I ran out of my horrible-for-the-environment chemically toxic aerosol Dove deodorant spray and now I smell like an armpit. I miss you Dove. I need a zero waste solution stat. Don't you want to be me?! Don't you want to go zero waste too?! It's so smelly and exciting!
Bea Johnson established a Five step system to get rid of all waste from your life.
1. Refuse: Refuse what you do not need.
This is where all the package free purchases come into play. If you can find something without packaging, refuse the packaging and buy bulk. Don't take home freebies from events that you know you'll just throw out. Stop the waste from entering your space before its a problem.
2. Reduce: Reduce what you do need.
Thanks to the declutter queen Marie Kondo, I've already let go of so much stuff I do not need. This is sort of the preview to a zero waste life. Once you live with only the items that "spark joy" you will want to buy less stuff. Less stuff means less waste to the landfill. One thing I'm trying to get better at this month is reducing food waste. Now that I'm living without a trash can and composting more, I see how much food I leave rotting in the fridge. oops.
3. Reuse: Reuse by using reusables.
I've swapped paper towels for cloth rags, plastic bags for cloth bags, a klean kanteen instead of reusable water bottles, laundry mesh bags for produce bags, and glass jars for disposable tupperware. These are pretty easy one time swaps that will save you $$$ and waste in the landfill in the long run.
4. Recycle: Recycle what you cannot Refuse, Reduce, or Reuse.
Remember my money manager Carla from a few experiments ago? Apparently, she knows a thing or two about recycling and dug through my pile and pointed out all the things that cannot actually be recycled in Austin. Lame. So I was willy nilly throwing things in the bin hoping everything I bought was recyclable. Do you your research and see what's actually allowed in your city. I will write a more detailed post later specific to Austin recycling because I'm still pretty clueless on this one.
5. Rot: Rot or Compost the rest.
Composting is pretty great. I bought a compost tumbler a year ago, paid for by the city of Austin (!!!) and have been throwing all my food scraps in there. It's probably about a third of my waste now turning into soil instead of off to the landfill. It might be my most easiest and favorite zero waste switcharoo!