Hello Lovely Blossoms,
As you walk further down the road on your journey to being a little less wasteful and sustainable you might be thinking about expanding your capabilities to broaden your zero waste spectrum. One way of doing this is paying a little more attention to what you are throwing away...
To make this experience as pleasurable as possible for me I tried doing things in increments so that it all does not feel too overwhelming, and more like realistic steps. I have now mastered always carrying my own produce bag, not using straws but taking my own handy dandy bamboo straws with me, buying from zero-waste shops rather than general stores, and much more. I felt like this is a great step for us to take next... to evaluate what areas we are producing the most wastage in, and by doing that I needed to evaluate what we trash. Now this seems a lot more hands on than it actually is, there will be no need to dumpster dive or grovel through trash...
So to keep a "mess free" catalogue of what you throw away, take a piece of paper and draw a big plus sign on it to make 4 blocks on your paper, label them as follows:
1. Consumable scraps
2. Plastic scraps
3. Other packaging scraps (eg. cardboard)
Everytime you walk to throw something away, write down what you are throwing away in the appropriate category eg. Milk carton will be under "other packaging depending on the type, read the label at the back if you are unsure" the sneaky chocolate will be under "other" and your carrot offcuts will be under "consumable scraps" and so on and so forth.
Write down all your trash culprits for about two weeks and you will notice which category you unfortunately excel in, now for most people this will be "consumable scraps" unless you do not regularly make food yourself. So the obvious solution is to compost your scraps if you don't already... for the items that do not compost all to well like onion scraps, keep them in a bag in your freezer and make stock every now and then - this works really great, I always have a soup/ sauce base on hand. The next category will probably be the single use items, like a bag of crisps, plastic that was wrapped onto something etc.
Looking at your trash catalogue try not to feel too guilty / overwhelmed by it all. Pick a square and simply work on it square by square. That way you will minimise the stress. The easiest one to start with is the food scraps, you can easily start a compost bin, its stress-free and super useful. For me the next to tackle was the single use block. To see it all in perspective you really get a feel for items you buy unnecessarily or look for an alternative place you can buy it at that does not use plastic.
To do this you should separate your plastic section and do a sort of plastic audit on yourself...
Take another paper and divide it into two:
Under the Plastic section write down all the plastic items you used, for the alternative option do a little research to see what you can replace it with, here are a few examples;
Plastics Alternative Options
Plastic toothbrush - Bamboo toothbrush
Shaving razors - safety razors
plastics from grains - try buying from a shop where you can fill your own bags
(brown paper bags are great if you dont know what to use)
Bread bags - Purhase breads from a bakery or bake some yourself
There are some items you will not be able to escape from but it's always good to find out if they can be recycled... I will be doing a recycling post soon, I am just still busy doing some research on that to provide some useful guidance into the scary realms of recycling.
But now that you have a small idea of how to manage your trash and how to physically see what you are throwing away without getting down and dirty you, have no reason not to start thinking of ways to improve your carbon footprint. It really is that simple :)
Till Next time, be blessed.