We’re all completely aware of the terrifying waste problem that is affecting our precious earth every single day, and although it might seem like we’re doing the most by signing online petitions to stop plastic straws, our planet needs us to do more.
Waste-free isn’t a new concept but after discovering a woman who fit two years of trash into one jar, I was overcome with a lot of guilt. I live alone, I don’t eat all that much and yet I seem to be making trips to my apartment complex’s skip every single week. So I decided to try and live a more waste-free lifestyle.
So, I started to research and literally everywhere told me to “examine your trash” and I found it extremely weird, but when I did I finally did it (armed with hand sanitiser) it was actually very eye-opening.
I established that certain bits of rubbish were a little bit inevitable especially the packaging for my Quorn meat. However, I was throwing away so much from beauty products, snacks and jars. SO, eating better and more organically (aka cooking rather than pouring a jar into a pan) and also toning it down with all the beauty products.
So to start the week I went shopping. I didn’t want to not buy my Quorn meat (Despite the plastic packaging) as I genuinely don’t think I would have any other form of protein. But alternatively, I decided to hit the markets. It was a weird experience and people walked WAY too slow but once I stopped being a rushed-off-my-feet-millennial for one minute, I realise that it was really refreshing to visit somewhere that didn’t just have rows of freezers but actual human beings that were ready to talk and give advice.
Going to supermarkets isn’t the worst though – just pick items that don’t have unnecessary bits of plastic wrapped around them (most fruits have natural protection around them) and taking reusable bags to take it all away in.
Tuesday I tackled my wardrobe and beauty products which, I admit, was long overdue. My wardrobe was a mess before this day, with no room on the bar to hang things up, and absolutely no room for anything but I would buy new things every week.
So, stopped being weirdly sentimental to clothes that quite literally had no sentiment attached to them and decided to give them to charity. I was completely harsh and basically got rid of anything that I knew I wouldn’t wear even though I started to have war flashbacks to that time I accidentally got rid of my favourite black skirt in my first year of University. My wardrobe is a lot freer now and which means more room for new clothes.
As for beauty, I have vowed to stop using an unnecessary amount of cotton pads and baby wipes. But I also found out there are so many places to buy beauty products that are zero-waste (that aren’t Lush). I also decided to make my own coffee scrub using used coffee grounds which was kind of cool, kind of weird.
Wednesday was when I started to meal prep and sort out what meals I would take to work the next day etc. Making a little bit more at night and taking it in a lunch box the next day not only saves on random plastic packaging on overpriced sandwiches but saves an unreal amount of money too.
I got stuck into gardening which was something I never thought I would do. I have tried to keep plants before but they’ve always ended up dying because I’m like the least maternal person to ever enter the world. I even managed to kill a cactus. But I planted some coriander seeds and also some sweet basil seeds.
The aim of this is to be able to just cut off any herbs that I want for cooking and not have to buy them all wrapped up in plastic. We’ll have to see how it goes but the coriander is flourishing and I’m feeling very proud.
Friday is all about the bottles, guys just buy a water bottle and keep filling it up with tap water. This saves so much waste and so much money.
Also, look at the super cute cereal bottle I have.
The weekend is for partying and cleaning. So, after researching I discovered that there are many things you can use to clean your house. Also using rags to wipe surfaces down and brushes to wash dishes makes a big difference.
On the night went out and, although I felt quite awkward doing it, I told the bartender that I didn’t want straws or any kind of plastic in my drink. And he was actually super interested so it wasn’t bad at all.
So the whole experience has been so eye-opening and it was literally next to impossible to live waste-free and I really have no idea how the two years of trash in one jar woman did it. I will definitely be keeping up with the zero-waste movement and going to the markets for my fruit and veg because that also supports local economy.