Zero Waste: Goals for 2019

Plastic and trash, we're drowning in it.

Waste Management reports that in one lifetime, the average American will throw away 600x the amount of his or her adult weight in garbage. For example, a 150lb adult will leave a trash legacy of 90,000 pounds. That's pretty insane. We're covering our earth in trash, and that's a problem.

Straws, plastic produce bags, cups, take out boxes, fruit and juice containers, pickle jars, water bottles, shampoo, and body wash containers, the list goes on and on and on.

For the last decade, we've had trash nightmares, and we can thank the documentary No Impact Man for personally bringing to light our dysfunctional relationship with single-use, everything. 2018 was the year where we buckled down, got reusable equipment, and vowed to retrain the brain of unconscious, old habits. As with everything, it's not about being perfect; it's about doing your best on a daily basis. For us, 2019 will be the year where we go at it the hardest. We've altered our routines and now have the knowledge to share. Zero waste takes changing your lifestyle and your way of thinking. Here are our tips on creating less trash and living more consciously.

🚨    First Things First // Use What You Already Have

Currently, in your kitchen or pantry, there are unopened glass jars and vegetables in plastic grocery bags from your last visit to the store. You would typically recycle these items once they've been used, but we're going to ask you to wash them out, dry them up, and reuse them. Those glass jars that are currently storing salsa will be perfect for you to fill with beans or grains in the bulk section of your local co-op.

Adapting to a less waste lifestyle doesn't just mean you have to run and buy all new zero-waste products. There are a ton of things you already have that can give you the boost to live less waste tomorrow. Use every plastic bag you have for as long as you can. Don't discriminate. Most food packaging can be reused, so why not use what you have? Once you've used these items, you'll know what you need from our list below. You won't be purchasing zero waste goods just to consume. You'll be making a more thought out and well-planned decision.

Now here we go. 


Moving forward, you want to avoid plastic containers at all costs. Yes, that's right. You're going to want to avoid buying those beautiful strawberries that come pre-packaged in plastic.

No plastic juice jars, no glass jars, no cardboard, or paper packaging, basically you want to avoid buying anything that comes with extra trash. Heads up, you may have to change your grocery store for a farmers market. Farmers markets are great places for buying items in bulk in little to no packaging. If you're lucky, you live close to a food co-op where you'll likely find bulk items galore. Once you've found your market here's what you'll need.

 Reusable Bag ✔️


Reusable Produce Bags ✔️


Bulk Item Cloth Bags  ✔️


Bulk Item Jars ✔️


Reusable Zip Lock Bags ✔️


🍜   Living 

This is a trickier category. If you're truly committed to going zero/less waste you're going to have to avoid certain things you may be used to, such as take out, coffee, smoothies, etc. You can still go out to eat, you're just going to have to prepare ahead of time and you'll have to sit at the restaurant instead of taking it to-go.

Here are some things to make the adjustments easier. 

Glass Tupperware, Avoid Plastic ✔️


Reusable Straw ✔️


Reusable Water Canteen ✔️


Reusable Cup ✔️


Alright now... don't hate me for this one, but our personal care items all come in containers that will long outlive us. We use hundreds of products a year, here are some zero waste alternatives. 

Shampoo Bars ✔️


Bar Soap ✔️


Reusable Razors ✔️


Organic Cotton Facial Rounds vs Cotton Balls ✔️


💁‍♀️   Zero Waste Feminine Care

This is very important. Tampons, pads, feminine care products are very wasteful. Luckily for us, tons of options are now available for a more eco-friendly approach and way of life. Personally we're still working on this category, what works for me, might not work for you. So give different things a shot and find what works best for you. 

Menstrual Cups ✔️


Period Proof Panties ✔️


Reusable Menstrual Pads ✔️


Okay then, we hope this left you feeling a bit more prepared for tackling a less waste life. We'll continue to update this and even share reviews of some of the products mentioned, but for now, we wish you the best of luck and let us know if you have any particular questions.

with love, 

Elizabeth & Chris 

©PlantLikeThings, 2019

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