Here is our plastic waste from November 2018. If you would rather watch a video, skip to the bottom for my vlog analysing our trash, including a mini-rant on the cheap plastic everyone seems to give to kids:
Our waste was much more than last month! This is mostly because after writing my reflection on a year of zero-waste, I realized that there were items that had been sitting in my freezer for a whole year! We have been enjoying fresh produce all summer and fall, but now it is time to use up all those frozen veggies and fruit! I also had a lot of kids art supplies that are totally terrible for the environment, see the glitter glue pens and foam stickers! But, I bought those before I knew, so we might as well use them up. The oxiclean, multivitamins, and spice container are also from our pre-zero-waste days. To see a post on how I detoxed our cleaning supplies, read here.
The biggest pile of avoidable plastic from this month came from candy wrappers. We try to limit our kids’ candy intake anyway, I work in pediatrics and it is funny (well, not funny) how many kids are sick the week after Halloween because refined sugar wreaks havoc on your immune system. I was surprised at how many wrappers accumulated over the month! There will be more in December thanks to the Main x 24 Christmas parade…I think next year I will fill some small jars with different candies from the bulk bins and offer those to my kids instead of the plastic-wrapped candy when possible. But I also don’t want them to think of zero-waste as being the thing that meant they didn’t get candy with their peers!
Another unfortunate contribution to the pile is the shipping bags at the top right. Those are from books I bought used on Amazon. Buying used books helps reduce our use of paper, which is super important, but it would have been better if I had looked at McKay’s or another local used book store first.
As for some victories, Zach and I went dumpster diving and found several large containers of still-wrapped toilet paper! Toilet paper really isn’t a problem for us anymore, though. We buy this paper on Amazon and it is made from 100% post-consumer recycled fibers. It is also processed without chlorine and comes without the plastic bag in which most toilet paper is packaged. It also doesn’t cost any more than other medium-grade TP and gets the job done. It’s not an affiliate link, just sharing what we have found 🙂 If you insist on super-high-quality TP and used to paying for it, there are other options like Who Gives a Crap.
Are there any small changes you have made, such as swapping TP brands, that have helped you make a positive impact?
As promised, here is a vlog I also made analysing our trash: