If you followed me on Instagram
In the last month you will know that we are heading
Living with less waste in our family.
I remember that last spring I was so fascinated by several “Zero Waste” accounts that I found on Instagram. In my attempts to live “minimally” in our house, I often threw too many things in the trash can without thinking about it. I felt terrible about how much waste we produced as a family of five and I wanted to change that. But we had a newborn, life was a little overwhelming and the steps to get there felt so daunting. Back then I didn’t know how easy it really could be.
About 5 weeks ago, when I was planning an Earth Day unit for the boys’ school, I felt compelled again by all the terrible facts that I was reading about pollution and waste and the problems we are currently facing. When I was thinking about what had kept me from making better efforts in this area in the past, it was these three main points: 1.) laziness 2.) to believe that it was far too difficult / impossible with small children zero waste to live. 3.) The thought of my little efforts makes no difference. Now I realized that all of these reasons were just excuses for something I knew we had to start as a family. I let laziness and fear of failure stop me from making simple changes that can make such a big difference over time.
A month ago, as a family, we challenged ourselves to make some changes. It was so much fun integrating this into our homeschooling because it made our book work a practical project in our house! The boys love a good challenge and went 100% on board to achieve this. They remind me when we go to the store not to forget our reusable bags, and they noticed that I forgot my mug at home a few times when I stopped at the Starbucks passage. I need this accountability!
I also noticed how maintaining a healthy lifestyle and living without waste go hand in hand, which was so neat and motivating for me. Even if our efforts to help the planet were minimal, the habits we develop as a family are beneficial to our health and well-being, and that alone motivates me to keep going! Fewer processed foods, fewer chemicals in plastic that get into our food, less unsafe chemicals in detergents, and the list goes on and on. Our society has focused too much on this Convenience As a result, both the earth and our personal health have suffered. Here are some simple changes we’ve implemented over the past month:
Composting: This is one of the most obvious ways to reduce waste in your home, but you’d be surprised at how many people Not Compost. I am actually so disappointed that we have thrown away as much food waste for as long as we could have recycled our food by returning it to Earth. I found this Great blog post about composting if you’ve never composted and want to get started. We bought this Kitchen composter to sit on our counter. And luckily we already had backyard compost from the previous owners, but if you don’t have one, this is a great and affordable option!
Reusable shopping bags: We have been using our own reusable food bags for about a year. Even this small change could be SO big if more people commit to it. Think how many bags would not be thrown away if even 20 people committed themselves to it after reading this post. (8 plastic bags / week x 20 = 160). 160 plastic bags less go to the landfill every week. What if 100 more people started? That would mean that 800 plastic bags less go to the landfill every week. And 3,200 fewer per month. While you may think it’s a small change. If we all did this to generate less waste, we would SO much less plastic waste. And what I tried to do better is not just to bring my bags with me for groceries, but also when I run to the drug store, mall, etc. My goal is to never have to accept a plastic bag no matter where I shop. These compact are neat for storage in your handbag or diaper bag so you don’t forget!
Reusable bags: If half of your grocery store is produced like ours, there are likely tons of smaller plastic bags in your plastic bags. If you want to go one step further, also order reusable product bags! I found these stitches on amazon and i now use them instead of plastic when packaging my products.
Shopping in the Bulk Barn (or other bulk stores): This is something we’ve started with lately, and I’m seriously amazed at how much of our grocery store we can do there to reduce packaging! And if you didn’t know, you can take your own containers, glasses and bags with you to fill up. Check the tare weight of your containers before you start shopping, make sure they are clean (need to be washed completely, no crumbs or the like), and then weigh them again after you’re done. I’m going to write another blog post to share our bulk barn shopping list, but just to give you an idea, some of the most important things we bought there are: oatmeal, cereal, rice, pasta, flour, nuts , Crackers etc. All things that we would have bought in plastic packaging in the supermarket before.
Metal straws and reusable coffee cups: We love to use straws in our house and I’m embarrassed to say that we always had a huge box of plastic straws for smoothies, iced coffee, etc. I packed last month these affordable metal straws now and the plastic ones are no longer. And if you’ve been following me for a while, you probably know that I love Starbucks and Yup. I definitely used her paper cups every time I went. My husband and I have both started to bring our personal cups with us every time we stop for coffee, and this is another small change that can change over time enormously. (especially if you drink a lot of coffee like us!;))
I hope this gives you guidance on how to start producing less waste as a family! Again, we don’t commit to perfection, and there are some things that just don’t happen when we have young children. There will be days when I forget my reusable coffee cup and weeks when I’m just too tired to bake homemade muffins and protein balls and take a box of granola bars instead. However, we strive to do our best. Our realistic goal as a family is currently to produce only 1 small white garbage bag a week. This is a HUGE difference from what we produced for a few weeks. 🙁 We want to make it even better, but we know from experience that you cannot immediately set unrealistic goals or prepare for failure. We really have so much fun with it right now and do what we can to bring less waste to landfill.
Come with us?!?!
Note: We are not the author of this content. For the Authentic and complete version,
Check its Original Source