It’s the end of February and I’ve been collecting my trash, non-perishables, and recyclables all month long. If you haven’t read the intro to this post, go check it out first!
This is mindblowing…
So here’s what I’ve learned. I consume way more trash than I thought! And I know for a fact that my trash consumption is a lot lower than many other humans out there.
Another point to make is that my husband and I just bought moved into a townhouse. This has created more trash and recycling that I ever imagined! Renovating spaces and purchasing appliances can really add up. We just got a new fridge this month and it came with so much plastic, tape, and styrofoam that it sickened me!
The trash you see pictured here is just the trash that I personally used for myself. This isn’t the total combined trash we used in our household…
On the bright side…
The change starts now. My biggest achievement during this month was that I finally got used to requesting no straw at restaurants and bringing my own cup and water bottle everywhere we went!
Another achievement after living this challenge is realizing that every small step can make a difference. Do your part and be the start of something you can pass on to family and friends. Lead by example and show off how awesome it feels to not contribute to wasteful actions.
Here are a few simple steps you can take to reduce your waste going forward.
1. Travel with reusable materials
Make sure you have your reusable bags with you everywhere you go! Even produce bags like these are amazing to have on hand.
Pack a water bottle and extra coffee cup or thermal cup along with you at all times. This gives you no excuse when you make an impulse run to the coffee shop or smoothie bar to have something on hand.
Also look into investing in travel-friendly and reusable cutlery and dishes. Coconut bowls are an obsession of mine right now long with these bamboo utensils.
2. Refuse single-use plastics
Reduce, reuse, recycle, and REFUSE! Make sure your waiter knows you don’t need a straw with your drink. You’d be surprised at how many waiters love hearing you say, “no straw please!”
No more plastic bags! Always use your reusable bags (paper if you forgot them – plastic is not an option, literally carry everything to skip the store people!)
And if you always have your stash of reusables with you then there is no excuse to come home with plastic bottle or cups from juice bars or coffee shops.
3. Order less online
This is a BIG area where I accumulated a LOT of plastic. Since you don’t have much control over how your item is packaged, it’s hard to make sure you won’t receive plastic bags and wrapping along with your order.
I know that online shopping is so convenient and something that we all indulge in, so here are a few companies that offer eco-friendly packaging when you order from them: Sustainable Duo on Etsy, Tiny Yellow Bungalow, Happy Earth Apparel, Wild Minimalist, Package Free Shop, Life Without Plastic, and Plaine Products.
Something that is also super fun is thrifting! Hit of local thrift stores and snag a few good finds that are perfect or that just need a little TLC. Plus is very satisfying when you discover the perfect little gem at a thrift store.
4. Get Inspired
Finally, head over to your fav social media platform and follow some leaders in the zero-waste/eco-friendly community. If you’re on Instagram a lot, like me, make sure to follow my friend @carly_bergman who posts all about her sustainable lifestyle 🙂
Carly and her babe just opened up an Etsy shop with some awesome essentials for living a zero-waste lifestyle! Check out their shop HERE!