January Garbage Haul – “Bring out your Waste!”

YES, I saved my garbage – all of January – excluding cardboard, aluminum, glass, & drippy/gross meat containers . Once I filled up my first medium sized tupperware, I was totally bummed. I filled it up in four days… I was like, “I’m trying to NOT waste, and look at ALL thissssssss (disgusted hiss)!!!!”

The first rule for tonight #1: Use up what you already have! Do not purge – use up while you find a replacement. If it runs out & you cannot find an alternative yet, please do not beat yourself up when you buy the same thing. I’m sure you noticed the amount of DF chocolate chip bags I have…..7 in total…..with more in the freezer (I make a lot of treats OK!!!). You are not going to find replacements with the snap of your fingers; piece your reusables/compostables/washables together over time – if your don’t you’ll just drive yourself insane.

#2: There are things you are going to debate – heavily! I have been the one standing in the store, holding two products in either hand – freaking out over which is worse in terms of waste. I have been the one who has become WAY to overwhelmed with the amount of wrapping on products & LEFT the store. I was like my own mom, “If you make too much of a ruckus, we’re leaving the store.” I have been the one to turn down meat because they wouldn’t use my container. I have been the one who has asked where a product is, an employee brought me all the way across the store, I found out it was wrapped in plastic & rejected it! (Of course I thanked her for out lovely journey – sorry gurl!) Learn from me who denied herself cauliflower all of January to only buy two heads of it come February – the plastic is in my February tupperware presently. Give & Take – do your best without the panic attacks.

#3: Yes, produce will help your waste free lifestyle! Look around for unplasticed (is that a word?!) produce —- possibly without stickers or rubber bands or twist ties. If you look at the photo above, I have a mess of produce stickers next to the massive amount of chocolate chip bags. It does exist at a regular grocery store! Look for loose produce of mushrooms, green beans, carrots, brussel sprouts, snow peas, etc & pull out those produce mesh bags & smile!!! Get ready to CHOP —AAAALLLOOOTTTT!!!!! Those beautiful bags of pre-chopped broccoli & butternut squash I use to buy smirk at me as I rush away.

#4: Sometimes, waste may be the only option at that point in time. Going waste free will force you to research, try things out, take notes, make your own food, follow a million other waste free wannabees on social media, & learn! You will learn so much it is overwhelming, so take it slow. Learn what works for you, and keep going! I am proud to say I am still learning & hope to help you skip my mistakes & make your own.

February garbage tupperware is in full effect as we speak. I am going to compare my loads (ha!) & share the comparisons. I am aspiring to be better so let’s see what happens! Give it a whirl or set a goal to do it come March. See how gross you really are!

Celebrating the Small Waste Free Victories

I work at a preschool & today was a teacher workday – which usually means lunch is provided – to make us feel extra special. With no children around, I already feel special – ha! I love to find even the smallest of victories throughout the day pertaining to no waste, especially since January 1st. January 1st started my “no waste January” & I have been failing big time. I have retained (almost) everything that will end up at the landfill & plastic waste. So far, I have two Tupperware’s full of garbage & a few plastic containers that do not fit within said Tupperwares. I have not kept everything due to smell (I have a roommates) or it was cardboard/aluminum, which are easier to recycle than plastic.

My above picture prove my victory above plastic cups, plastic silverware, & styrofoam plates (vomit emoji). Our planets problem with plastic is as follows:

  • there are many kinds of plastic
  • different kinds of plastic cannot be recycled together
  • plastic containers are sometimes mixed with other plastics or cardboard & therefore cannot be recycled
  • usually the plastic containers are not cleaned out & the remnants of product contaminate the plastic & it can no longer be recycled
  • with single stream recycling, the remnants from other recycling mixes with the plastic, contaminates it, & it is now garbage
  • it is so GD convenient that it is not even thought about as a problem because it is GD everywhere!

Carrying a waste bottle started back in high school when I thought if I didn’t drink enough water, I would die & suck at running. Since running has continued throughout my life, I still carry a water bottle. Yes, my first water bottles were plastic, were refilled & placed back in the fridge, & started to taste funny by the fourth day I reused them. Vomit emoji again. This Contigo water bottle is small, but has an amazing clasp on it so it can clip onto my backpack strap, purse strap, or whatever else to make it the most convenient water bottle I’ve ever owned.

I scoured the kitchen for a washable plate (since styrofoam is the bane of my existence) & succeeded. The utensil I carry on me (almost) at all times, is my handy-dandy splayd (or foon/spork) I got from REI a few years ago. When I have bought something messy from the store & I do not want to wait until I get home to dig in…my splayd has saved the day! Spoon, fork, knife…”you got it” (Home Alone Recorder Style).

I will high five myself for today’s little victory over waste, wash my reusables, & be ready for what tomorrow brings!