Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Daily Action: Learn About Living Waste-Free

Friends, this morning I am feeling inspired. In an effort to clean out my Saved folder on Facebook, I stumbled on this video that I had saved months ago: Lauren Singer on living waste free for four years. I definitely appreciated that she gave simple tips on how to get started if it's something you're interested in. With environmental regulations being rolled back, I think I would like to begin moving more towards a waste free life. Here's what I've been doing so far:

This week, I started using these bags for my produce at the grocery. They are fantastic and I love that they are all large, so I don't have to fuss to find the right color/size. One for green beans, one for onions, and one for zucchini. Good to go! 

In Chicago, a bag tax has taken effect, so reusable bags are everywhere for purchase. I prefer to sew my own with fabric scraps, and I make sure to have a few extras on hand to use as waste free wrapping paper (it's like double the gift, right?)

Last week, I ordered a Diva cup. While I've tried using menstrual cups in the past, I wasn't successful, but I'm willing to give it another shot so I won't have to use disposable tampons and pads. Also, I am in love with Thinx. I have five pairs. They are absorbent and discreet, and if you flop around in your sleep (like I do), you will love these.

I have three reusable water bottles, and each serves a specific function. This one is a favorite, because it's great to throw in my bag, rolls up for traveling, or hides (totally full!) in my blazer pocket at my second job. 

I feel like I've made a good start towards living a waste free life, but I'd like to go even further.

I'd like to start composting my table scraps. I'm currently doing the Whole30 challenge, and most of my trash is vegetable peels or egg shells. I found a compost bin that would work well on my tiny front porch, but will need to save up a bit before making that purchase.

After reading this article, I'd like to purchase a reusable straw, or a spork like this, to carry with me while I'm out.

I'd like to find a way to properly recycle/reuse my plastic bags. While there are drop off points around the city for plastic bags, I'm also looking into making "plarn" and crocheting some mats. If I begin crocheting mats, I'll be asking my friends to donate their leftover plastic bags to the cause :)

Friends, do you have any tips on how to live a waste free life? How did you get started? Let me know in the comments below!


PS. I'm not being paid for my opinions on these products. I genuinely love them and want to share them with you, because you're my friends and I want you to be happy, too.


  1. I am, right now, no word of a lie, making homemade vegetable stock from vegetable scraps. Seriously, it is a great stock recipe Thanks for posting those links, I'll check them out more when I have more time (when my stock is finished).

  2. Hooray! I love that you're trying this. It can be really overwhelming once you start seeing all the waste everywhere that a person makes, especially when it comes to little things like tags on retail items - you can't recycle those stupid plastic tags that hold on the price tag! Another thing I struggle with is medicines or the crazy amount of disposables used in the medical industry. I started bringing a bandana hankie to my dentist appointments so they don't have to use a disposable bib. It is a great conversation starter and means I don't have to explain so much when I turn down the "goodie bag" of toxic dental products later on.

    I do most of these except composting, but it is on our to-do list. I use rags for cleaning and cloth napkins, so once we've eliminated our "wet" waste from our baskets I'm planning on sewing fun garbage can liners for our small trash bins so I don't need to use a plastic bag or wash them as much, I can just wash the liner with my other rags and things.
    Ok brain dump going on, so last thing - dental floss! I've explored several options. Dr. Tung's makes one with a compostable package, but the floss is still plastic and non-compostable. I'd been using regular floss and just washing and re-using it until it finally breaks and is unusable. But now my health food store is finally carrying silk dental floss by WooBamboo (I already use their bamboo toothbrush and love it) so I've switched to that. It is a little hard with my having tight teeth (I usually need a dental tape), but one must sacrifice for the environment!

  3. If you find the diva cup uncomfortable, or are experiencing leakage I suggest trimming the stem and flipping the cup inside out. It solved all the problems I had with mine.

  4. You can also use fabric scraps to make some unpaper towels. I use flannel on one side (for mine, I repurposed the side pieces of an old flannel fitted sheet that was worn in the middle), regular cotton on the other, and use them for all sorts of cleaning and other jobs. You can use snaps, buttons, or Velcro to connect the edges, then roll them onto an old paper towel tube, but I've found that I prefer to just have them in a basket so they're easier to grab.

  5. My composting set-up consists of a compostable plastic bag set inside a re-used honey bucket. My apartment building pays for compost pick-up. When it is full I just take it downstairs to the garbage room.