Happy wintertime folks! Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, and how on earth has everyone been?!
I’m finally back from a long hiatus of writing, blogging, and recovering my body from recurring illness. When I moved to Colorado, I knew this was the chance to make everything I have envisioned for myself HAPPEN. With that came a unnecessary burden to try and get it done in an unreasonable amount of time, therefore I was working my butt off not only full-time at a 9-5, but at home also.
Cleaning, organizing, writing, promoting 2 businesses and getting disheartened when things didn’t. Seem. To. Move.
Of course, all that stress adds up very quickly and very easily. Combine that with my body adjusting to a new climate and I’ve worn my body down yet again. I took a few weeks to rest, sleep as much as I need, do gentle workouts and drinks lots of smoothies with lots of vitamins to feel ready to take on the world!
But this year, I’m taking it slow. Things take time and I know this. But I also know I need to improve my time management. With that comes resolutions, and goals, but perhaps that’s a whole different post to write…anyway.
As long as I hold that vision, and all of those dreams so tight, I know I can’t fail. Good things come to those who wait. I know this to be true, because I’ve practiced this throughout my life and everything I’ve needed, subconsciously or not, has arrived at the perfect time.
For now, onto my 12th and final post of my Year of Zero Waste! I can’t believe what a difference a year has made in my lifestyle and my mindset with consumerism. I’ve learned so much, shared lots, and hopefully have inspired you to take some steps towards a zero-waste lifestyle too!
Now, this has’n’t been a cakewalk. However, it’s also not unattainable at ALL. My hardest thing to avoid was paper towels and napkins! It’s the biggest inconvenience to carry around your own napkins. ESPECIALLY if you are someone who eats as messy as me! (I also happen to be a sauce-loving gal) I grew up using nothing BUT cloth napkins because my mom has a plethora of them! As an adult though, I haven’t brought myself to buy any yet. I forget to look because it was such a usual thing. So my next step would be to purchase a good bunch or organic cotton napkins and keep multiples in my lunchbox.
The next challenge has been more mental. After opening my mind to all of the straight up WASTE we humans create, it has been driving me CRAZY to watch people throw away recyclable things! Paper, bottles and cans, even at my “eco-friendly” place of work always seem to find their way into the trash. I find myself constantly going through the trash and pulling out the good stuff, and vice versa with the recycling. It boggles my mind now how folks can be so disconnected enough to toss the good stuff into the bin right next to the poor recycled bin. I’ve found its a fine line between informing and providing information, and being a bossy Sophie. No one wants to be offended or embarrassed, but also, I know the earth needs help, and I need to share with the folks I love because it’s the only way to help. I’m still learning the etiquette to lots of things in life. But that seems to get harder and harder as society changes and grows. Feel free to provide any tips! <3
For this post I’m doing things a little differently. It will contain a compiled list of EVERYTHING, recorded to the best of my ability, that I have had to throw away this year.
So, onward we go!
What I’ve Wasted in 2017!
34 things of plastic wrap/plastic bags/dog bags
20 tea bags (strings and tags removed and saved)
20 butter wrappers
12 of those absorbent packages from fish/chicken packs
11 body wipes (leftover from when I didn’t use cloths with essential oil post-workout)
8 creamer pods
8 styrofoam plates from meat
8 cotton rounds
7 bio-degradable food containers (I’ve never lived beside a Chipotle till this year!)
7 sheets of a lint roller (Another things you can find as a zero waste product here)
6 dot bandaids
5 styrofoam to-go containers
5 Fast food meal trash (containers and bags)
4 squares of parchment paper from meat counter purchases
3 taco bell salsa packs
3 old garments
3 compostable coffee cups and lids.
2 Chinese takeout containers
2 cheetoes bags
2 ice cream containers
1 razor (I now have a stainless steel safety razor)
1 foil dish
1 beer bottle (not my choice! silly open container laws….)
1 milk box
1 makeup sample packet
1 paper plastic-lined soap sample
1 pizza box
1 glass jar (broken)
1 sheet of aluminum foil
Some produce stickers
a few “fun size” candy wrappers
Buffalo wild wings cardboard food container
Also, I had a 1’x2′ cardboard box full of plastic wrappers someone tossed out 🙁
That is it! That is a years worth of trash for me folks! As I type this list out, I’ve come to realize, aside from napkins, its my meals out and junk food consumption that contributes the most trash! Most of the wrappings and containers they provide are often not recyclable, or too contaminated with grease to toss properly. Another goal for the new year is less drunken trips to Taco Bell!! *tear*
This was the best challenge, really. It makes me feel like I’m helping, it forces me to eat healthier, do better for our planet by monitoring how much I consume and HOW I consume it. (Where does my dollar go?) I feel set up to make better choices and continue sharing for the rest of my life. I am especially inspired to live a completely self-sustainable lifestyle. Tiny House, garden, wind power, made-from-scratch food and gifts and so much more! It will always be a work in progress, with many areas to continue improving, but living Zero-Waste is one change I will keep for life.
Thank you so much to anyone who followed this challenge, and Mother Earth thanks you SO much if you have changed a few habits of yours!
Have a lovely New Year everyone!