Yes, ditch your trash cans. No, it won't happen overnight. I think it took me about a year to work my way down to not having trash cans in my kitchen. The first thing I did was switch the trash and recycling cans. I started using the larger can for recycling and the smaller one for landfill waste. As I started making less and less recycling waste, I moved the recycling can out onto the back deck. As I started making less and less landfill waste, I moved that can onto the back deck, too. Now both of them are used for recycling, but it takes me quite a while to fill them up. I keep a small bag inside for whatever landfill waste is made. No, I'm still not completely zero waste, and don't think I ever will be, which is part of the reason the term zero waste is a little problematic. I think it could sound overwhelming and unattainable to newbies. I find it to be a fun challenge, kind of like a game, but not everyone is like me. If zero waste sounds daunting, just think of it as less waste. No, I have not done a jar challenge and don't have any plans to do one in the near future. The jar challenge for those not familiar, is keeping all landfill waste in a glass mason jar and seeing how long you can go before filling it up. I enjoy watching other people's posts about jar challenges, but haven't felt the urge to participate. Also, I will mention here that I've recently taken on a new housemate, so there has been an increase in overall household waste, both recycling and landfill, since December 1. It's been a perfect way for me to practice not being a judgmental asshole and letting my actions speak for themselves. Just today he went shopping at the local health food store and purchased himself a reusable bag and milk in a returnable glass bottle!
Not usually in my #purplepatagonia #bag, but many people carry a cloth napkin as part of their #zerowasteessentials kit so I thought I’d mention it here while we’re going over the basics. Yes, these are technically vintage tea towels from my Great Aunt Nancy’s collection, but I prefer their texture and absorbency over traditional cloth napkins. It’s another easy, lightweight item that will help you reduce waste throughout your day. While I may not carry one with me all the time, I don’t remember the last time I bought paper napkins for my house. It has to be close to ten years. I have a kitchen drawer full of these towels instead of paper napkins. Toss in the wash with everything else as needed. That bright one in the middle is my absolute favorite. I’ll show them off one by one, because they’re cool and deserve to be shown off. Do you use cloth napkins?