1.09.2013

Beginning This Lifestyle

I started this lifestyle change after seeing a handful of documentaries about the environment, pollution, plastic, food, and farming.

Addicted to Plastic, Forks Over Knives, The Corporation, The Future of Food, Garbage Warrior & No Impact Man also check this page out for more!
I wanted to stop whining about all the harm we do to ourselves and this planet and start doing something about it. When I ran out of something at home, I decided I was going to try and make it myself first, instead of just going out and buying more. Then, I came across a blog by Bea Johnson called Zero Waste Home. It was full of things you can do to reduce waste in your life and live more eco-friendly; I was absolutely inspired. Some of the waste reduction information I’ll give on this blog will be repeated from hers, but I feel this information cannot be repeated and shared enough. Here are some of the things I have started doing, or would like to integrate in my life:

  • Refuse waste from even entering my home:
    • Plastic bags, product packaging, junk mail, freebie pens and stickers, newsletters, flyers, etc. Sign up for paperless billing.
  • Bring reusable shopping bags and produce bags for groceries. Buy bulk dispensary items. If something has to be bought in a container, I try to get glass (more easily recycled).
Vintage Lady Gillette Safety Razor - I bought mine on Ebay.
  • Find alternatives to disposable and one-time-use products such as: cloth "paper" towels, cloth napkins, safety razor instead of disposables, etc.
  • Make my own products if I can’t buy them in glass, metal, or cardboard containers. Plus I know what ingredients are in the stuff I’m using this way.
  • Use a reusable stainless steel or glass bottle for water. Stainless steel insulated travel mugs work best for coffee or tea.
  • Circulate out household plastic items and try to find things made of wood, bamboo, or stainless steel. These things are BPA free, much more durable and will last much longer. Also, when I tire of them, they won’t end up in a landfill because they can easily be donated.
  • Recycle or reuse the waste you do bring into your home:
    • Glass, Cardboard, Paper, Aluminum, Plastics #1-7, Milk/Juice Cartons
    • Electronics, cell phones, metals, and batteries. There are places that will take this stuff if you look.
    •  Compost food waste.
  • Utilize the library for books, movies, music, and video games.
    • If there is something I really want to own, I buy it used or download digital copies.
  • Buy used furniture, d├ęcor, linens, appliances, tools, clothing, etc. Plus, vintage is cute!
  • Send emails or letters to companies when I am not happy with their packaging and have ideas for more environmental or healthy alternatives. Companies need to hear what the people really want.
  • Use power more efficiently:
    • Use power strips that can be turned off when appliances/electronics are not in use.
    • Switch to CFL or LED lighting when bulbs go out.
    • When buying replacement appliances, try to find ones that are energy efficient, or even manually operated.
  • Conserve water:
    • You’ve heard of this before, so, some new things may be:
      • Collect shower water while waiting for the water to heat up, and use it to water plants.
      • Research collecting grey water (rinse cycle water from washer) for watering outside. Make sure it is allowed in your city ordinances.
      • Attach rain barrels to downspouts. 
      • As far as flushing, if it’s yellow, let it mellow. Unless you have guests, hehe.

Remember, shopping is voting. When you buy overly packaged products you are creating a demand for them. On the other hand when you buy more eco-friendly you are voting/showing that there is a demand for that also. As Bea from Zero Waste Home says, "Manufacturers are candidates and consumers are voters. Let's start voting right."

Try to think about the life-cycle of the things you buy, and where they end up when you are done with them. If you don’t know, research a little and you might be shocked.

Replacing plastic containers, dishes, bags, bottles, and other household items may seem like an expensive venture at first. Well, it kind of is, but a lot of these things are a one-time purchase and should last you a really long time.

I want to incorporate these practices into my life to better the health of myself and my environment. I also want to be a model for others, to show them that it can be done. If you are thinking, “Who am I to change anything, I am just a drop in the ocean,” remember, “What is the ocean but a multitude of drops.” I realize it could take a long time for the needed changes to be made in this world. The movement is building momentum, but we all need to do our part. I hope you will join me.
love & light,
Claire

What are some of the ways you reduce your waste?

1 comment:

  1. This is a great post, Claire! Great ideas, and you covered so much but still kept it organized! I'd love for you to guestpost sometime if you're interested. (This exact post or maybe one of this nature on a similar subject, either one.)

    One that you didn't include, but I think is noteworthy is feminine products. I use a diva cup and cloth reusable panty liners. Actually, that may be a whole other post in itself. Family cloth could be addressed too if you want to reallllly freak people out ;)
    xo

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