What’s your Zero Waste ‘Free Pass’?

Alright guys, this is an honesty post

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This year I’ve been working really hard to decrease my environmental impact.

You can see some of the changes I’ve been making with my earlier posts 5 Easy Switches to Change the World and  5 MORE Easy Switches to Save the World! (give the girl a naming prize) , and these swaps have made a huge difference to the amount of waste I’m making in my daily life. As warm and fuzzy as this makes me feel, there are still a few regular suspects that I haven’t been able to quite cull from my rubbish. As much as I would like to deny their existence, in the interests of accurately recording my journey to a low-waste life, here they are.

Frozen Berries

I love berries, and possibly even more so, I love how convenient frozen berries are. I fold them through yoghurt, toss them over pancakes, and blitz them into smoothies. Not only are frozen berries crazy cheaper, I don’t have to worry about them turning into little fuzzy piles of mould by the end of the week. If I don’t eat them, they stay frozen! Frozen berries do tend to be more irregular in size, which could mean that I’m saving berries that didn’t make the cut to sell fresh. Or is that just me thinking optimististically?

How I’m dealing with the waste: Rinsing the bag & returning it to the supermarket to be recycled into park furniture

Dental Hygiene

Floss. Toothpaste. Two things I’m just not quite ready to give up -partly because I’ve tasted the Lush Toothy Tabs and they taste doggone-awful. Partly because I don’t 100% trust alternative methods, teeth are a once-on-a-lifetime thing, and dentists in Australia are expensive.

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How I’m dealing with the waste: Not well. The cardboard back of the floss packed gets separated and recycled, the rest goes to landfill

Beauty regime

I know. Trust the wannabee actress to refuse to cull her beauty regime. I do have trouble skin- I don’t experience breakouts,  but it dries easily (as a kid it used to crack & bleed in the really bad patches). I’ve tried replacing some of my products with natural alternatives, but so far nothing has been able to float my boat, either because it doesn’t do a satisfactory job, or it makes my skin unhappy.

How I’m dealing with the waste: I’ve managed to move a lot of my products to brands that are packaged in glass & sold in cardboard. I’m also starting to become a lot more conscious about where my products come from, and what nasties they contain.

Convenience food

I’m using this as a blanket cover for all of those things that I probably could make at home, but don’t. Hummous. Yoghurt. Pasta. Milk (anyone want to give me the space to house a cow?). Griffins gingernuts. (Yes, gingernuts. They’re a non-negotiable in my diet.) A lot of zero-wasters make most of these products at home, but time-poor me has struggled to have any success. While I try to keep as much plastic out of my shopping trolley as possible, it’s highly likely that one of these sneaks in every week.

How I’m dealing with the waste: I try to be as conscious as I can with any of these guys that I purchase. I go for the biggest size I can, and recycle the packaging once it’s gone. While that may sound like a lot, my little recycling bag goes into the apartment rubbish bin about once a month -if you picture a wheelie bin, I reckon I would fill one in about six months? I’m still working to bring my total recyclables down, but I’m happy with this as a starting point.

Ordering online

I love getting mail. Loooooovvveeee it.

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And at the same time, there are a lot of days when I really don’t want to be leaving the house.  Fortunately there is a magical portal that allows me to fulfill all of my needs from home, receive presents from me to me and have access to unlimited nerdery!

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The downside of this wonderful place is that most of those items come tucked into layers of wrapping and plastic. While I can try to reuse as much as I can and take all of the soft plastics to the supermarket for recycling, mailer packages definitely make up the majority of my waste. It ain’t pretty folks.

How I’m dealing with the waste: This is definitely a case of reduce, reuse, recycle. I’ve managed to tamp down on the impulse nerd-purchasing that has historically been my weakness, and while I’m in the process of culling my wardrobe, clothing shopping has been cut right back down as well. If I look at my packages for the last few months, two were from brands that want to work with me on my insta, and one was a glass protein shaker that isn’t available in stores. Probably a low number for some people, but those bright yellow bags in the trash still bug me.

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What are your weaknesses? Do you have some things in your lifestyle that you’ve given yourself a ‘free pass’ on? Let me know!


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What’s your Zero Waste ‘Free Pass’?

8 thoughts on “What’s your Zero Waste ‘Free Pass’?

  1. For me, it’s going to be healthy foods made ready to eat–like your frozen berries. Baby carrots, because the kids can help themselves.

    I can’t help but prioritize whatever maximizes vegetable consumption, even at the cost of more packaging.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I have yet to switch the toothpaste as well. I already use a bamboo toothbrush, but haven’t made the leap into diy toothpaste. Too afraid it’s going to like destroy my teeth!

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    1. I’m nervous about that too! I questioned my dentist and he said ‘Why not, it’s what people used before toothpaste’, but next time I’m in I’m going to grill him on what he uses! He definitely didn’t warn me off it as a terrible idea. I don’t know what to do about the horrible taste though!

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  3. Being committed to your beliefs
    Is yet another way to reduce your foot print,to constantly take it to the next level will always be a challenge, I command you for all your efforts and work,As Sheldon Always

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  4. Hi, Abbie–my way of dealing with packaging and mailers is to simply reuse them, an obvious solution, I know. I buy and sell a lot on ebay, so usually when a mailer comes in with something I bought, it goes back out again with something I sold. I haven’t had to buy packing materials in ages. But I can’t imagine what I would do with it all if I weren’t an ebay seller! Good luck!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m currently tucking away what I can to reuse, and the rest goes to the supermarket for soft-plastic recycling. But cutting back on online shopping is never a bad thing for my budget either! Sometimes it’s all too easy…

      Liked by 1 person

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