Over the past year, especially the last 8 months we have become more aware of how much waste we create. This awareness was aided by many external influences like, Netflix documentaries, books & Instagram feeds.
It slowly became apparent that we spent money without thinking.
We didn’t think beyond the reward itself; for example, a plastic carton of tomatoes, the tomatoes were the reward, no thought was given to the life cycle of the plastic carton. The thought ended with getting really nice tomatoes, not where is that recyclable plastic carton going to end up? Or was it necessary to purchase tomatoes in a plastic carton in the first place?
We have become people who question each purchase, is it worth it? will it have a negative effect on the environment?, can we buy it second hand?, how long do we want it to last to get value for money?, will this make me happy next year?, will I wear this in 5 years’ time?, could I resell this?, would someone else like to use this when we are finished with it? Can I purchase this package free in this store or another store?
Shopping now is a lot more meaningful and true value is associated with each purchase we make. For the majority of time we like to buy consciously, however there are always moments where a purchase just has to be made for convenience. Like when the store doesn’t have your toilet roll that comes wrapped in paper instead of plastic, you have to buy the plastic wrapped paper. Sometime these things happen.
As we continue on our journey of reducing our waste and living with the items that we truly love, we pause for a moment to reflect on how well we have done to reduce our waste. We are hoping this reflection will inspire us for 2019.
See the list below on the items we no longer buy and what we use instead to reduce our waste:
|Things we no longer buy||Replacements|
|Dry goods that come wrapped in plastic||Dry goods from bulk using reusable bags|
|Shower gels, hand soaps, Shampoo’s, Conditioners in bottles||Refills at bulk store with castile soap, shampoo & conditioner bars|
|Toilet roll wrapped in plastic||Toilet roll wrapped in paper|
|Laundry detergent in plastic containers||Borax refilled in glass jar at bulk store|
|Produce wrapped in plastic or plastic produce bags||Produce not wrapped in plastic and use reusable produce bags|
|Plastic or paper shopping bags||Reusable shopping bags|
|Paper cups from coffee/tea stores||Ceramic or glass reusable cups/mugs|
|Paper towel||Reusable cloth dark napkins|
|Paper napkins||Reusable cloth napkins|
|Plastic toothbrush (Theresa)||Bamboo toothbrush|
|Plastic dental floss||Silk refillable floss in a glass container|
|Boxes of tea bags||Loose leaf tea in reusable tin|
|Cartons of plant-based milk||Homemade hemp milk in glass bottles|
|Yogurt in plastic containers||No longer eat yogurt as we cannot find affordable plant-based yogurt in glass jars|
|Brand new clothes||Shop second hand first|
Looking at the above list we are so happy with all these very simple changes we made, nothing has been a sacrifice or difficult to do. Trust me if it was too difficult, we would not have done so well! Lol!
There are still so many other simple changes we can make for example this year we would like to replace:
Our plastic toothpaste with a regular supply of toothpaste in glass jars (one store in Vancouver has it, just takes effort to go there….my aim to buy a few jars at a time)
Our cotton cleaning pads with cotton reusable cleansing pads (need to buy online)
Overall, we are happy with our progress, we hope we can inspire others just to make one small change this year. Reusable bags and reusable take-out mugs are a great way to start, these small changes make a huge difference.
Have a great week,
As always, we would love to hear your feedback.