::This is the year we finally kicked the toothpaste tubes. After a few years of dental work that scared me out of stepping away from conventional toothpaste (toms) along with "roommates" who turned their noses up at the idea...I saw a recipe for homemade toothpaste that I thought might ease the transition. I've since moved on to tooth powder...and they will too once the original, excess ingredients run out. We still have what promises to be a lifetime supply of bentonite clay. The peppermint oil is going strong, the second bottle of aloe is probably 1/3 full, + there is still a little xylitol left (just for reference cost wise...four people using the ingredients shown here...for one year). We're back to no cavities for our tribe this year!
::Period panties replaced liners. I chose these in organic cotton. It involves a bit of hope + trust. I will say that these particular ones feel quite secure + nice during those (for me, painful + unwelcome) days.
::I had a completely zero-waste year in the make-up department...because I hardly ever used it. I'm not really advocating for everyone to give up make-up. I'm not completely giving up the option to wear it when I want to. I just wish it was a more widely embraced option...especially when it comes to the messages given to young girls...and women...and aging women. So here I am saying that even though my skin is not a picture of dewy perfection, I went on vacation + brought only lip balm. :)
::We joined a CSA + received boxes from April through October. I was happy to form this tight little link with the farmers growing the food we put on the table. There was a little bit of plastic involved in the beginning, but we were able to return it all for reuse. I'm glad we joined this year, but I won't be doing it again next year. We had a different experience with our CSA in London (which we loved). Anyway, I'm going to enjoy choosing the produce we will eat from the farmers at the farmers market again + ensuring that it is fresh + in good shape. (eating what we grow in our own garden too)
::We stopped buying bags of pretzels. This involved a habit shift for someone other than myself. I don't know what else to say about that. :)
::Finding out that one of us needs to eat a gluten-free diet throws a wrench into the zero-waste realm. We'd been eating gluten-free for a year already, but this summer learned that it is important not to cheat. I would be fine with just using the bulk bins, fresh produce + dairy...but knowing that baked goods are off limits forever messes with a person. I had been able to concoct a gluten-free flour almost exclusively from the bulk bins...but then our grocery store closed + the other one has fewer options. So lately I've been buying gluten-free flour which is expensive + packaged in plastic. This sounds like a long excuse...but I share it to say that this lifestyle (zero-waste) does come with limitations. We can grit our teeth + comply as fully as possible, or we can choose to make some concessions...because this world is not designed zero-waste (yet). :) We've all enjoyed being able to make + eat pizza, banana bread, pancakes + birthday cake again...and one of us is feeling so much better.
This zero-waste thing is about an awareness of packaging + a few big habit shifts (choosing loose carrots rather than those in a plastic bag, noticing bulk bins, always having a reusable bag in the purse). Once those shifts become habit, we see the world + our daily activities in a new light...and we can sail forward in our new reality. Every once in a while I like to take a fresh look at how I do things + notice areas where I might be able to make even less waste...less recycling even. But first, it's nice to notice the steps I've taken this year.
Hope you find a little time to do the same! Thank you so much for every effort you've made this year to make our world a little less trashy! :)