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.
- 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?
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!
Ooooh goood to know! Thanks Allie!
Haha the controversial jar!
It is though, right?! Haha and I don’t get iiiiiiiiit