eventually too, and just buy smaller soaps for guest use? I don’t have a problem using bar soap for my hands, but I think some people don’t like it in someone else’s house.
And I’ve been using bar soap in the shower for several months (I use it with this Japanese washcloth) and I think I’ve found my favorite soap by Osmia Organics, the vetiver gray. I’ll stick with Osmia for body soaps, and I look forward to trying other scents over time, although this bar seems like it will last forever. I also have a tin from Lush that I put small bits of soap in to travel with.
Lush’s “naked” body conditioners – I have been using one of these for a while now and I can’t get enough; I love them in place of body lotion. I am using ro’s argan lately because it was a gift for my birthday, and I like it, but I prefer the bar or “naked” versions because they’re a little easier to use, and don’t have any packaging. The one I used to use is no longer available, so I haven’t vouched for any of these, but I’m looking forward to trying one once my ro’s argan runs out.
As a family, our biggest zero waste fail is definitely in the kitchen. Not entirely, though. I have used cloth napkins and dish towels for decades; even growing up, we never used paper napkins or paper towels. I also use dish rags my mother knitted for me, or old towels I cut into pieces. But my husband cannot do without paper towels. Or ziploc bags. Or aluminum foil. Or plastic wrap. UGH. Plastic Wrap!!!!
I’ll be working on replacing plastic wrap with bees wrap this year, and buying more reusable plastic bags so we can phase out disposable plastic eventually. I also want to start composting.
If I’m giving myself a zero waste grade, it’s definitely a C, because there’s lots of work to still do, but it could be worse. Right? 🙂
One of my favorite resources now is Litterless – she is a WEALTH of knowledge on the subject.
What are your favorite zero waste swaps? Where can you improve? What are your favorite resources?