August 25, 2015 | Kathryn Kellogg
Last Updated on November 18, 2022
So, I know this is what you’ve all been waiting for – the big reveal. How much trash have I made since starting this journey?
There are lots of stickers stuck together that I could not pull apart. I hope I can upcycle the twist ties. This does not include anything I’ve had before going zero waste. This is only what I’ve purchased since starting this lifestyle that can’t be recycled or composted.
I have been fortunate with ample bulk stores in my area and excellent farmers markets. We used to make day trips to Berkeley or Napa for bulk foods, but recently we found one only five minutes from our house!
Occasionally, I’d run out of food and run to the grocery store to pick up some tagged produce.
My thrift store recently went from grease pens to stickers which is really unfortunate. I will be writing them a letter.
I do have several rubber bands, but I use those at work and have been bringing them.
I still buy burritos wrapped in paper, but I can compost that and pizza boxes, (vegan pizzas have no grease, so they’re recyclable as well!)
I collect wine corks for my Christmas tree. I’ve managed to cut most plastic out of my life.
My recyclables are typically paper from work, a wine bottle or two a month, and pesky junk mail. I will end junk mail at this house…. it will happen. I’ve been trying so hard, but to no avail.
I have roommates, so there is still plenty of trash around. One day, I hope to experience not taking out the trash, but the chore wheel shows no favoritism. The entire house throws out approximately 6 gallons a week for four people, so I’m pretty proud of them.
Here’s another sneak peek at my kitchen.
I’m re-growing green onions and romaine!
I have refillable olive oil and balsamic bottles, an empty butter dish, some bulk cinnamon, my milk jug for nut milks, and a flip-top lemonade.
I’m hoping to collect several of these bottles. Several times throughout the year the wine country will host re-filling events. Bottles have to be 750ml. I’m starting a collection. I would love to fill up some wine!
This is amazing! Also I’m always insanely curious about people’s kitchens. I HAVE to get the address from you concerning the neighborhood bulk place. It slipped my mind! I’d love to check it out. You are such an inspiration, bud!
Yes! It’s Raley’s in Vallejo. They say they tare… but I don’t believe them. It must have been the bad experience at Raley’s Benicia.
Holy cow, that’s crazy! It seems like you’re taking this challenge and life change with great strides! Do you feel, or have you noticed, that your actions are making an impact on your roommates that don’t practice zero waste?
Kind of? Most of their waste was recyclable and still is. It’s boys… so it’s all frozen pizza and beer…. haha. Not too much has changed. They send me pictures when they remember their cloth bags and it’s adorable. But, I notice them trying to get paper if they forget.
Wow! I’m deeply impressed, you’re going full-on zero waste in such a short period of time! You and your kitchen are a great inspiration for me! Did you buy or collect all your jars/bottles? I seem to have plenty of small and no large ones 😉
Thank you! I love my little kitchen. My favorite color is blue and Justin’s is red… we couldn’t decide – so we did both. The first week I started the journey there were twenty-four 32 oz jars at the thrift store. Justin bought me some clamp jars as a present at World Market But, most have been found at eco-thrift. A lot came with lids, but I do need to buy some.
Wow, fantastic! My husband and I have been taking baby steps towards becoming zero waste. So far we’ve eliminated as many plastics as possible, shop with totes/jars, and are making our own cosmetics and household products. I’ve been amazed by how much it has streamlined and simplified my life! We recently went on a trip and it was super easy to pack because I didn’t have loads of disposables, cluttered cabinets, etc.
Sounds like you’re doing a great job! I still need to work on cutting down my closet. I’ve come so far. I have around a 16th of what I had, but it’s still too much. I’ll get there, eventually.