Saturday, February 11, 2017

Closer to Zero Waste

Hello All,

It's almost mid February and I wanted to check in with my life over haul. If you're just joining me I decided to take my life and head towards a zero waste and minimalist life style. I was very positive about it to begin with and I'm STILL positive about it. It's such a great feeling being able to use and re-use and reduce waste. Here's where I am with my goals...

While we're a family of four we're also a family of 6 every other weekend so at this point in life it may be near impossible to go ZERO waste but that's not my end game. My end game is to get to a dramatically LESS waste life style which I feel is still playing an important part in helping the environment overall. I made up cycled, zero waste produce bags when I shop now. I used to be a fabric hoarder and I had a handful of unused tulle. I also had a LARGE curtain panel of lace both of which I turned into some produce bags for myself. I'd say I probably have around 10 of them now and I get compliments on them all the time when I shop. In the past 1.5 months I've taken 95% of my food shopping to our local Harmon's instead of Walmart and our grocery bills have been slashed by about $60! YES!!!! We used to spend at least $100 each week for groceries where we are now spending roughly $35-40. We have been cooking our dinners at home (we still need to drastically improve our lunch routine) and we've been sticking to our dinner menu which in turn requires us to only need to purchase a small amount of certain items or produce. We are no longer being dragged into buying unnecessary items from Walmart.

My mom has even asked me to make her several produce bags which I literally just sewed for her and it feels good too! I made her 4 and it's just her so she thinks that will be plenty. Just 4 replaced plastic bags will now save approximately 4,160 plastic produce bags being kept OUT of the landfill in my mom's lifetime! Isn't that great?!

Heading to the minimalistic view of things...

I am the biggest culprit to our family's overspending, I'll be the first to admit it. In the last 1.5 months I've not bought one item that we don't REALLY need (I purchased two face, one AM one PM, lotions yesterday and felt guilty about it. I should have researched a Zero waste way to make my own before I ran out!) and not only have we saved money but our trash is incrediable! In a busy month we used to fill TWO recycling cans worth of recycling and 2 bags of trash in a 2 week period (our recycling is picked up every other week). I'm happy to report the trash guys missed our recycling last week and it's still only half full AND we didn't even take the trash can out this week because we had no waste. YES! The bag we put in the can in our kitchen is still there and it's only just now getting full/to the point we need to take it out because the produce is starting to go south in there. Isn't that amazing? I think it is.

My next steps in this self help journey is to DIY more products and composting. My husband is already throwing a fit about having to use a DIY shaving balm but I've asked him to just try it before he runs out of his other stuff (which the stuff he likes is about $25 a jar!). I have ran out of liquid soap in one of our bathrooms and instead of having to buy a new or refill jug I'm going to make my own out of a bar of soap I have! I was watching how to make toothpaste today and it's so simple and I hear it's even better for your mouth health! I've mentioned worm (vermicomposting) to my husband and of course he wanted to kill me but I've always loved the idea of composting I was just never able to achieve it. I need to do more research on it and then I'll report back in.

I'd LOVE to open a zero waste store in my town because we are limited, as far as my knowledge goes, the two Harmon's in town that offer any sort of bulk bin items. I can't explain the goodness I feel within myself for doing this for the Earth. I also recently in some donated painted canvasses that I up cycled into totes and I've got big plans for those as well. Those would have ended up in the trash at some point so I've rescued them and now I'm going to do something great  with them.

That's all she wrote for now folks! See you soon.