Hi everyone! I’ve been learning about Zero Waste this month and trying to implement it in my life. One thing that I’ve learned so far is that I am very wasteful! In the beginning of this project, I would put the stuff I couldn’t recycle into a separate shopping bag to keep track of what I was throwing away. Within a week I had quickly filled it up so I stopped that practice.
Zero Waste advocates advise taking baby steps to eliminating your waste because it can be overwhelming to stop producing any sort of waste from the beginning.
Here are a few things I’ve tried to do so far:
I’ve been carrying around one of my 6-month-old son’s (I can’t believe he’s 6 months now!!) burp cloths as a handkerchief and hand towel to avoid using – and then throwing away – tissues and paper towels. I’ve also tried avoiding buying plastic water bottles by refilling a thermos. By the way, this hydro flask thermos rocks! I had ice water in it once and the ice was still intact the next day! I also tried to avoid using plastic bags at the grocery store by bringing my own tote bag, although sometimes I forgot to get it out of the car and ended up using plastic bags! *sad face*
There are a lot of good resources now about Zero Waste. One in particular, Zero Waste Home by Bea Johnson, focuses on making your home as self-sufficient and sustainable as possible. Bea reported that her family’s personal finances went down 40% by going Zero Waste. This book also has a lot of good tips about composting and includes DIY recipes ranging from tortillas to eyeshadow to hairspray!
I’ve decided to tackle another Zero Waste project – composting. I’ve always been interested in growing my own food and composting can be a way to get ready-made soil to do just that! I constructed my own compost bin today and threw in some shredded newspaper, random bits of paper and some frozen food scraps. I lived in Korea for almost 10 years, and one thing that I had to adjust to was recycling my food trash. Korea doesn’t have much land or natural resources so recycling is a big deal. I would gather my food trash in a plastic bag in the freezer and then dump the whole bag in a food trash bin once it was full. Now that I’m back in America, people ask me about experiencing reverse culture shock and if I miss Korea. There are a lot of things I miss about Korea but oddly I miss the way the country is so adamant about recycling!
Anyway – here is my DIY compost bin!
Dear readers, have you tried to reduce your waste? If so, please feel free to share any tips in the comments!