Through October 14th, a few of my fellow Ethical Writers Coalition members and myself will be participating in a zero waste challenge, in which we will document our experiences attempting to be waste free.
The goal is to send nothing to the landfill: if it can be recycled or composted then it doesn’t count as waste. One interesting component of the challenge is that we must take into consideration any waste that might be created on our behalf. For example, food scraps created for a meal prepared for us at a restaurant or the packaging that initially contained the food in the bulk bins.
Even just pondering how I’m going to fare during this challenge has required me to look at the waste I create in a whole new way. Seemingly innocuous things like a paper receipt, the wrapper from a piece of gum, or the twist ties that are often used to secure bundles of produce together can’t always be recycled and end up in landfills all of which contributes to the massive waste problems we are currently finding ourselves in.
I expect to learn quite a few things from this experience and will be sure to share that all here.
If you’re interested in following my progress I will be updating my Instagram regularly, and will be posting diary style blog posts here as time allows.
My waste so far
food packaging: a bag of bean pasta from Trader Joe’s, and a bag of Goya split peas.
The bag of pasta was already in my pantry and I purchased the bag of split peas because I’m sick and was really in the mood for soup and was nearly out of the bulk peas in my pantry. My market up the street from my home has a really poor selection of bulk items, so I decided to buy the bagged peas. I try to buy in bulk whenever I can, but it’s not always an option, particularly when I’m in a time crunch and can’t get to the market with better bulk offerings.
I know, I know. I probably could have lived without the soup but sometimes when you’ve already set a plan in motion (and you’re not feeling well, to boot!) you do things you should avoid doing anyways.
Bathroom Stuff: Toilet paper, cotton rounds, Q-tips
It also goes without saying (or maybe not?) that I am creating toilet paper waste. I can’t quite wrap my mind around a bidet, so toilet paper it is for the foreseeable future. I try to purchase toilet paper from recycled materials when I can, but that’s not always possible.
I’ve also been meaning to order some reusable cotton pads to use with my daily toner regimen, but I can’t seem to remember to do that. I should probably do that right now while it’s fresh on my mind!
And I’m trying to figure out how I’m going to swap to a more sustainable Q-tip option.
Please follow myself and my EWC pals by visiting their blogs, listed below, or by following the #ewczerowastechallenge hashtag on social media. Feel free to participate and tag your photos, too!