After spending some time on Earth Day cleaning up other people’s garbage, I’m taking on another challenge for May. I’m really enjoying these monthly challenges. It’s giving me the space to experiment and try something new without all of the pressure to succeed. Rather than the go big or go home mentality that I associate with the KonMari declutter, these challenges are like cleaning a drawer or two a week and making slow and steady progress.
May will be the month that I attempt to reduce my waste, my family’s waste, and select more zero waste options. As a family of three, two humans and one furbaby, we produce about one kitchen garbage bag a week. It’s mostly filed with plastic packaging from furbaby salad mixes, bags of almonds, and other foods. We recycle 3 large garbage cans and 1 plastic tube every single month. Mr. BMM looks at recycling as a way to reduce our garbage bill.
I’m looking at this challenge as a way to reduce expenses along with waste. Zero waste options may cost more money but can I find items that will last longer thus spending less money overall? Can we reduce our waste to half a garbage bag a week? Is there a compost method that works with meat but doesn’t attract a family of hungry bears to our yard? These are some of the questions that I want to explore this month.
In preparation of this challenge I have ceased buying all non-food items. As the Chief of Supply Chain Officer, this started about mid-April when I decided that May would be the Zero Waste Challenge month. Some things I am exploring is the need for a dish brush, swapping bags of salad mix with a head of lettuce, where/how to obtain bulk items, and other items to see if we really need them. Our current plastic meal prep containers are breaking and need to be replaced.
To kick off May, I’m going to start by reading Plastic: A Toxic Love Story by Susan Freinkel and Life Without Plastic by Chantal Plamondon and Jay Sinha. I have already read several books on zero waste or zero spending. I linked those book reviews down below. I feel like I may need to just jump in and start working on eliminating waste. Maybe I already have the tools, skills, and knowledge and I just need to get into it. This topic has been pulling me towards it for over a year.
Are you zero waste? Any tips or tricks? Do you have any zero waste suggestions that worked? Please share them below in the comments. I’m a bit nervous about this challenge. Mostly around the fact that the zero waste movement seems to imply that one person doesn’t work and stays at home making everything from scratch. We both work full time outside the home and there is not an option to quit our jobs or work from home. Guess as the saying goes “nothing to it but to do it!” I’m ripping off the proverbial band aid and jumping right into this month’s challenge!