I’ve been intrigued by the zero waste movement for some time but it often feels overwhelming. The scope of zero waste in my purchasing choices leaves me dizzy.We tend not to get plastic grocery bags but do get bags for fruit and vegetables. Our meat comes in styrofoam trays, our vegetables in plastic.
Then there’s the not wanting to appear too different so accepting foil take out trays rather than bringing my own “doggy bag” or not bringing my own bags to bulk stores.
While our community does have a composting program I have found it difficult to use. I can’t count the number of times that items have been left behind because the bin wasn’t tilted enough to completely empty it.
Those are just a few of the things that hold me back from this step that aligns do well with my values.The biggest piece of course is not recognizing my successful baby steps:
- We now only put out two small bags of garbage per week. This has to do with Bunny’s litter which, though compostable, gets left behind often in the bin.
- We purchase a lot more things that can be recycled.
- We often shop second hand first
- We shop less! Gone are the days when a trip to the store ended with $20 of unexpected extras.
- We no longer purchase as many single use items I.e. plastic cutlery, paper plates, paper towel.
- We’ve cut down on loads of food waste by using our freezer properly and better menu planning.
I do want to embrace zero waste more fully so I was thrilled to hear that a local organization is hosting a zero waste week challenge in October.
A week sounds good. It’s not so long that I feel like I have reassess every purchase I’m making but ti’s long enough to give me a challenge. My aim is to set myself up for success with this by doing a slow audit over the next few weeks. I’ll make a more conscious effort to compost (hopefully the City is good about pick up) and recycle and see if I can’t slowly make my garbage fit into the mason jar.