check-in on your goals pt. 2

As the new year came around, I set two goals for myself: one was to get outdoors more, specifically at least ten minutes per day, and the other was to be more H-core in refusing plastic packaging; I needed to get myself back on track!

Getting outdoors has been wonderful and relatively easy, as I checked in with that goal recently.  I have loved meandering outside with family and friends, either in the neighbourhood or in the nearby forest.  Fortunately for us, we live in a region where we are never too far from nature.

Let’s check-in on my refusing plastics goal.  For the month of February I collected all my trash in… THE CONTROVERSIAL ZERO WASTE JAR!  Side note: I don’t understand what all the hate is about with trash jars, especially within our very own ZW community.  I love using it because I can visualize how much trash I produce – I am a visual learner.  I have limited space and it motivates me to reduce, reduce, reduce!  Let me have my damn jar to achieve my goals!

What I do not add to my jar: compostables, recyclables, oversized items (i.e. a large shipping envelope my Oma sent me), and my cat’s crap (my cat is NOT zero waste).

My goal exemption for refusing new plastic packaging was medication, so I did not add that to my jar either.  I also challenged myself not to “backpack” on other people’s waste; this was difficult, as I like condiments and mayonnaise does not come in glass jars, so I did use my partner’s stash a couple of times.  I have made mayonnaise before, but it requires expensive oil that has a non-recyclable cap; I am not sure what the best option is.  Ideas?

Did I achieve my goal?  Well, I set weekly goals, and was specific to new plastic packaging.  I achieved my goal three out of four weeks.  The culprit?  Cheese and butter!  Damn you, Dairy.

February’s Trash
  • shipping envelope from my Oma
  • glossy papered newsletter from our former realtor (will have to contact her, since glossy paper is not compostable OR recyclable)
  • butter packaging because I was unobservant one day and got a cardboard box of butter STICKS…each individually wrapped *grumble*
  • dishwasher packet because I found an old one under the sink and decided to rid myself of it
  • one cotton swab – hey wait… I can compost that!  It’s paper!  WOOHOO!
  • three pieces of tape
  • BAH to produce stickers
  • BAH to twist ties (and let’s be real – you can only keep so many before your cupboard explodes)
  • breadbag clip
  • envelope windows (“thanks”, BANKS)
  • a Hanuta wrapper because…well…it’s Hanuta…I’m only human…
  • cheese packaging (happy update: I have found package-free cheese)
  • an unidentified plastic wrapper
  • tags from clothes received at Christmas
  • BAH to receipts
  • a wrapping I thought was only cardboard – but it ain’t *womp wooooomp*

I realize this is not ALL packaging, but I kept it all.

So… what can I do better next time?  How do you solve/avoid some of these problems?  What would your trash collection look like?  What can you change today?



  1. Last year I found mayonnaise in a glass jar at the Centex in Kimberley! I have also tried Vegannaise (available at Nutters in a glass jar) and think it’s pretty good too!


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