My zero waste journey began on New Year’s Day, January 1st, 2019. That day my husband and I spent quite a bit of time cleaning out the refrigerator and freezer. We were shocked at how much we ended up throwing away in the clean out. It really opened our eyes to how much waste was going on in our own kitchen. There were too many things in the fridge, so we would forget we had them, so they would go to waste. We would buy too many condiments that we didn’t use on a regular basis and so they would be outdated as well. In the freezer similar things happened. We overbought, stocked too much and as a consequence ended up having to throw too many things out. Have you had a fridge/pantry clean out like this? I also ended up going through the spices/dry goods in a similar fashion.
We are on a journey towards zero waste since this day. After that clean out I knew that I needed to really stick towards menus of dishes that I knew we would all eat, and only cook enough for us to use up that week. We also like to go out to eat on the weekends, so I mainly plan to make 3-4 meals a week at home and we usually have 1-2 leftover nights where we eat up leftovers. We are not perfect, but now I clean up the fridge on a more regular basis and yesterday there were only 2 outdated jars. That’s great progress & it was wonderful that they were glass with metal lids so it was easy to recycle them.
I also began to think about the packaging we were bringing home as we shopped both at the grocery store and for other items. I have cut way back on buying things online and try to find more local alternatives. This really saves on boxes/ packaging that ends up in our home. Some of it is recyclable and some is not. With materials that are not recyclable, I try to reuse those as much as possible.
We have started to shop every week at the farmer’s market on Saturdays. This really cuts down on packaging, bringing our own bags to the market and to the grocery store really helps.
The market also has minimal packaging for fruits and veggies. I have found one store- New Seasons Market who will allow you to bring in your own containers to buy items in bulk like: olive oil, coffee, dry goods like rice, flour, nuts, dried fruits, spices and more.
I am happy to say that last week our recycling was not overflowing and our garbage can was only about 1/8 full. Amazing! Every day and every week we learn more and I will be sharing more details in further posts. How have you reduced waste in your home and lifestyle?
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