What’s one change you’ve enjoyed during your transition to zero waste?
I’m very grateful to be able to compost (yes! It’s the little things). This is my life now and this is what gets me excited. I am a lot more conscious of the food waste I produce and I love finding other alternatives that are better for the Earth. This includes freezing food I can’t finish before the expiration date, turning over ripen produce into green juices (great way to get those servings in), and then as a last resort, only composting leftovers and the peels from fruits & veggies. It truly feels great being able to limit my waste just by living within the means of a mindful lifestyle. One more thing I’d like to add is my love for my stainless steel lunchbox from ECOlunchbox. It’s lightweight and I can carry it anywhere. They’re great for packing up leftovers when I eat out –– no wasted food and no wasted take-out containers.
What’s one tip you would give to someone who wants to compost at home?
Food waste is the number one waste for most people and I feel very lucky to live in a city that offers composting. I also know this might not be available to everyone, which is quite unfortunate. My advice is to seek out a compost facility or garden in your community (if available) and utilize what they offer. You can also make DIY compost bins at home whether you live in a house with a backyard, an apartment with a small patio, or limited space. Recology also offers free compost bins in selected cities. Contact your local Recology for more info!
I’ve also tried to limit my food waste by planning what I want to eat for the week, then, only buying that amount (something I learned to do recently). Cooking at home has proven to be healthier, waste-friendly, and money saving in my opinion.
Week 3: I decided to make tuna sandwiches for lunch so for week 3, I only stocked up on fruits and veggies. Other ingredients like bread, mayo, salt, pepper, green onions, sesame oil, and sriracha, I already had at home. I also ate out often this week for work and dinners with friends so this was enough to last me. I also had leftover pasta from a previous week and made that for dinner.
What’s one thing you did not enjoy about the zero waste transition?
I can’t say with confidence that there was one thing I did not enjoy. Overall, the catch 22 was, being more aware of the amount of waste I produced and finding plastic waste in the little things: stickers from fruits & veggies, tape from packages, and plastic from jar containers. I’ve been able to cut back on plastic packaging from snacks by eating alternative snacks (that I do enjoy) in fruits –– which is a lot healthier anyway. I do feel guilty inside when I make a purchase that cannot be recycled or composted, but the number of times I said “yes” compared to “no” is significantly lower. I do put my happiness first sometimes and I tell myself, “Jenn if you want that chocolate bar, just GET IT.” And I think that’s totally okay. I want to stress over and over again, it will never be perfect, and I’m not striving for that. But I have noticed my waste has been significantly less during this transition (thank goodness for deciding to take photos in the beginning). Overall, it has been quite a happy transition for me. I’m excited to do more.
What ended up in my jar?