06 May 2016

Zero Waste Month #2-April

Goal #1-Switch every family member over to using reusable bags

Goal Obtained.

(I have stopped using the plastic bags in small garbage cans around the house. I've taken most of the cans away as well. DH still wants the one in the bathroom. I need to address this soon. He is also  addicted to cotton swabs and I don't know what to do with them. Are they compostable? Should they be? I rarely use these at all and since I buy them in the 500 count package and he uses 2 each time he showers that's 30X2=60 a month X 12 months= 240 a year. So a box should last him almost 2 years. Should I worry about this at all? The packaging is recyclable in my area and the paper insert is compostable. Yet, I feel bad for sending all those little swabs to the landfill.)

I'm composting all the tissue paper. I was putting it down the toilet, but after a talk with DH on how they might be ruining our septic tank, I stopped.

Goal #2- Stop using the plastic bags in the produce section.

Goal Obtained. 

*Side Note* I'm REALLY annoyed when I see people putting their bananas in a plastic bag. Do they not realize that it comes in a carrying case?

Goal #3 Stop junk from coming into the house

I started using the paper karma app. But, it only let me do so many requests before I had to sign up for something to keep requesting. So, I uninstalled that. I am now calling each company (as Be a Johnson suggests in her book-Zero Waste Home.) and it's going pretty well so far. 
I was bummed that I got a paper copy of the town yellow pages this month though. Not sure what to do with it yet...
This is a tough one because I can't seem to get OTHER people to stop sending me things. 

Goal #4 Compost all paper that does come into the house.

Goal Obtained. All paper (mostly junk mail) that came into the house has been shredded and added to the compost pile. 

(include a picture of the compost pile here)

Goal #5 Shop at the Co-op in town for bulk items

Goal Obtained.  I also found that my local grocery store has a small bulk area for nuts, oats and some candies. I've used this a few times, although I'm staying away from the wrapped candies. 

Goal #6 Switch to "ReUsies" instead of plastic storage bags. 

Goal Obtained.

I'm using the plastic reuses for the opened cheese (sadly in plastic...) and for taking things to work (for DH)
The freezer we are putting things in jars or glass containers. I have a couple ice cream freezer things I bought and I put soup in these sometimes also. (Overtime DH sees them he thinks they have chili in them since I did that the first time...Weird-o)

What are we going to use in the freezer now? New goal #12?

Goal #7 Stop using disposable head razors.

No Change.
Still using my epilator though.

Goal #8 Get more serious about composting.

Goal Obtained.

I probably could have marked this one as obtained last month, but I wanted to keep tabs on my compost things for one more month to make sure that it had really stuck to compost those other things and get them out there. Things that most people don't think about that I'm composting are hair (mine and the pets), nail clippings (again, mine and the pets), paper from the butchers (I talked to them and there is no plastic on it-only paper. I make sure to rinse it out real good so there is no blood or meat scraps on it when I send it out to the compost pile though.), shredded paper, and paper seed packets. And the tissues I mentioned above.

I'm considering composting the cat poop as well in a separate space. new goal #13?

 Goal #9 Switch to using handkerchiefs instead of tissue.

No Change.
I am composting the tissues I am using. Still have 5 4 boxes left.

Goal #10 Stop my trash service.

Still not feasible yet.
This may never be feasible for use because I cannot find a drop off recycle place in our area.

Lots of boxes went to be recycled this month because I ordered bee hives. But I requested recyclable packaging and they actually put all paper in the box, no plastic at all. I'm considering saving it for wrapping paper to get one more use out of it before it gets recycled.
Our usual bag of recycling went out as well and one bag of trash, that wasn't even all the way full! I'm feeling excited about it. :)
The waste from the shop was a little disheartening though. A big trashcan full of random stuff to go. I tried to sort through it, but not much of it was recyclable. Although, this took 4 months to fill, so I should feel pretty good about that though.
The second recycle day was just one bag of stuff. After I got rid of the things that were hanging around it felt lighter and easier to deal with here.

I am thinking about going from the large trash can to a smaller one. It's taking us a month (or more) to fill up a big bag for the trash. Nothing in it stinks since all of that is being composted now, so it could sit there I suppose.

Goal #11 Make our own bread from scratch. 

DH's bread!! I'm trying to do sourdough as well. 
I only bought 2 bags of bread this month from the store.
I started up a sourdough starter this month. Hopefully I can keep it going. I have to look for some more recipes for things. I have a good muffin recipe I got from a friend.  Do you have any you would like to share?

Goal #12 Replace freezer bags with jars.

This is a small thing, but I just have to remember to do it. I do have a few freezer bags left in the house and I need to do something with them. But, now that I'm not using them I don't know what to do with them...

Goal #13 Compost cat poop in a separate area

Most of my trash is cat poop. I was putting the cat poop in plastic bags and taking it to the trashcan. When I started getting serious about zero waste I was doing pretty well with just 2 bags of trash a month and 4 grocery bags of cat poo. Now I'm down to 1 bag of trash a month and 4 bags of cat poo. If I could compost that I'd not have to worry about the trash can that often. 

I am working on switching my kitties to a compostable litter. I am keeping it in an old cat litter bucket, with a lid to contain the smell.  The plan is to take that out into the big yard and dig a hole and let it compost in one area at a time. Maybe I can amend the soil with all the cat poo. I just can't put it around things that we are going to eat so it just go out into the front yard that is mostly sand. It doesn't grow too much out there anyways. It needs all the help it can get! 

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