This week I stumbled upon a blogger with an interesting lifestyle; she has absolutely no trash cans in her home. Lauren Singer, of Trash is for Tossers, was a environmental studies major that decided enough is enough. She decided to live up to her values and live a Zero Waste life in her home in NYC. What does it look like to live a Zero Waste lifestyle?
This. This is two years of trash for her. It’s all the things she couldn’t recycle and still hasn’t found out what to do with. That’s amazing. I alone probably produce 20 times that much in a single day.
What a lot of us don’t realize is how bad plastic is to the environment. What we also don’t realize is that many of the things that come in plastic are not recyclable. Most recycling centers only take number 1 and number 2 plastic. These are things like water bottles, cleaning product bottles, and plastic grocery bags. The packaging that our chips, bread (not to mention the twisty tie that comes with the packaging), and etc. can not be recycled. That’s just food! There’s the personal hygiene products (razors, cotton balls, and makeup packaging) and cleaning products (soaps, detergents, and dryer sheets) to name a few.
How does she do it? It’s as simple as evaluating what you’re currently doing and transitioning into a new lifestyle. Lauren has layed out this 2 steps here.
She also shows you some simple alternatives to thing you use everyday. To see the full list click on the picture below.
I don’t know how good I will be at producing zero waste but her blog has show me a lot of simple alternatives that I’m going to input into my life.
Here are a few that I’m going to start with:
- Bring my own silverware to work – I bring my lunch in reusable containers but I tend to use the plastic forks that they provide at work. I have a bamboo set of utensils (they’re actually camping gear) that I’m going to start bring with me
- Buying less foods in packaging – places like Whole Foods make it easier for you to buy things with out packaging. For produce, bring your own cotton baggie. You can purchase some reusable produce bags here (they also make a cotton bag just for bread!). For nuts, pasta, etc., you can bring your own mason jar. Just don’t forget to weigh your jar first! [How to Tare a Jar]
- Composting – I would love to have my own compost pile or vermicompost, however living in an apartment doesn’t allow for that. I’m going to try to find a place where I can drop it off around where I live.
For recycling in Alabama: Recycle Alabama
In Birmingham: UAB Recycling
These are just a few things. As I come across other products and such I’ll be sure and share!