How To Live With Less Waste Without Beating Yourself Up

In honor of #plasticfreejuly, I wanted to have a little conversation about W A S T E 🗑

I have become dependent on online shopping recently. Especially with all three kids home. I’m not about to drive them all to a store and wrangle them through the aisles as I try to cross everything off my list. And Amazon prime makes it way too easy. BUT that leaves me with “mount trashmore” piled up in my entryway every week. And it makes me feel so gross and wasteful.

I don’t know about you, but my neighborhood only offers one tiny measly recycling bin and it only gets picked up once a week. Compared to the two larger trash bins that are picked up twice a week. And I wish we had a composting option, but we do not. This only goes to show that most of us are throwing away twice as much garbage, twice as often. And I see recyclable items in those green bins all the time. I know I’ve been guilty of doing that 🙋🏼‍♀️Mount trashmore gets too big, the blue bin is already full, so I throw the recycling in the trash just to get it out of my life.

Well, it’s not out of my life. It goes to the landfills and oceans where it’ll live forever contaminating our earth and killing our wild animals.

To tell you the truth, the current season of life I am in doesn’t afford me the time and space to do a total reboot and go zero waste. I’m not going to put that type of pressure on myself. And I don’t think you should either. But small changes make a BIG difference. Below is a short list of things you can try that don’t take a ton of effort.

1. Ship Everything Together

Amazon’s #primeday is in a couple weeks. I know a lot of us are going to be making some online purchases. My suggestion is to make sure everything you’re getting is absolutely necessary (as in, you’re not just buying it because it’s a good deal). And when they give you the option to get everything a little later but shipped all in one box, choose that option.

2. Say NO To Single-Use Plastic (When You Can)

Ditch the single use plastic whenever you can. That’s what #plasticfreejuly is all about. You can read more about it, here. Keep some reusable items on hand. Like stainless steel straws and bottles, bamboo cutlery, mesh produce bags, tote bags. And if you have plastic that you’re going to throw away, think of ways to reuse it. Like old Tupperware can be used as storage containers. If you need to find some inexpensive and good quality zero waste items, check out NW Bulk Market! They’ve got the goods! All for $5 or less #nobrainer

3. Shop In Bulk

Speaking of NW Bulk Market…SHOP IN BULK. They make is sooooo easy to do this. They’ve created a VIRTUAL FARMER’S MARKET to buy everything you need to live a healthy lifestyle without breaking the bank. You get to support small and local businesses, live with less waste, save money and get healthy. It’s seriously the coolest thing that’s happened on the internet since…well I don’t really keep up with cool things from the internet but it’s COOL, ok? Click here to check them out. You won’t be disappointed.

4. Buy Less Stuff

Shop LESS. If something breaks, try to fix it. You don’t want it anymore, try to sell it or donate it instead of throwing it away. Need to buy something, try to get it second hand. There are SO many good options for this. Local thrift stores, online thrift stores, Facebook marketplace, eBay.

5. Talk About It

Start the conversation about living with less waste. Talk to your family and friends. Bring it to their attention (like I’m trying to do now). Raising awareness is a super important part of the solution. The more people who get behind it the more demand there will be from the public and big companies will have no choice but to listen and adapt.

You’re not a criminal for using plastic and throwing away recyclable items. You aren’t single-handedly killing all the fish. You aren’t chopping down the trees and killing the Amazon. But you CAN help make a difference. Global warming is a real thing. We only have ONE planet. And she ain’t doing well. Think of what we’re passing on to our kids. That should be reason enough to want to at least try to make a difference. A lot of people making small changes will lead to some people making big changes. Policy changes.

xo- Lauren


2 thoughts on “How To Live With Less Waste Without Beating Yourself Up

  1. Frances

    This is a good reminder. It feels so overwhelming some times. “A lot of people making small changes will lead to some people making big changes. Policy changes.“ As an aging boomer, child of the depression era parents, who raised my child during the environmental awareness period, this disposable world feels insane. Keep teaching. We need your voice. I’m learning from some of ways of looking at things too. Thank you kindly.

    PS: it only took humans a century mess up a billion year old planet. How bought that factoid.

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