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  • Jenica

December 2018 Waste Audit

December has come and gone and with it I concluded my fourth year of living zero waste. I have learned a lot since I first started this journey, and I'll share just a few of my insights with you.

I am privileged

The ability to be "zero waste" is currently a thing of privilege. To get my trash down to such small numbers reflects the position I am in and the resources I have at my disposal. To expect everyone to take all the same steps (as I once did) was naive.

Plastic is not always bad

Sometimes avoiding plastic is not necessarily the best thing for the environment. Or, at least, sometimes we are put in a position where all the factors don't point in the same direction and we are forced to choose the best of the bad options.

We must be flexible

Because of the above two concepts, we must be flexible in our definition of "zero waste" and realize that shutting people out for not having the resources or not sticking within our strict definition will not help our movement.

So for the last time in 2018, I will display and weigh my trash for all to see. Not because this is attainable for everyone, but as a way to self-monitor; as a way to motivate those that wish to change and have the means to do so; to show that I am only human, and I make trash, mistakes, and choices just like everyone else :)

December 2018 Waste Audit

December 2019 Waste Audit

2.4 ounces


  • name tag

  • elderberry tea seal

  • vitamin seal

  • apricot kernel oil label

  • lotion label

  • bandaid and wrapper

  • bus pass

  • hair tie

  • envelope windows

  • handle from box

  • cashew yogurt seal

  • silicone pack

  • string from tag

  • price tag bits

  • receipts

  • library receipt

  • top of plastic mailer

  • printing paper packaging

  • bits of tape

  • more sticky labels

In 2019 I have taken a resolution to Buy Nothing New. Theoretically that should decrease my trash, as most things secondhand don't come wrapped in packaging anymore. However only time will tell! Stay tuned for January's waste audit...

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