Since starting this blog I have moved from being cruelty free, to being vegan and now moving towards a zero waste lifestyle. The entire reason I created this blog was to encourage others to live a cruelty free life and the more I look into it, the more I realise all three of these things connect. For example I cannot spend my life preaching to people not to use products tested on animals, all the while knowingly polluting our seas with plastic. As I change naturally what I want to blog about changes to. With that in mind, today I wanted to do a post on zero waste. It is not my intention to post on this on a regular basis, but I think it will evolve into being a once a month post in some way or another!
I thought as a start I would do a post on what I have learned from my first month zero waste.
Humans are crazy wasteful
When you start second guessing everything you buy and throw in the bin it really hits home. I have always been a lover of our planet and tried my best to minimise my waste, or so I thought. Even when trying to do that little things still add up massively. Things like flossers, the ones with the plastic bit you hold, are just absurd when you think about it! Throwing out a tiny bit of plastic every day when you could just wrap the string kind round your fingers. (Although even normal floss is not great, and be sure to cut it up after using in case it ends up near wildlife!). Another huge waste is cotton wool. Women go though so much cotton wool it is insane, especially when instead washable cloth could be used instead. I (*my mum*) made individual squares using muslin cloth which I now reuse. There are many other examples but this is just two. It is quite shocking when you really start to think about unnecessary waste!
It’s not that difficult
Going 100% zero waste I imagine is very difficult, but what I am doing is not. My aim is to reduce my waste by recycling and reusing what I can. There are some products which I am replacing entirely, like cotton wool but for the most part I am just reducing. Each time I buy or use something I need to consider whether or not it is wasteful. It is all about getting in a different mind frame. Once you are there it just becomes second nature! There are some products which I would like to start making for myself to further reduce our waste but they will take a bit of time and effort to do. I think baby steps will have me there by the end of the year!
I wasted a hell of a lot of food
I am pretty ashamed of myself on this one. The amount of food which I used to throw out each month was actually just disgusting! There is only one reason I did it as well, pure laziness. Whether that was not bothering to look in the fridge before going to the shop, choosing to order in rather than cook or just in general going for the easy option. I am so glad I did this though as I have saved so much money through not constantly buying food and……
Leftovers can make a million meals
As above I would have previously just bought the ingredients I needed for a meal. I am now actually cooking different meals to use up what I have left. I have had steak sandwiches, hummus salads and so much more just by making myself use all the food I buy. On top of this, while I have always been a believer in batch cooking and freezing food I have upped my game. I have been chopping and then freezing veg which I know I will not get round to using, this means when I next cook it is pre chopped as well, totally win win! I have started chopping up garlic, chillis and ginger and freezing them in batches for using in stir frys, again massively time saving!
One bin bag can last a month
Seriously!!! By the time I recycle my food, glass, plastic and paper we have put just one bin bag out in an entire month. There are zero waste superstars out there who literally have nothing going to the tip, but realistically it is a process. I am really happy that we just have one bag going to landfill each month. We will improve on it, but until then!
I have spare cash
Living this way has obviously resulted in me buying less. Less food, toiletries, bin bags, takeouts. You name it, we have stopped buying it haha! I am normally scrimping towards the end of the month and last month considering it was January this just did not happen! And February is looking the same. As I move through the year I expect this to increase as well. Going zero waste may well be what allows me to save the cash for all the things in life I want!
All in all it has been an interesting and sort of fun 6 weeks! My husband has even fully embraced what I am trying to do which has made it significantly easier. I hope that in time we will get better and better but for now I am happy with where we have got to after just one month. Has anyone else tried to move to zero waste?? What have you learned?