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.
- 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 EndHunger.org: "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.