Zero Waste February: Our Takeaways Following a Month of Conscious Consumption
This month did not go exactly as planned. When we decided to challenge ourselves to a waste-free February we had illusions of empty waste bins and a minimalist existence using glass Tupperware, bandanas, and tote bags to rid our home of all forms of wasted plastic. We didn’t completely achieve our dream of zero waste, but we did inch closer to our goal.
To start, we used a small trash bin from our study as the litmus test for our weekly waste accumulation. Each week we’d make sure not to reach capacity of our little bin. The visual reminder alone kept us from ordering takeout a few times. However, carrying out the zero-waste practice into work and school proved to be more difficult. But, outside of a few protein bar wrappers and to-go containers, we kept our daily waste to a minimum. And as a bonus with all of the fresh food we purchased this month, we were continually emptying our compost bin almost every time we made a trip to the grocery store.
The challenge itself forced us to consciously consider what we chose to consume and how. Planning is by far the best way to reduce your waste accumulation. After the first two weeks, we became accustomed to packing a reusable tote bag, hideaway bandana, and even silverware if we were going to get a quick bite. We found ways to choose glass containers over plastic, and planned our meals to avoid the unnecessary waste that is takeout containers. As we carry this consciousness into the rest of 2018, we can continue to build better habits and limit the amount of plastic and non-degradable waste we send off to the landfills.
-Kat & Hunter