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My Trash

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    1. I don’t use q-tips. If I did I would use organic cotton ones and compost them. I use handkerchiefs instead of kleenex. They are so soft and my nose hasn’t chaffed since using them, which is amazing! My nose always chaffed after using two tissues. It was the worst part of being sick. I highly recommend getting some handkerchiefs, it makes being sick so much better and one of my favorite zero waste swaps!

  1. Wow! Impressive, Kathryn! Wouldn’t it be great if those stickers would be compostable? They are everywhere!

    1. I wish they didn’t exist, period. Back to the grease pen. And, ditch them on produce. They’re so unnecessary. I look for produce without stickers on it and guess what, they can still tell exactly what it is and ring it up.

  2. Kathryn, I am blown away. WELL DONE! My spouse and I moved to a new state recently, so I am still getting oriented to where I can get un-packaged food, etc. It makes me sad to see the (still VERY less than average) bits we are sending to landfill. But seeing posts like this one keeps me motivated.

    Also, it is just straight up good to not feel "alone" or "weird" in the pursuit of zero-waste. Thanks for your faithfulness to the cause. Keep at it, sister!

  3. WOW! I am impressed with your jar – we are a family of four and our 6 month mark was earlier this month… I have a 1.5 L jar and it is 3/4 full. I debated only adding to our jar what was purchased since going Zero Waste – but then I feared people looking in my trash can and calling me out! haha One thing I have recently started doing is rummaging through produce for sticker free ones… it’s a 50/50 crap shoot! But anything to keep my jar from filling before the one year mark! Bravo!

    1. Yes!!! I do that too!!! I always look for the one without a sticker. Hahaha. I don’t have kids; so, it’s way easier!! We don’t really buy anything that’s not food. We did buy a new toilet and the old toilet is going to be a planter in the green house!! I’m so excited. The box is filled with donations. Funny how it worked out. 🙂

  4. SO inspiring ! Congratulation. I hope we will succeed here in a such way. We need more improvment in our daily store’s visit like asking to put cheese or meat in our boxes …

  5. This is soo awesome. This is what I’m aiming for. I’m still getting rid of a lot of pre-zw clutter (I’m a hoarder aiming for minimalism…) and I still buy some packaged products, which I’m struggling to find alternatives for. This is so inspiring, thank you for sharing!

    1. I accredit a lot to location. I’m very blessed. PZW stuff does not count. It only counts if I bought it after. I still have my shampoo bottle from last November. When, it’s gone it won’t count as recycling for me. But, if I bought another one it would. I’m almost out, so I better start looking!!!

  6. This is so inspiring! I’m still in the transitioning stages of using less, but can’t quite dive into zero waste just yet. It’s so difficult to purchase the right items that aren’t packaged in 19,000 layers! I already compost and recycle, but for my next steps I want to figure out how to make my own toothpaste and deoderant that work.

    1. I feel like composting is half the battle! Deodorant and toothpaste are both hard. I’ve been using different types of homemade testing them all out. Regular baking soda was amazing when it was cooler, but when it got hot – it did not work. So, I’m back to the drawing board. I will do a collective post with everything I’ve tried… it’s a lot.

  7. Very impressive, Kathryn! I buy very little in "trash" packaging but we do rack up the glass recycling. I like to fill a growler at our local brewery when I can and have found refillable wine too! It is definitely more challenging with the hubby and kids, but I think I’m rubbing off on them more each day 🙂

    1. Absolutely! I’m so glad to have finally found re-fillable wine!! I don’t drink a lot. But, I probably go through a bottle every other week, especially if I have company. Beer in cans is better than glass; because, you don’t have to deal with the cap. Aluminum is a self sustaining metal and 100% recyclable made with 100% recyclable material. I can’t imagine doing it with kids! So, that’s awesome. Keep up the good work! 🙂

    1. Yes! I am so fortunate with my surrounding area. We have a year round farmers market within walking distance. It’s amazing. It’s about three blocks away. We just bought a house downtown so we could walk to everything with the pup. I accredit this all to my surroundings. I’m very, very blessed.

  8. This is so inspiring! I have been trying to drastically reduce our trash lately. Though we live in China, making it quite impossible to eliminate plastic, the results have been extremely rewarding.

    How do you manage for beers (I see only two caps in your lot)?

    1. I can imagine it being crazy difficult in China! We typically refill our growlers at our local brewery. But, for our anniversary we bought two special tall boys. That’s the two caps. 😉

  9. I never knew that aluminium beer cans (etc) had plastic linings! Apparently it is because aluminium is not food safe so they have to put the lining in there… But stainless steel doesn’t have linings as it is food safe.

    I thought it was just beer and soda cans but it is also food cans (e.g. soup)! Which means it is:
    a) being down cycled (the plastic bit) and
    b) leaching into the food!

    Did anyone else know this?!?!

  10. Hi Kathyrn,
    Have you every thought about Terracycling the waste in your trash jar? Basically, almost 99% of trash is actually recyclable it just isn’t profitable to recycle it, SO you purchase a box from Terracycle and put all your non-recyclable "trash" in it. Then you mail it back to them (they have plants all over) and they recycle it for you and then sell it back to the industry so that it can be used again! They also donate TONS of money to charity from the profit they make of it which is nice… Plus with the amount of "trash" your making every year one box would last you FOREVER!

    There are also free boxes that you don’t have to pay for that are sponsored by companies etc.!

    It is really great – plus if you are worried about the carbon emissions from mailing it, if you select a ground delivery that is not like overnight etc. it should be fine!

  11. Oh, by the way the stickers on produce are edible (food grade paper and glue) so they should be compostable…

  12. I was doing good with recycling until I had my third child. I have to take it to the recycling center and it got to be too much. I think I am ready to start again though.

    I can’t imagine having one jar of trash for the whole year. With three kids I am not sure I could pull that off! But i am going to try it. I joined mightynest and have been getting some great reusable stuff. I love my stainless steel straws. They are my favorite!

    I was reading a different zero waste blog once and I remember reading that the person refused or left something at the store. I can not remember what it was but it was like instead of bringing home the sticker or bag and throwing it away at home they threw it away at the store. I wasn’t sure how that was zero waste!!

  13. Impresionante! Pero se puede reducir aun mas, los lazos se pueden usar para asegurar las tomateras a sus tutores, las tapas de metal pueden ir al reciclado con las latas metálicas, lo mismo que los otros pedacitos de plástico : )

  14. Fun fact.. those stickers in the first photo that come in fresh produce are actually A) edible and B) compostable lol your blog is really inspiring btw 🙂

    1. That is, unfortunately, untrue. I’ve worked in the print industry for 12 years. Its just a rumor that was started with uncitied sources on WikiHow. Of course you CAN eat the stickers, you CAN eat a lot of stuff but it doesnt mean you should. lol.

  15. Our council, in the UK will take beer bottle tops for recycling, however I am not convinced they are used. Twist ties can be re-used many times.

  16. What do you do with things like floor sweepings from your house, dryer lint, dog poo/nails/hair, your own hair from the shower or spent toothbrushes?