Update on a Year of Going Zero Waste


As this was my first Christmas since going zero waste, it got me thinking about how much people spend over the holidays, and how much waste there is. It got me re-evaluating my zero waste journey, and how much more I have to go.
Over the last year I have accomplished quite a lot. I:
  • Refuse single use plastic bags and instead use reusable bags/containers for produce, bread, and bulk foods
  • Refuse straws when I am at restaurant and order a drink
  • Go to the market to get produce – it is easier to get local produce, and most of the options are plastic-free
  • Occasionally make my own almond milk, but I’ve found I don’t use it as often as I used to, and instead use water in my smoothies
  • Get dish soap from large bulk containers where I can fill up glass jars
  • Have switched to shampoo/soap bars rather than shampoo/soap in plastic bottles (but I find the shampoo kind of leaves a build-up in my hair so I’m going to be checking out different options)
  • Have stopped shaving and instead have been getting sugared (hair removal technique using water, sugar and lemon that can be washed down the drain and creates no waste)
  • Use the Diva Cup and Lunapads rather than disposable feminine hygiene products
  • Have been using Schmidt’s deodorant in a jar rather than plastic tubes. This company reuses the jars if I mail them back, so they are completely zero waste
  • Found a company that makes silk dental floss (compostable, though not vegan) that comes in a reusable glass container (Dental Lace)
  • Make my own peanut butter rather than buying in a container
  • Save vegetable peelings to make vegetable stock to reduce food waste
Even making this list I realize how much more I’d still like to accomplish, that I’m either inhibited by the lack of options in my area, or because of my own inhibitions. In the next year I’m hoping to expand my zero waste journey even more, and also to cut down on expenses in general. Rather than contributing to a consumerist society, I rather would like to use up what I already have, fix what is broken, make gifts rather than buy, and make food rather than buy, which I think is my biggest unnecessary expense.
To keep myself on track for this year of challenges, I am going to officially start keeping a trash jar where I hold myself accountable by putting all of my trash in the jar rather than in my can where I don’t have to look at it. So here’s to 2018, hopefully a trash-free year!