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Zero Waste Month: Week 2 (Jennifer)

utensil kit

This is week two of my transition to a zero waste lifestyle. You can read more about Zero Waste Month: Week 1 too. This week, I’ll talk about my essentials, what I learned, and what I can’t give up.

What are your daily zero waste essentials?
My stainless steel water bottles (one for water – one for coffee, tea, or boba), reusable utensils, stainless steel straw, and glass straw carried in my Ambatalia utensil roll, and a cloth napkin (somehow I’ll forget to bring this 50% of the time). If I know for sure I will be eating out that day, I’ll bring along my stainless steel box from Three-in-One ECOlunchbox.

reusable utensil kit
Three-in-One ECOlunchbox, Ambatalia utensil roll kit, stainless steel & glass straw from Amazon, chopsticks from home, and Primus stainless steel utensils.
three-in-one stainless steel container with leftovers
Ambatalia bento bag. Took home leftovers from a dinner with friends in my Three-in-One stainless steel container.

What changes have you incorporated since starting to live more mindfully?
I’m a lot more aware of my plastic waste now. When shopping for food, health or beauty products, and little knick-knacks, I will look for an alternative that is either packaged in glass or plastic-free materials –– even if it means I have to pay a little more. The other day I was at Aesop looking to buy hand lotions and body scrubs. When I noticed everything was packaged in plastic and not glass, I decided to not buy anything. As I’m typing this I am on the Meow Meow Tweet website looking for the same thing, but packaged in sustainable materials.

In regards to food, some examples include: opting for honey in glass jars (so I can reuse them later in life), making my own almond milk (except sometimes when I know I won’t have time to blend them, I’ll buy a milk carton of almond milk. This has happened twice since I started making almond milk 4 months ago… I know, I’m sorry. Also, I want to try to make another milk alternative because almond production uses a lot of water. Eek.).

My mindset has also changed from, “It’s okay to buy this. I can compost or recycle the packaging when I’m done, to “If I can’t reuse it, I probably won’t buy it.”

Have you noticed a significant reduction in the waste you’ve produced?
Definitely. Besides food waste from produce peels, a lot of my waste is produced from items I bought in the past without a thought about zero waste in mind. This includes face masks, snacks (many many snacks), and even little things like floss containers. Once I use these items up, I’m excited to replace them with more eco-friendly items like plastic-free floss in glass containers.

reusuable glass containers
Condiments in glass jars that I can reuse after I’m done. When I lived at home, I used to make pesto from my parent’s basil garden. Hope this brand tastes just as good!
reusing old jars
Reused old glass jars to store quinoa and salt. Also reused an old plastic spoon I found lying around as a scoop.

Additionally, I am very well aware of food waste now. I do cook at home a lot, but sometimes I am tired of my own cooking and want to eat out. But now, I’ll eat everything to clean out my fridge. This week, I found tomatoes and cucumbers that were on the verge of going bad and I blended them in a “green juice” with tangerines. It was quite good… and healthy too!

tomatoes and cucumbers
Over-ripen tomatoes and cucumbers for a green juice. Already used two batches in the blender.
three-in-one stainless steel container with compost
Moldy parts going into the compost!

How has this transition help shaped your idea of what it means to live with zero waste?
It does feel like everything goes back in full circle. To have a happy and healthy transition, I think it’s okay to say “yes” to things that aren’t completely waste-free if I really truly want it. I know I can’t be completely zero waste, but I will continue to limit my waste in areas that are possible for my current lifestyle. There are a few things I don’t think I will be able to give up, like roasted seaweed, plastic Philips brush heads, or my vitamins. I also feel extremely fortunate to live within the means that I do and have the resources that are provided for me. I don’t want to take that for granted.

Day 9

trash in mason jars
The jar on the left is from week 1 & jar on the right is from week 2

Day 11

Waste in mason jars day 11

Day 13

trash in mason jars day 13

What ended up in my 12oz. jar?

skincare product
Plastic wrap from Tony Moly face mask and nose strips from Bioré. I won’t restock on these once I use them all.
trash in my mason jar
Top (left to right): Plastic labels from food containers, cans, and glass jars, one Clorox wipe (sad), wax-lined cup from a coffee shop (forgot my water bottle this day!), plastic from candies, plastic from popsicles, frozen cauliflower, receipts, plastic wrap from tofu, and plastic cap from a juice bottle.

Cheers,
Jennifer

3 Comments

  1. Pingback: Low Impact Month: Week 3 (Jennifer) | tinycaravan

  2. Pingback: Low Impact Month: Week 4 (Jennifer) | tinycaravan

  3. Pingback: Zero Waste Month: Week 3 (Jennifer) | tinycaravan

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