Here is our plastic waste from February 2018:
It feels like more than it should be, and I’m a little discouraged.
Somethings that will not be repeated:
- Vitamin bottles (if you’re eating a whole-food diet, you don’t need them!) I even had a patient once who had memory damage from taking a multivitamin with poor quality control that overdosed him on one mineral. If you don’t have a diagnosed deficiency, don’t take them. We are still going to finish up some of the bottles we already have, but I won’t be buying more.
- The over-stock of Craisins is finally over! They have added refined sugar and really aren’t good for you. Try plain raisins instead (from the bulk bin, of course!)
- Toilet paper. We are just going to stop wiping. Just kidding! Our plan for now is to buy something like this, toilet paper made from recycled paper and wrapped in paper instead of plastic. It’s the same price as our previous brand, why not be better? Easy switch.
- Makeup containers. I found an awesome zero waste Etsy store that has zero-waste makeup!
- The hummingbird feeder. If you want to feed hummingbirds, plant flowers. Giving them sucrose-water with red dye isn’t good for them!
Some things I’m discouraged by:
- All of the Valentines day candy wrappers. Even though we made zero-waste valentines, most kids at my 3 year old’s class of course didn’t. I’m not a huge fan of candy period, but when we do have it, it’s from the bulk bins. Our 3 year old has a soft, compassionate heart for animals. She often tells people “plastic isn’t good for the fish” :). But of course it wouldn’t be right to keep her out of fun activities that build social bonds just because it will create plastic waste. For our family, the emotional journey of living a slightly counter-cultural lifestyle has been the biggest hurdle of being zero-waste. At the end of the day, we need to remember that we are responsible for our own family, not everyone else!
- Frozen foods. You see our last frozen peas in this picture, I think I still have some frozen squash and berries, but the supply is dwindling! There are pretty much no ways to get frozen foods without buying it fresh and freezing it yourself (which will TOTALLY be happening in our house this summer!). Having frozen veggies on hand makes it so easy, especially the “steam in the bag” kinds, and it is tempting to think I have a rough life because I can’t in good conscious buy them anymore. I have to remind myself that the plastic used in those bags has in no way been tested for long-term safety. “Microwave safe” just means it won’t melt into your food right then.
One thing I was really overjoyed to hear:
I found out that not only do my mom and mother-in-law bring their own reusable bags when shopping, but also if they forget their bags, both go without and load things right from their cart to their cars without bags at all. Way to go moms!