my journey to becoming less wasteful (UPDATED)

two things have re-motivated me to reduce the amount of plastic (and other things) that i purchase and use. i just read this disturbing (to me) article. and, of course, the horrible oil spill (don't even get me started). many people don't know that the little saying, "reduce, reuse, recycle", is in order of importance. first, we need to reduce the amount of things that we buy that are wasteful, then we should reuse what we can, and finally we should recycle what we cannot reuse. however, if you read the article above, many plastics are not actually recycled, when we think they are. i have a long way to go and feel like i still produce way too much waste for my own good. i want to blog about it so that i will be accountable for my next goal, the next thing i want to work on to reduce the amount of waste i am putting back on this earth. i want to make a commitment, by posting on here what i still need to accomplish.

it's so hard when plastic is in pretty much everything that we buy. even the glass jars i use have lids lined with plastic. even if pasta is packaged in paper bags, it has a plastic window. your razors, your chapstick, your chewing gum, pretty much anything you can purchase is made from plastic or is packaged in plastic and we don't have much say about it. i remember going to the grocery store the day after i first did some research on this and was appalled by how some of the only things i could buy with it, was fresh produce if i didn't use the bags provided, luckily New Seasons has paper bags, if i use bags for produce at all.

watch this:

things i have done:
  • paperless kitchen: no paper towels, napkins, plates, cutlery etc.
  • cloth diapers & wipes
  • reusable feminine supplies: what? gross you say? that is what i thought at first! but, check out glad rags and the diva cup
  • re-purposing all of my glass jars: i try and buy the products that come in glass jars instead of plastic ones (mayo, peanut butter, etc) so that i can use them to store things like dried beans, oats, granola, quinoa, etc.
  • reusable grocery bags: i am still not perfect at this, sometimes i forget, bad me!
  • buying in bulk as much as possible: less packaging. i also try and re-use my bulk containers from New Seasons and bring them with me next time I buy stuff.
  • buying about 95% of arlo's clothes at consignment sales
  • reusable snack bags: when I pack Dan a lunch or Arlo a snack, everything it is packed in is reusable. I do use freezer bags for freezer meals, but I wash and reuse them.
  • never buy bottled water. we do still buy the occasional large bottle of superfood, though
  • use EVOO & Caster Oil as facewash

  • homemade yogurt: no plastic yogurt containers
  • start composting
  • become a 1 car family: this will happen once i sell my beetle, we also need to buy a bike since ours was stolen.
  • use non-toxic and/or homemade cleaners
  • can and preserve fruits and veggies: i want to try and avoid buying canned beans, tomatoes, etc. did you know that the cans are lined with plastic?
  • buy fresh bread that comes in either paper bags or no bags, or bake my own bread
  • make my own granola
  • only buying milk in returnable glass bottles. we don't really buy milk now, but soon will be for arlo.
  • use (new) shower caps or these cute covers instead of plastic wrap, they can be washed and reused.
  • switch over all cookware to NON teflon, did you know that it is toxic?
  • make my own shampoo or go poo-less, or buy the bar shampoo
  • stop using the disposable swiffer covers and get some of these
  • use arlo's glass baby food jars to hold bulk spices
some great resources:

Life Less Plastic

Fake Plastic Fish

Simple Mom

The Story of Bottled Water


Kimberly said...

K...so I'm not gonna lie. When I started reading your blog I was like "Whoa...that's a little extreme." Buuut...as I looked at all of your links and watched all of your videos...I'm converted. I am totally going to try the shampoo free thing, and the face wash thing and I want to talk to you about the diva cup thing. And...we should get together because I love and miss you and I want to talk to you about some stuff!!

We should go camping on the weekend of the 4th. Deal?


Rob and Marseille said...

next baby, instead of buying babyfood, make your own! It's really easy!

The Barlows said...

I second what Marseille said! Anson doesn't eat solids yet, but I have a baby food grinder so that I can make all my own food! You are an inspiration my the way. Don't know if I could do everything you listed, but there are definitely some things that I nned to start paying more attention to.

The Barlows said...

canvas grocery bags, Check! cloth diapers and wipes, check! Buying a divacup when I run out of my other items! I feel so good already! Thanks Court for this post, I think it's important to give the environment a break and I appreciate all your research because frankly, I have a short attention span and get bored easily with research.

Courtney B said...

I wanted to make my own baby food... and I started to. Then we had to live in a hotel for 3 months and it was really really tough. Once we were back in the house, I made my own about 30% of the time because I was just not in the habit. Now, we are off of baby food and he eats mostly what we do, just sometimes mashed a little more. Next time around, I want to make all of my own!!!