I was tagged to answer these questions by by Inge of http://gruenish.com/
The rules for the game put forth by Inge are: Answer 10 questions about your Zero Waste experiences and then tag 3 other Zero Waste Bloggers who will then answer and tag 3 ZWBloggers as well.
Ok I’m tagging:
How / Why did you first start switching to a Zero Waste lifestyle?
My dad passed away from cancer in July 2014. As did his brother, and his father, and his Uncle. I started becoming much more health conscious. I don’t even remember what I ran across on the Internet first, plastic-free living or zero waste. They seem to be siblings or close cousins at the furthest. A culmination of health concerns and a love of nature spawned my revolution.
Since when are you pursuing a zero waste lifestyle?
I started out with more of a using less plastic mindset and it’s wandered into a less waste overall goal. I started eliminating certain things in December 2014. I still have a LONG way to go on getting waste under control. Seems the minute I think I have something cleaned up, 20 more things pop up!
What are some of your favorite ways to avoid trash?
I gave up the water bottles, uggghh what a mess they were! Gave up plastic bags (including produce bags), another mess. I think another huge one for me was restaurant to-go containers. My boyfriend and I eat out quite a bit and all those stupid Styrofoam and plastic containers really stacked up. I take my own containers now. I’ve learned you have to be fast though or else the wait staff will plop a container on your table before you can protest, and once it touches the table I think they usually just throw it away. I also used those stupid plastic flossers, I hate imagining how many of those I’m responsible for in landfills.
I’m really into strategic challenges. I love casting an eye into the future and calculating how certain actions will propel other events and actions. I get a kick out of something as small as my boyfriend skipping plastic bags and not because I’ve pressured or guilted him. Think of the change if we all took on small challenges!
Why do you have so much time to make all that stuff from scratch?
I skip a few Netflix episodes of something. Spend an hour less surfing or playing a stupid game on my phone. You wouldn’t think it but some of the things you don’t spend time doing anymore, aimless shopping, extra cleaning of your 500 unneeded items, taking out trash or separating it to recycle, leads to a balance in time. And certain things really don’t take super long to make. If you make a batch of something there’s generally enough left over to freeze for future meals, especially if you’re single. Making deodorant takes less time than it takes to walk 20 aisles in a store to find it, not to mention maneuvering around the shopping cart traffic lol.
How much garbage do you / does your family produce per week?
It varies. I’m still throwing out about a ¾ of a small can a week. Most of it is food scraps that I can’t throw in my green bin or reuse somehow. Unfortunately I’m not able to compost. I’m still eliminating things. I also have medical condition(s) that generates some trash.
Must be expensive to cook from scratch. Are you rich?
Ahahhahahaha, I live very close to the poverty line speaking honestly. The farmer’s market isn’t too much more pricey than the grocery store produce. Those small bags of premixed salad greens are more expensive than what I spend on getting a head of romaine, arugula, kale, and celery. And that usually costs me about $4, and it gives me a ton of salads. I can get a pound of walnuts for $2, I can rarely afford them in grocery stores. Being mindful of what I’m wasting has led to savings on my grocery budget. I wasted a ton of food before. I’m not able to afford most organic foods.
What were the hardest things to give up?
Uhhh I’m still working on some things I’m having a REALLY hard time letting go, but that’s another blog post.
I miss convenience foods as I’ve never been a big cooker. I also miss underarm deodorant. And tampons!! (Read previous post for details). I can’t really think of anything else that’s been a huge tragedy to lose.
What are your compromise items (not zero waste but you still buy them)?
Milk, cheese, bread, and one package of about 8 chicken breasts that lasts me a month. Gum (a whole other blog post lol). Sometimes I buy bulk items that may have plastic on them to cut out 10 other plastic items in the future. As one blogger put it, using plastic to cut plastic.
What are your favorite Zero Waste Blogs?
Oh gosh there’s really too many good blogs out there! Each person has some unique advice or experiences I find either helpful or amusing.
When I kicked off my quest I spent a lot of time on Beth Terry’s blog, http://myplasticfreelife.com/
The http://zerowastechef.com/ has a ton of advice on combating food waste that’s helped me.
What’s one random fun fact about you?
I lived in a bit of a bad area in 1994. I had a beat up 1980 Toyota Corolla that people kept trying to steal for some unknown reason. My neighbor caught thieves in the car after they had pulled my whole ignition out which led to me having to start my car with a flathead screwdriver. I also pulled the coil wire off the distributor cap to act as a crude car alarm. So my purse often contained a screwdriver and coil wire. The goofy thing is that the thieves continued to try to steal my car; I’d find it pushed into the alleyway every now and then. Guess they were trying to pop the clutch?