Transitioning to Low-Waste

Have you ever thought of how much plastic you produce? Like seriously. Think about it.

I’ll be honest. I never thought about it until recently. I came across this video talking about zero-waste. I honestly can’t even remember which video was the first I watched because I really just started watching video after video on transitioning your own life to zero waste. Seriously – hours of YouTube

And I started noticing everything I used that was plastic and I was disgusted. In general, I thought my whole life was revolved about as little waste as possible. I’ll take the rest of this food home for leftovers later. But what was I taking those leftovers home in? Styrofoam or plastic most likely. I started noticing that we produce way too much trash for a two-person household. Me and boyfriend would take out multiple bags of trash every other day. Multiple bags of trash. Every other day. [insert horrified face here]

So I’ve been working on my plastic addiction. I’ve been using mason jars a lot more. Boyfriend doesn’t really like the aesthetic, but that’s not really what zero-waste is about. I bought some more but even those come wrapped in plastic from the store. But I guess a little plastic now is better than loads of it throughout the rest of my life, right? And I know people go to thrift stores and buy used jars or re-use jars from pickles and stuff. But unfortunately, my brain is wired a little differently than those awesome people. I thrive on aesthetics. It’s literally my life. What I go to school for. What I want in my career. How I organize at home. You name it. I like things to look nice. It motivates me to keep going with what I’m doing. So, yes, I’m going to buy sets of matching containers because it will help me feel motivated to keep trying. Which is a huge part of this thing for me. Because unfortunately, I live in a very wasteful place. First of all, I live in America. ‘Nuff said, right? #consumerismamerica

I also happen to live in the south in a college town that isn’t a large enough city to have very well organized public transportation. So, we have like one place on the outskirts of town that does recycling. My university just put some recycling cans around campus (not many but it’s a start). Other than that, I’ve only ever seen recycling bins at the entrance to major stores like WalMart. Not to mention my apartment building doesn’t do recycling, so our only option is to drop it off ourselves. I’m quickly learning that zero-waste is almost anti-convenience. If you walk around wherever you do your shopping, just take a look at everything packaged in plastic. Now take away those options. Not much left, huh? Even things packaged in glass with metal tops have that annoying plastic to make sure the top stays on. What’s with that? 

And I don’t want to demonize recycling or anything, because it’s great, but when it comes to plastic, it’s really downcycling. Plastic can only be used so many times, you know. I’m not going to get into that just like I didn’t get into what zero-waste actually is. If you want to know, I encourage you to do your own research and form your own opinions. In other words, do it your damn selves

The whole plastic thing really is a bummer and aside from recycling, it affects everything else too. So, if you don’t want to buy plastic, you have to buy things that come in glass, metal, cardboard, or otherwise unpackaged. Do you know how few things actually come like this? I mentioned the plastic on the glass jars. But let’s talk about the fresh produce. I don’t have regular access to a farmer’s market. We have multiple markets that are only available Saturday mornings and some Wednesday mornings. Since I work both of those days, I have a total of two hours a week to actually shop at any of them. Other than that, I have an outdoor kind of farmer’s market but they’re produce is usually pretty hit and miss. So, I usually end up shopping at Whole Foods (which is also my only bulk bin option). 

So to sum up, zero waste isn’t really the most plausible option for me right now. So, I’ll be going as low-waste as I possibly can. And as soon as we move to a more eco-conscious city, we’ll see about zero waste. Byyye.

Transitioning to Low-Waste

One thought on “Transitioning to Low-Waste

  1. I’ve been working on cracking down myself! I recycle a lot in addition to trying to minimize…I know I know…and have recently been looking into in-home composting. (I live in an apartment too). I’m terrified of mice, though. So if you ever try that let us know because I want a real person’s experience!

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