Last year was a great zero waste/low waste/eco-friendly year for me. I started this blog, reduced our household trash production by A LOT, and became a Recycling Ambassador with my city. But we (I) can always do better so here are some goals/resolutions/whatever you want to call it for the coming year. And, also, comment and tell me what your green goals are for this year!
Find a facial bar soap I like. Makeup and skincare products are my “luxury items” — and while I try to buy in glass as much as possible, and recycle everything else with TerraCycle/Origins/L’Occitane… I can do better. So my goal this year is to go totally zero waste when it comes to face wash. I’m thinking this or this.
Re-start my “buy no new clothes” resolution from last year. Last year, I went 10 months (after initially shooting for one month, then three) without buying any new clothing items (except underwear). And by “no new” — I mean, every clothing item I buy must be thrifted (whether at a physical store or from eBay/Poshmark/ThredUp). I’m hoping to go at least 6 months this year.
Save excess shower/bath water, pasta water, tea pot water, etc. in a bucket to use to water plants during the summer. It gets incredibly hot here in Dallas during the summer and my roses drink a lot of water during this time. So I’m going to make an effort to save water that would otherwise go down the drain at home to water the outdoor plants.
Repair clothes before replacing them. Darn socks with holes in them. De-pill sweaters, leggings, and t-shirts. Remove stains ASAP.
This Wednesday… July turns into August. And many of us start looking forward to the crispness of fall (my favorite season) and new beginnings. As a kid though, August meant one thing. Back-to-school school supply shopping. Walking around OfficeMax… buying the perfect matching notebooks and folders. Ah. Bliss.
Fast forward 20 years and I still get somewhat nostalgic for those beautiful school supplies. I get a little giddy seeing all the new adorable stuff available at Target. BUT — man. The whole thing is super wasteful. The packaging surrounding the supplies and then the ultimate toss to the landfill. Or even just the mass of school supplies that end up dragged to Goodwill when you are 25 and stuck cleaning your childhood closet…
But there is a way to be somewhat mindful of the supplies your kiddos buy while also teaching them about the environment. Win-win. The goal is to find as many supplies as possible that can a. be re-used year over year b. get used up or composted c. get recycled d. at least made of recycled materials to begin with. Also, if you can find something secondhand. That’s great too.
Anything linked below are just examples of the stuff out there (with good reviews). Price points can be across the board but with a little hunting (or thrifting), I’m sure a deal can be had.
Backpacks Thrift/find secondhand if possible. Or find one made out of 100% cotton. Or at the very least, pick one with a lifetime warranty.
Lunchboxes Thrift/find secondhand if possible. Or find one made out of stainless steel or 100% cotton. Better yet, thrift a stainless steel lunch box.
Pencil Pouch Thrift/find secondhand if possible. Or find one made out of 100% cotton.
Notebooks Find ones made out of recycled material without any weird binding. Like this. Recycle the whole thing when no longer needed. (If it just HAS to have the spiral, try this one. Or this one. And at least recycle all the paper.)
I don’t think zero waste/minimalism and loving fashion and beautiful homes have to be mutually exclusive. I think it just means being mindful of purchases. With that in mind… I only recently got into the whole thrifting thing. I know, I know. What was I doing? But I made a resolution this year to ONLY buy thrifted clothing items. Nothing new. Actually, initially — my idea was to not buy any new clothes until March. But once I started thrifting, I realized I could do it the rest of the year — no problem. My husband even got in on it too. I feel good about buying clothes that are already out in the “clothing stream” and I’m happy to give new life to clothes that could otherwise end up unworn, thrown away, or sent to another country (to then ultimately end up in that country’s waste stream). I also learned that thrifting doesn’t mean my only option is to go to the thrift store and sift through unorganized racks for hours on end. If I’m looking for a particular item or something a little higher end, Poshmark and ThredUp have been fabulous. For those of you scared of thrifting, don’t be. There are finds to be had! So if you need a little encouragement, here are the items I’ve picked up (for quite a steal) over the past 3 months. (And of course — I follow the one in-one out rule in my closet!)