The Impact of Our Low-Waste Lifestyle 2019
Before we move on to 2020 and create our new years resolutions, I'd like to take a look back at 2019 and see what living a low-waste lifestyle has meant for our family. Our household consists of two adults, one rambunctious child, and an elderly-but-spry dog. I started my low-waste journey towards the beginning of the year and decided to spread the word and offer a way to buy all my favorite sustainable products. The goal is to have a retail store so that people can stop by locally and buy what they need without any wastefulness. I really appreciate you following and supporting my journey and just know that this is only the beginning!!
Read on to see why this low-waste journey is so important.
In 2019 our household saved the following from going into our landfills and oceans:
4 Disposable Razors
12 Plastic Toothbrushes
40 Plastic Bottles (From Kitchen, Bathroom & Laundry)
50 Plastic Straws
52 Plastic Sponges
300 Ziploc Baggies
380 Plastic Grocery Bags
730 lbs of Organic Waste
750 Plastic Cups or Water Bottles
Let that sink in... This is all from ONE household! By switching to low-waste products and a more sustainable lifestyle, there is HOPE for our planet! Just imagine how these add up if we can get more households to switch to eco-friendly, sustainable, low-waste lifestyles!
Here are a couple of my easy swaps that brought about such a huge change this past year.
- Instead of plastic disposable razors, I use a bamboo/stainless steel safety razor that came with a lifetime supply of replacement blades. The blades I save in a glass jar and recycle with my local recycling company.
- Our family made the switch to bamboo toothbrushes (even my 5 year old loves it!) and we saved at least 12 plastic toothbrushes from going to the landfills. Plastic toothbrushes can last upwards of 500 years before breaking down to microplastics.
- By switching to bulk Castille soap and vinegar to clean our home, we've saved many a bottle from going into our ill-designed recycling programs. Also the use of shampoo bars and bar soap have cut down at least 6 bottles a person! I buy my makeup/skincare in glass, wooden, or reusable tins and have always found a way to re-purpose these items once I'm finished.
- Figuring out which reusable straw worked best for our family was an easy way to stop using plastic straws. Bamboo straws are a win for us and the cotton travel pouch makes it easy to take it with us out to eat. I personally drink my water without ice so have never needed to use straws, but it allows my kiddo to drink out at restaurants without having to deal with large straw-less cups.
- Replacing paper towels with reusable kitchen linens (like our Heath & Harrow organic cotton tea towels) and switching plastic sponges with Swedish Cloths (plant based, super absorbent cloths that are 100% biodegradable!) has allowed us to get rid of wasteful paper towels and plastic sponges for good.
- By using beeswax wraps and reusable silicone baggies, we have removed the need for wasteful Ziploc-style baggies in our home. Putting away half-cut fruit and veggies, packing lunches, and general storage have never been easier and more sustainable! We also wash and reuse aluminum sheets 5-10 times before balling up and recycling.
- We compost at home and since we started last year, we have saved over 730lbs of organic waste from going into our landfills! You might not understand why that's so important... but when our organic food waste goes to the landfill it is covered with other trash and no oxygen is allowed to get to it. This creates pockets of methane gas which is a greenhouse gas ( 25X more potent that carbon dioxide!) harmful to the planet and environment. Home composting can be an easy home project that has a multitude of benefits. Do some research today and see how you can start composting at home!
- Restaurants are notorious for their use of plastic takeout cups. I work full time at a restaurant and love to see when customers and employees alike bring in their reusable cups. Over the past year I helped institute a rule that employees must bring their own reusable cup or use one provided for them to try to lower the environmental impact we have on the earth. Just imagine if more businesses started encouraging their customers and employees to be more eco-responsible!
I hope these thoughts have been helpful and I wish you all luck on your own low-waste journeys in the year to come!
Do Good Things at The Good Market!