We have had months where I go crazy and don’t allow any plastic in our home, and times when I just give up and cringe looking into the trash can.
My goal in life is to get rid of the trash can. Making and growing your own food is a step in the right direction since packaging is a big issue when it comes to plastic. We have gotten to a point where we mainly have aluminum cans to recycle. Tortilla chip bags are also an issue. R is addicted to chips. But luckily, our food coop sells organic corn flour so I plan to make my own soon!
There are some switches we have made that have stuck around. I started the Zero Waste journey in 2013. One switch I have made that has stayed is reusable menstrual products–and I am such a fan that I will dedicate a post to it soon!
We have also been using our stainless steal safety razors for two years now. I am very impressed and it’s weird to think I use to use plastic ones that seemed to have dull blades built into them. Our dental floss comes in a cardboard box. We recently switched to a brand that makes silk floss so you can compost it, but after learning that silk worms are boiled alive in their cocoons to produce the silk, we have decided not to purchase anymore. Instead, I am on the hunt for a stainless steal or bamboo pick like this one.
I have been using bamboo toothbrushes for four years and love them. The bristles cannot be composted but the handle can be! Small steps. We use deodorant in glass jars or make our own. As for shampoo: this is an on going struggle.
We have hard water. So the no-poo method would not work for us. I have success with shampoo bars but it’s not consistent success. I plan to experiment in the future to find what works best. And our toothpaste use to be Lush tooth tabs–but they went from packing them in a small cardboard container to a plastic bottle. Lush claims to have a recycling program, but people get confused thinking they reuse their containers. They do not. So sure, it’s getting recycled, but recycling is only a bandaid of a much bigger issue. So I opt to make my own with coconut oil and it works just fine!
We also try to shop out of the bulk bins as much as possible. We have a garden and raise our own meat. So our kitchen is filled with canned goods from our garden and mason jars of bulk items from our coop like: pop corn, flour, sugar, honey, vinegars, olive oil, mixed nuts, chocolate, rice, etc.
We have a long way to go.
I just want to say, I did try to track our trash with a jar. And it was difficult. When the entire household is not on board, it gets depressing and difficult. Here you are with your little trash mason jar, but someone is eating pasta out of a plastic bag and that bag is inside a plastic bag in your trash can. So I let that get to me, and I was not able to keep up.
However, I plan to start again. Just because others are not on board, does not mean that I have to quit. (I’m learning a lot about the kind of person I am, and the kind of person I hope to be. Letting others influence you is something you are allowing. So you have the power to change that.)