My Zero Waste Diary: Week One

Instead of buying unconsciously and slowly polluting the planet with the convenience of my trash and plastic habit, I am trying to look seriously at the trash that I produce and the products I consume in an effort to reduce my impact. While I am no Colin Beavan (the No Impact Man), I hope to seriously cut out plastic from my life.

With this thought in my head, for the first week I decided to look through my kitchen cupboards and see what plastic that I had to get rid of. Personally, if it’s in a reusable container, when that container is empty I will want to refill it rather than re-purchasing the packaging. For this reason, on Saturday I took it upon myself to empty all of the plastic packages into jars and reusable containers. I also looked around my home and finished a few snacks that were nearly done and in plastic.

This picture is a direct representation of the amount of plastic packaging that I had in my cupboards that I will no longer be buying and that I have now cut out.  I think that once you see what plastic you are using and buying, it is easier to cut it out and to note down what changes you need to make to your buying habits.If you don’t know what you have, how can you figure out what to get rid of? This policy works great for any kind of downsizing or decluttering.

After all of this, I feel better about my pantry and the amount of plastic in it which mostly consists of a few jar lids and one pack of crackers that needs to be eaten. I still have plastic in my tea cupboard but that will reduce over time as I drink the tea that I have and slowly replace them with package free teas.

If you look closely, nearly all of my plastic waste if food packaging with very few exceptions. In the future, I am going to try and be better about purchasing food in reusable or recyclable packaging (even though recycling isn’t a perfect process – more on that later). With little to no access to bulk, it is very difficult for me to find some staples (rice for example) in non-plastic packaging. I have a trip to St. John’s coming up, a city with lots of bulk, so I will be planning carefully to ensure that I make the most of my bulk shopping while I am there but, for now, I am attempting to shop as plastic-free as possible.

The next place that will need plastic reduction is my fridge. My condiments are a serious plastic problem so as I use them up, I will find plastic free alternatives for them as well.

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