The Awkward Toddler Stage Of Going Zero Waste

I am in the awkward stage of creating a zero waste lifestyle for myself. For me it begins with simplifying and purging the excess of my life. Right now I am creating more recycling and garbage than ever before. It is rather disheartening but a necessary evil. I need to get to a starting point. I need the proverbial clean slate.

I am prioritizing my need for disposable and single use items and all other items I bring into my life.

Do I need this item?

Can I make a reusable alternative for this item?

Can I buy a reusable/recyclable/bulk version of this item?

Can I get this item with little or no packaging?

Sometimes I am scared to ask these questions. Sometimes these questions lead hard to hear answers because it means changing. Sometimes I am worried the answer will cost me more money (I am on a very tight budget) even if it saves me money long term. Sometimes the changes that come with the answers to these questions take time to implement. Other times there is no good answer because of the available resources in my community.

So I am being aware. I am paying attention to what I am doing, noticing what I am using, what I am buying, what I am throwing away. I am making notes and making changes to everything that matters to me on my green journey.

I am purging my excess in the most environmentally friendly and responsible ways I can.

I am changing my diet to reduce waste, eat local and eat more organic.

I am continuing to reduce the amount of chemicals I bring into my home and use on my body.

I am trying to make more things from scratch.

I am trying to replace disposable items with reusable alternatives.

I am biking or walking everywhere unless a friend gives me a drive. (Hooray for carpooling!)

I am collecting and using a decent amount of greywater to water plants in my house and garden and I am almost exclusively flushing my toilet with greywater.

I am reducing how much potable water I use.

I am working on reducing my power usage by turning off, unplugging and replacing items that use electricity with items that do not.

I am trying to put up food as fast as possible to reduce spoilage. I am also buying fewer items with greater frequency to waste less. When food does spoil I compost it.

It is an experience filled with bumps and giggles, disappointments and crazy little triumphs that would make other people look at you funny. Basically I am throwing green ideas at the wall and seeing what sticks as habits. I’ll keep trying until I get it all figured out.

I want to brag about producing only a jar of garbage after an insane amount of time has past. Tell me that would not be epic!?

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6 thoughts on “The Awkward Toddler Stage Of Going Zero Waste

      • The easiest way I have found so far are these tips. If it is yellow let it mellow. You are going to save a ton of water just from this step. Next fill up a bottle or jar with water and put it in the toilet tank. You could save 500 ml to a liter depending on the displacement you create! Next take the lid off the back of your toilet tank, put a bucket in your sink and catch the grey water from washing your hands and brushing your teeth. The down side of grey water is your toilet bowl will need more frequent scrubbing and you may get grungies in the toilet tank. This is not a big deal. When company comes over just remove the bucket from the sink and put the lid on the toilet. When you flush the toilet, just add the grey water to to the tank not the bowl. Pour in enough that it stops running. It is that easy. I use a bucket in my kitchen sink to catch water from rinsing veggies to water plants. I use a bucket in my tub to catch the water when I am waiting to get the temperature right for a shower. I save the water from disinfecting my jars for brewing kombucha. Keeping a bucket in your bathroom sink also makes you use less water because you can see it filling up. I turn down the water pressure often and turn off the water more when brushing my teeth because I am becoming so aware of my usage. I also find I am reusing boiling water in the kitchen more. I did potatoes the other day and then I used the water to do hard boiled eggs right after. When i bath I fill up the tub only part way. The two ways I waste water are I take longer showers than I should (but I only shower about twice a week) and I use a diaper sprayer hooked up to my clean toilet water hook up (really easy to attach, the sprayer comes with instructions) I use the diaper sprayer as a poor man’s bidet to reduce my use of toilet paper. The sacrifice of a little water to save a ton of trees and reduce my adding way more to biosolids was worth it : ) Let me know if you want more info, ask any questions you like!

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