Tuesday, 7 February 2017

A year aiming for a Zero Waste Lifestyle Part 1 ~ Packaging & Consumtion

Well, what a difference a year makes!! I can't believe its only been a year. I have so much to share I've decided to split up this post into 4 parts.  

I remember back in November / December 2014 I finally started to look into purchasing a new wardrobe for our spare room, and purchasing more hangers for our clothes. Thought I would get ready for the sales! that happen after Christmas.
I remember thinking, why do we have so much stuff? We aren't shoppers, and you can tell by my Instagram account I pretty much wear the same things over and over. I don't even wear half of my wardrobe, even though my entire clothes collection now fits me. I knew back then something needed to change but I wasn't sure how.

I was going to go with the easier option and purchase something to hide the stuff.

Then I came across Lauren Singers (Trash For Tossers) Tedx Talk (here) and it all started from there.

My first Zero Waste Blog Post is HERE

In the past year we have gone from just reducing our Plastic, to reducing all our Waste, to becoming minimalists (zero waste minimalists). I'm not going to say its been easy but everything really did just seem to flow.  Once we did our research and realised what is actually needed in our lives it was quite an easy transition.

We both went from buying in bulk  (Costco) ~ Over stocking up on items when they were on sale, thinking it would cost less and save time. To Purchasing things when we need it and most of the time in less or zero packaging. Which surprisingly turns out to be a lot cheaper and more free time. The problem with buying in bulk is you get so much packaging and storing everything took up a lot of space. Not saying we don't still purchase things when they are on sale. We just don't go over the top.

Deciding at the beginning of the year to use up what we already had, made me realise how much stuff we actually already had! We didn't need most of it and it took us a long time to use up certain things. On certain things it was a waste of time purchasing in bulk!. We were purchasing things because we thought we had to have them, when in fact we didn't. Which meant we did end up having to give some items away.

We both hadn't needed to purchase anything cosmetic or toiletry all year. Except for our reusables. Which I will talk about in Part 2.

We have never been shoppers. We only ever purchase anything we need, or now looking back what we thought we needed.

We are now just more conscious and mindful of what we purchase.

At first our main focus was reducing the amount of plastic we purchase and bring into our lives. Especially when it comes to food. Sadly we haven't gone completely plastic free (yet). But we have made a huge improvement. I have a "What's inside our Fridge" post HERE if you would like a nosy.
I'm happy to report our weekly shop is now a lot cheaper.

Our First waste less Shop

Even though at the beginning our main focus was on packaging, I decided really early to focus on other areas of waste. Like why do we need another wardrobe.  

My first task was going through all our wardrobes and after organising them better (KonMari Method) (Blog post for DIY storage ideas HERE)

and giving away clothes I no longer needed or fitted. I/we ended up with all these spare hangers

and so much space in our wardrobes... I'm so glad I didn't purchase that wardrobe and more hangers!!

Sadly I did break one of my rules ~ Not purchase any clothes. My wardrobe is full!!
Once I went through my wardrobe I realised because of my weightloss I had quite a lot of clothes that didn't fit me anymore. One of them was Trackie Bottoms. I wear them a lot so I needed some that fit.  I did look for some second hand ones, but I couldn't find any in my size :( (I have a feeling this might be a problem for me.) So I had to purchase some new ones. Which I got from Matalan.

Not really knowing back then about clothes, how and where they are made ~ Fast Fashion! In other words I wish I watched the Documentary The True Cost at the beginning of the year.  I would have purchased from a different brand. But Shoulda Woulda Coulda and all that :( . I have learnt from my mistake and I now know for future purchases.
After making that great decision of focusing on other areas of waste and making so much space in our wardrobes,  I/we then focused on the rest of our home.

At the beginning of the year I took pictures of our Kitchen, Bathroom and my cosmetic/Toiletries draws to compare what they are like a year later.

So here they are.



My Cosmetic/Toiletries draw ~ I will do a separate post and go into more detail about my zero waste cosmetic/toiletries routine soon.

Where we store products and spares

A bit of a difference :) Sadly still a lot of plastic, But a lot better than before.

With everything, our new outlook on the items we purchase and bring into our home has made us change and find a more eco friendly option.

We try and purchase as many items in Cardboard and Glass. Sadly some items like rice and pasta are still in plastic. And No Palm Oil. I'm still on the look out for stock cubes (gluten free and vegan) that don't contain palm oil, even sustainable palm.
Sadly my gluten intolerance doesn't help with the no plastic :( Because of contamination reasons, these items have to be packaged. So sadly sometimes I don't have an eco friendly option :(.

We now purchase Cotton Buds that can be composted. Just a little bit of plastic in the packaging.

We changed to Recycled Toilet paper.

Sadly they are packaged in plastic :(. If anyone knows where you can purchase them in paper from the UK please let me know in the comments.
We haven't noticed any difference in using recycled toilet paper. Only positive ~ No new trees have been cut down, you get more tissue per roll compared to other brands and it is cheaper.

We have also swapped bigger ''high end'' brands to Smaller or supermarket brands ~ Some of the items we haven't noticed a taste difference and some we think actually taste better. We do check and compare ingredients, Calories, Fat, Carb, Sugar and Salt on all the products and most, if not all, aren't that much of a difference. We don't consume a lot of processed foods, so our view on the sugar,salt etc is different to everyone else.

My advice if you want to embark on this lifestyle. Just start off small. Like reducing your plastic in certain areas, for example the kitchen or the bathrooms, then work your way from there.

Try and cut out or at least cut back on Single use items. Always think, What will happen to this when you no longer need it. Remember Recycle is always the last Option. Actually, Landfill is, but you get my point ;) 

Join me next time for Part 2 of our year aiming for a Zero Waste Lifestyle. Where I will talk about reusables.

Donna x

Like this post? You might like to read: Trash and or
My Journey towards a Zero Waste Lifestyle

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