We have been cutting back our trash over the course of the year by making things ourselves and buying from bulk. This not only reduces trash but also reduces our dependence on plastic. My intent is to bring in less plastic into our home because all plastic ever created still exists on this earth today. Plastic is very bad for the environment as it never breaks down. It can be recycled, but in all honestly, the term down-cycled is more realistic. Recycled plastic will never be as good as the original version.
I left out the bathroom garbage from this shot but it’ll be broken out into piles in pictures below. It wasn’t much anyways. We had a bit more unusual trash this week because my husband made homemade burgers. I mean like he bought steak and did his own meat grinding and everything. That is the reason for the packaging to the left, and the bag of bones to the right. He did boil down the bones and made a beef broth soup for lunch so they got use out of them before they were thrown away.
We had 1 styrofoam meat package and 4 more plastic packages, one being a beef stick package. The bones to the right were from one package of meat.
Most of the above pic was included in the jar photographed. The rest was from the bathroom garbage.
An Analysis of what is in our garbage last week:
- Parchment Paper for homemade buns. I will be looking into silicone baking equipment to prevent this type of waste.
- Cap tops and the plastic around wine/alcohol bottles.
- Saltine Cracker wrappers – I can’t have chili without crackers. I am going to try to make my own crackers from homemade bread.
- A bag of chocolate chips. I was a glutton and ate the rest of a bag of chocolate.
- Lens wipes. Not sure how to prevent this waste. I have looked into making my own but there are warnings about damaging glasses.
- Jar lid. I’m not sure if these are recyclable.
- Tube of Toothpaste. We go through these once every two months. I use some of my homemade toothpaste to reduce the amount of tubes thrown away.
- A bag with bread dough. This can’t be recycled.
- A few pieces of butter wrappers.
- Vegan meat patty wrappers.
- Cheese/Salad and miscellaneous food packaging.
- A cap for a bottle of Kombucha. This may be recyclable. My husband makes his own Kombucha now so this waste will be eliminated. This was a left over bottle in the fridge.
- A pile of floss. This will never go away. Oral hygiene is very important to me.
- Medicine packaging.
- A receipt. These are non recyclable.
- Plastic ties from bulk.
- Lint from dryer. This will be eliminate when I can hang my clothes out to dry outside.
- Tofu plastic wrap and a wrapper from hot cocoa. I will make my own hot cocoa when I run out. I like to add it to my morning coffee.
- Pieces of the paint from our siding. It’s chipping off like this. This is something we may need to replace in the next year or two.
- A tag from a blanket
- Pills for my cats arthritis. This trash may always be produced as my cat’s well-being is very important to me.
- Bandaid waste, a cotton ball and two cotton swabs (with paper stick).
- A couple of drink packages (tea and Emergen-C).
- A pile of plastic wrapping from a rug we bought online.
This also doesn’t include pet waste. We have 4 cats that produce more waste than we do. I try to get them to use the World’s Best Cat Litter, which can be disposed of in a compost pile or the toilet, but they have refused to use it. I will keep working on this.
I will challenge myself to analyze my garbage once a week to see what I can eliminate from trash. There is always an alternative option to creating waste but you have to consider what is worth the effort. I don’t think we will be completely waste free but we will minimize what we create as trash. If I can convince one person to do this challenge with me, it will all be worth it.