2020 Slow Theme: March – Zero Waste -ish

Slowing down this year as part of my 2020 theme has given me the space to think, reflect, and attempt micro changes.  The February’s Slow theme of self-care gave me the gift of pretty nails and smooth cuticles on a regular basis, I slept more and complained less, and took the time to care for myself.  By caring for myself more, I have been able to give more love to my husband and our furbaby than usual.  With our constantly changing schedules it is sometimes hard to have consistent communication, which usually causes me frustration.  My Slow theme of self-care helped reduce those frustrations.  Near the end of the month I noticed that my husband and I were consistently looking to do something nice for each other.  Our nice things did not cost money.  Our nice things were communicating our appreciation more or taking an errand/chore of the other person’s list.  The Gretchen Rubin’s book called The Happiness Project provided many great ideas. 

In the spirit of continuing with the monthly Slow micro themes, March will be my zero waste-ish month.  I have been interested in the zero-waste movement ever since I read Bea Johnson’s book the Zero Waste Home.  I tried to make my own homemade mascara, but I wanted to rip my eyes out every time a piece of charcoal fell into my eyes.  There is no way my husband is going to go for homemade toilet paper, using a composting toilet, or composting in general (we have bears).  But I think there are some things that I could do that will help us move closer to zero-waste. 

Things that I have already done:

  1. Reusable water bottle
  2. Got a library card
  3. Think second-hand first when purchasing something
  4. Turn old sheets and towels into handkerchiefs, rags, napkins, and cloth produce bags.
  5. Try elderberry syrup when I’m feeling sick
  6. Open a window to cool down your home or air it out
  7. Instead of buying something when I’m having a bad day, do something. I.e. go on a walk, take a yoga class, meet up with a friend.  HELLO NO SPEND 2019 and 2020!
  8. Use reusable bags at the grocery story
  9. Canning my homemade cranberry sauce
  10. Swap disposable pads and tampons for a menstrual cup
  11. Change light bulbs to LEDs
  12. Bring reusable produce bags for fruits and veggies
  13. Put on a sweater and socks before turning up the heat
  14. Turn the water off while brushing my teeth
  15. Don’t buy anything impulsively!  HELLO NO SPEND 2019 and 2020!
  16. Meal plan to avoid food waste
  17. Make a homemade all-purpose cleaning spray
  18. Pack my lunch instead of eating out every day
  19. Serve dinner with cloth napkins
  20. Avoid junk mail by going to dmachoice.org
  21. Go paperless for all your bills (well mostly, I’m looking at you Comcast with a side eye)

I am challenging myself to do the following this month:

  1. Do not use plastic wrap. 
  2. Do not accept or use plastic utensils
  3. Repair my favorite bag, do not replace it
  4. Attempt to reduce food packaging waste
  5. Go for at least one hike in March to pick up garbage along the trail
  6. Find a recipe for Chapstick (re-use those current little plastic tubes)
  7. Ditch plastic shower loofahs for a real loofah or a bamboo bath brush (suggestions anyone???)

How would you handle these situations?

  1. I buy 40 pounds of chicken tenders in bulk every two to three months.  They are packaged in 4 10-pound plastic bags.  We eat about 2-3 pounds a week.  How would you freeze/package the chicken tenders? 
  2. Looking to make homemade shampoo and conditioner.  Truthfully, I can’t find a shampoo or conditioner that does not seem to over dry or over moisturize my hair or make my skin break out.   Do you have any tried and true recipes?  Is there a shampoo and conditioner bar?  (Is that even a thing?) 
  3. Toothpaste.  Any good recipes?  I cannot use baking powder, baking soda, or coconut oil. 

Any other zero waste ideas or ways to tackle the trash problem?

If you think you are too small to be effective, you have never been in bed with a mosquito.

Betty Reese

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