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We're so intrigued by the Zero Waste movement. With how much garbage we produce as humans, and how crazy full landfills and oceans are with our trash and misguided recycling, Chris and I want to make an impact by reducing our waste to zero. But life as a zero waste family can be hard.
How do you buy a bottle of Advil if you're zero waste?
In real life in the suburbs, how do you buy a carton of eggs? A half gallon of milk?
And some things in the zero waste world are just not ok to deal with. Like toilet paper and diapers. Because poop.
It's nice to try to be zero waste
Trying to be zero waste is fun and challenging.
There are several ways in which we try to make a small change in our daily trash production.
- Bringing reusable bags to the grocery store.
- Bringing reusable bags to all stores. Even though clothing stores in particular give you a really weird look when you slide your Baggu across the counter and refuse the heavily-branded high quality shopping bag.
- Buying bulk instead of buying individually packaged items.
- Preferring compostable packaging over plastic.
- Using reusable wipes instead of tissues, paper towels, and napkins.
- Trying to prepare ahead and bringing reusable containers to restaurants for leftovers. Or at least thinking about, a lot, but rarely practicing it.
- Thinking about starting to compost. More on that soon
- Buying thrift or focusing on slow fashion.
But yeah. Life gets in the way a lot of times.
Zero Waste is Nearly Impossible
I'm not going to pretend to be perfect in terms of being truly zero waste.
- I have no fucking clue where to get organic milk directly from a farmer to put in a reusable glass bottle. We live in the suburbs, not Lancaster (a magical land in the state of Pennsylvania where there are amazing farmers everywhere).
- Chris and I are doing our best to save money by cooking at home more. But it's a process, and we're doing baby steps with services like Home Chef. But Home Chef generates trash and recycling.
- As crunchy as I am, I cannot get myself to do cloth diapers. Because poop. And I would hate to ask my poor daycare lady to start using them.
- I really like Wawa hoagies (and a myriad of other fast food type joints). And I'm not going to bring my own reusable packaging and try to explain to the counter staff to wrap order #047 in this dirty old cloth, please.
Let's Stop Pretending
Let's stop pretending to be 100% zero waste.
I just can't do it all the time.
But drastically reducing our trash production as a family will make an impact. A huge impact.
And if everyone tries really hard to reduce their waste, the planet will be better off.
Let's be Nearo Waste
Nearo Waste. #nearowaste. Near Zero Waste. Because it's way more realistic.
Now, at the time of writing this post, there are 74 public posts on Instagram with the #nearowaste hashtag. Posts from lovely users like:
But 74 posts is a far cry from a movement. And I honestly thought of the term #nearowaste while I sipped my Bulletproof Coffee this morning. You can ask Chris.
So, I'll take credit for the #nearowaste hashtag. (I'm saying this totally tongue-in-cheek. But really, it existed before I wrote this post.)
Anyway, let's do it. Let's be #nearowaste and make a difference.
Cover photo by Shane Rounce