This will be a series of posts as I am still in the process of reducing the amount of trash that we produce, including our recycles. My ultimate goal is to have no trash/recyclables. It is probably one of the most challenging things I have ever done. This should be easier but with all the things that are available to make your life "easier" it is a lot to have to replace or figure out another way. I took a long hard look at what it is that we are throwing away to figure out what I need to replace with reusables or need to make from scratch. I'm doing this in steps because it would just be to overwhelming to do it all at once and because it is expensive at first. Eventually I will save $ because I won't be buying these things anymore.
So far I have discovered several things wrong with what we were doing besides all the waste. I didn't realize what I was doing to my family and I. The first thing was all the plastic. As you already know, if you've been following my blog, I've been getting rid of plastics. When I was thinking about the trash zip lock and grocery bags came to mind. We use these a lot and and they are so temporary. What I mean is you buy them, you use them, then just throw them away. Such a waste of money! Also no where on the box does it say BPA and phthalate free. So all those bags we where using for snacks and sandwiches probably were poisoning us. Anyway I got these reusable zipper bags made from nylon that is BPA and phthalate free. I love them! They are easy to clean, water resistant and airtight, so your sandwichs won't dry out. I also bought reusable produce bags which are made of cotton and have their weight listed on them. Most stores will take 10 cents off your bill for every bag you use. I put all the shopping bags on the front door handle so I don't forget to take them when I go shopping. This used to be something I often forget to do and when I would get to the check out I would get frustrated at myself for forgetting.
I am also trying to remember when we go out to eat to bring along a container to bring home leftovers in. I have yet to remember this, but I have faith that I will. I'm also in the process of making my own reusable paper towels. I am making them from birds eye fabric and surging the edges. The are super cute and can even wrap them around a paper towel holder to make them just as convenient as disposables. I am choosing to stop buying sponges as washcloths do a great job and I can wash those. I am keeping all the containers for my personal and cleaning items so I can put homemade products in them. I think that's all I've actually done so far.
There is still a lot that I need to replace but I have done my homework on what and where I need to get. For plastic wrap/ aluminium foil I found a great solution on Etsy. They are cloth waterproof container covers with elastic and for the oven silicone pan covers from reuseit.com. reuseit.com also has metal straws I would love to have. When we start seeing all the money savings I want to start getting royal crest milk to stop throwing all those away since they reuse them. I love love Swiffer because of how fast and easy it is to use. I am going to make pads for them that are washable. I will post these so you can see what they look like. I am also looking at getting these upcycled dryer pillows to replace clothes softener and dryer sheets.
I got the sandwich and shopping bags on Etsy. Below is the link to her store. She also sells produce bags and some other great items!
For Dryer Pillows