Zero-Waste Lifestyle

I feel strongly that a zero-waste lifestyle is on my horizons. In the past my energies were always focused on diet and trying to “figure out” my IBS. Now my attention is on my flexibility/strength, but it’s becoming more and more aware of the amount of waste the average American lifestyle produces daily.

1989-Present

  • I’ve been shopping secondhand clothes since my childhood. I continue shopping secondhand today—both for clothing and household items.

2009

  • While living in Spain, I purchase reusable grocery bags and use them every week. In Spain you have to pay a few cents for each plastic bag you take from a store, so there’s motivation to bring your own bags—and it’s more common, too.
  • In adjusting to the Spanish lifestyle I also become very aware of when the lights are on (only when absolutely necessary, and never in an empty room) and how much water I use in the shower. I take quick showers (under 5 minutes) and we keep a bucket in the shower to collect water, later using the bucket to flush the toilet.

2013

  • When I was living in Korea, my friend Max shared the blog No Trash Project with me, thinking I would find it interesting. I did really enjoy the writing and content. Although she stopped blogging years ago, it was perhaps my first peek at someone striving towards a zero-waste lifestyle.

2015

  • August 26, 2015 – I purchase two sets of panty liners on Etsy and Amazon to replace the disposable daily dri-liners I’d been using for many years.

2016

  • February 13, 2016 – After hearing about them online, then later finding out my friend’s friend uses them, I buy a Luna cup to use instead of tampons.
  • Late 2016? – At some point I begin following @GoingZeroWaste on Twitter.
  • October 2016 – I stop shaving, a decision which was not originally motivated by environmental impact, but which still has reduced waste from the disposable razors I’m no longer buying.
  • Winter 2016 – I get my parents to start bringing tupperware along on their Friday night dinners for taking home leftovers.

2017

  • May 2017 – I bring extra cloth bags for my grandpa to use when we grocery shop. Now they live in the back of my mom’s car, so we always have them when we take him grocery shopping.
  • July 14, 2017 – I stay in the home of our camp coordinator the night before camp, and am pleasantly surprised to see it’s a zero-waste home. Glass jars of ingredients fill the kitchen and in the morning we drink smoothies from metal straws. They recommend the book “Radical Homemakers” to me.
  • July 15, 2017 – At camp a fellow counselor pulls out a travel case of a reusable fork and spoon to eat her lunch.
  • August 7, 2017 – My mom emails asking where she could buy reusable produce bags for grocery shopping. (I’d seen these a few weeks ago in a blog post via @GoingZeroWaste and had mentioned them in conversation.) She buys some and begins using them!
  • September 2017 – I purchase two of these reusable wraps from Whole Foods and use them for sandwiches and snacks, keeping me from using ziploc sandwich bags on hitch. I also get myself some cloth produce bags and bring them along when I grocery shop.