In May, I produced all of 0.6 ounces of trash. My record has been 0.7 ounces from September of 2015 and last month I finally did it one better! I know. One measly ounce doesn’t seem like much. But when you get to the point I am at, where every speck of trash makes a difference, an ounce can seem like a whole lot!
So let’s take a look at what I produced:
-1 deodorant label
-2 meat weight stickers
-1 cheese wrapper
-1 Ricola Cough Drop bag
-4 jar seals (2 ice cream, 1 peanut butter, and 1 mayonnaise)
Honestly, most of these times were completely avoidable had I been thinking ahead. The tricky part about weighing my trash is that many items are used up that are pre-zerowaste. That leaves things like a Ricola bag in my trash from many years ago and now no longer purchase. Thankfully, these items end up being all used and are restocked with different, waste free items.
-1 straw: This one is a case of pure “avoid-ability”. I was at work and found out that it was a new friend of mine’s birthday. I knew she loved a milkshake place nearby and offered to take her after work. Unfortunately I hadn’t brought my own cup to work and used the plastic cup and straw they gave me the milkshake it. I could have asked for no straw, I do realize that. But at the time I felt embarrassed around my new friend because we hadn’t discussed my zero waste ideals before. One of the things I have been working on recently is really embracing my lifestyle and not being afraid to show people what is important to me. This is a case where, unfortunately, I caved into social norms and fear of judgement and didn’t stick to my ideals and goals. Don’t let this happen to you.
-1 deodorant label: I now make my own deodorant so I won’t be buying any more any time soon! Check out my post here on how to make your own: Recipe: Deodorant that works!
-2 meat weight stickers: I buy meat from a local counter where they kindly put it in the reusable container I bring. They still however have to print the sticker with the price and weight on it to ring it up at the counter. Has anyone found a way around this (besides going vegetarian)?
-1 cheese wrapper: I have now stopped buying packaged cheese and only purchase it from a local maker who sells it at my farmers market.
-1 Ricola Cough Drop bag: I have a recipe on my to-do list for making cough drops! And for now, I have just been going without until I get that done.
-4 jar seals:
Peanut Butter: I am going to start purchasing it in my own container where I can have it pressed straight from peanuts at my local food coop.
Ice cream: I have done some research and now know that Snoqualmie ice cream is local and do not put those pesky seals on there!
Mayonnaise: For now, I am continuing to buy mayonnaise in class jars. Eventually though I will look into making it on my own.
I always think after each month that I have figured it all out, made all the right changes, prepared everything I can, and yet at the end of the next month my jar always has some mistakes in it. And that’s okay, for now. I am happy to keep plugging along and learning every step of the way. And right now, I will celebrate my small victory on a month well done!
Until next time!