Friday, June 24, 2016

A Zero-Waste Life

Imagine fitting all of your family's trash,  for the year, into this glass jar.  That is exactly what Zero-Waste movement proponent, Bea Johnson managed to do years ago.  Today, their trash jar has gotten even smaller. Yes. Smaller.  When I first saw a video on YouTube about this lifestyle, I thought... "There is no way.  How in the world?"  But, of course... as with any challenge, I was immediately intrigued.  One of the main reasons that I am vegan is for environmental purposes.  So, the fact that adopting a zero-waste lifestyle would be beneficial to the environment was quite interesting to me.  Of course, I began to read and read and read.  When I get obsessed with a topic, there ain't no stopping me.  I read everything about it and learn it inside and out.  Now, at this point, I'm still doing my research.  But, I wanted to share this movement with you and see if you'd consider it? Would you?  I bought the following Kindle book (because... hello... let's save some trees people!) and I am hooked! It's by Bea Johnson herself and it is titled, Zero Waste Home.  

From what I've read so far, here are some easy tips shared by Bea herself and by a ton of Zero Wasters around the Internet.  Read on... could you do it or are you already doing some of these?

  • Refuse to bring home plastic bags.  Bring your own reusable bags to the grocery store.  I take about 6 bags with me and they fit a lot more than the plastic ones do anyway.  So... less trips to the car when unloading! Winning!
  • Stop buying water bottles or disposable plastic bottles in general.  Replace with a reusable bottle.  I only drink water. So, this is the bottle I use... click here.  We also keep a Brita pitcher in our fridge. 
  • Aim for buying items in bulk rather than packaged.  We eat a lot of rice.  So, instead of buying packaged rice, I bought in bulk at my local Whole Foods and put it into a cotton bag.  When I brought it home, I poured it into a sealed glass jar. Voila! Rice for days, it looks pretty in our pantry AND it's no packaging to the landfill! Triple winning! Yessssss!
  • Buy second hand FIRST and only buy new when you don't have a choice.  I highly recommend this for things like toys.  Kids get so bored of their toys in such a short amount of time that it feels like such a waste.  Buy consignment and it will be more cost effective and environmentally friendly!
  • If you're a lady... (men close your eyes or skip this section), opt for using a menstrual cup instead of disposable tampons and pads.  It's much more hygienic, cleaner AND doesn't produce a ton of disgusting waste.  The Lily Cup is awesome.  Click here to check it out!
  • Don't throw out those pasta sauce jars! Clean them up and store them for your next grocery trip.  They're terrific for storing food items; using as glassware; storing leftovers or even as toothbrush holders!
  • No more plastic toothbrushes... please.  Opt for bamboo or the Preserve brand.  My daughter uses a bamboo brush.  I currently use a Preserve toothbrush and razor.  However, I plan to switch over to bamboo and a double edge safety razor.  
  • Make it yourself! I'm a HUGE fan of hummus.  A bit too much of a fan.  But, hummus is pricey! Plus, all those plastic containers it comes in.  So, I decided to look at the ingredients and thought... "I could make this myself!" And that's exactly what I did.  SO easy and healthy.  
  • Learn composting!  Don't throw away food waste.  According to "In 2013, we disposed more than 35 million tons of food waste. Once in landfills, food breaks down to produce methane, a potent greenhouse gas which contributes to climate change."That's unreal and completely preventable.  Will you take this journey with me?  I don't know about becoming "Bea Johnson" level zero-waste, but I will definitely work on reducing the waste we produce in our household. 
I hope you've been inspired and have learned something new! Have a wonderful and simple weekend.