My Zero Waste Day

Over the last several months I have made great strides in being more zero waste each and every day. I thought it would be fun to write-up how my day went today (skipping some of the boring stuff), so here it goes.

In the morning:

  • IMG_4051I woke up and brushed my teeth with my homemade toothpaste and compostable bamboo toothbrush. Both are awesome I and couldn’t live without at this point.
  • In the shower I used my shampoo/body wash bar and shaved using my old school metal razor which I love.
  • Instead of blow drying I let my hair air dry.

Clothes:

  • I put on a pair of thrifted jeans, thrifted jeans always feel more comfortable to me.
  • All the other worn clothes were bought new at some point in time in the last few years. I did however recently decide to not buy any new clothes for 365 days. All clothes must be repaired, refashioned or replaced by secondhand only items. I am happy to report so far so good 48 days in with no major need/desire to purchase anything.



IMG_4777

Food & Drink:

  • School lunch packed for 8YO; ham sandwich, mini tangerine, bulk bin carrot, homemade peanut butter cookies, dried cranberries from the bulk section, packed in reusable bags.
  • The ham was purchased and sliced at home.
  • I am still looking for a good alternative to store bought bread, making my own is too time consuming.
  • Bulk tea in a travel mug for back and forth in the car.
  • Homemade stuffed peppers and coconut milk mashed potatoes* for both lunch and dinner. All ingredients purchased without plastic at the co-op using mesh bags, cloth bags, and glass jars to transport items home.
  • Homemade Peanut butter cookies for dessert and breakfast too :D.

*I didn’t cook this meal so if people are interested I can ask Steve if he is willing to write a guest blog post with the recipes.

Leisure:

  • Read a book from the library, French Kids Eat Everything.
  • Took the dogs for a walk.
  • Started making homemade yogurt (I will let you know how it turns out).

I am really proud of how many changes me and my family have made to move closer to a zero waste lifestyle. Last year at this time we would have been consuming a ton of plastic, eating more processed food than we would have liked and buying things that we didn’t need. The improvements we have made have opened my eyes up to consumerism, having more with less, making things myself, and saving money in the process.

What A Recent Vacation Taught Me About Zero Waste

We recently took a family trip to Hawaii. This was our big gift for Christmas this year as we decided we wanted to spend money on life experiences instead of stuff. Before and while traveling this time I noticed a few things about my own personal habits that made me think.

The clothes you have are enough. My partner Steve pointed out I bought new clothes before vacation. “You always buy new clothes before vacation”. He was right! Every vacation that I can think of in recent time I bought something to wear beforehand, whether it was a cute dress, hiking shoes, or a beach coverup. I need to watch out for this the next time. I shouldn’t need to buy anything before I go on a trip.

You don’t need to prepare for everything. My initial inclination is to pack more than what I needed. I even cut down and repacked half way through, but looking back there were a few more things I could have done without. Smaller/light luggage is the way to go! I had a carry-on and backpack, but would like to get down to only one bag in the future.

Always bring your own water bottle. We did this in Europe over the summer but for some silly reason I thought bottled water would have been easier in Hawaii since I read an article that recommended buying bottled water because you shouldn’t drink the water that was collected by the rain. Turns out we would have been fine with our own bottles because there was plenty of access to city tap water.

Bring your own a shampoo bar and homemade toothpaste. A shampoo bar would have worked for this trip. If you don’t know about shampoo bar they are a good zero waste replacement for shampoo and conditioner. Also I had recently made my own toothpaste, but didn’t bring which I immediately regretted. Recipe is below.

Cooking your own food will always be cheaper, healthier and in most cases a tastier option. We stayed at a house through AirBNB the majority of the trip and made several breakfasts and dinners at “home”. It was well worth the time and saved us money.

And above all else life experiences are more important than material objects.

Life experiences are more important than material objects

 

UPDATED Homemade Toothpaste Recipe

Measure baking soda and coconut oil and place into small storage container. Use a spoon or spatula to mix into a paste. Add 5 drops of peppermint extract or oil. Mix again. Use a pea size amount each time you brush.