The new…well, some may call “fad” but I like to call it a new way of living: becoming plastic free, low waste or zero waste living.
It sounds easier than what you think. I thought so, too.
To give a back story on why and how this new way of living began for me, brings you back to baby Madi. My family (thanks Mom and Dad) have been recycling for as long as I can remember. I don’t have the best memory, either, but I remember recycling at a very young age.
It was second nature to me. Throwing plastics in the bin labeled “Plastics” that I, as a ten year old wrote on a piece of paper taped to the front of the bin. Along with “Aluminum”, “Cardboard”, and “Newspaper”. I didn’t realize how big of a deal it really was until I was older and spent the night at friend’s houses or at school and public places/events that not everyone lived the same way my family did. They didn’t recycle ANYTHING.
Now, to preface, my family wasn’t perfect at recycling, but it did help reduce the amount of trash and waste. We would take the recyclables to our local recycling center, unload it and continue on.
It wasn’t until plastic water bottles were no longer recyclable in my area that I became more conscious of my waste (for water bottles). I would bring a new water bottle to school everyday and let them pile up with 1/4th of the water still sitting in the bottles.
From that habit, it overflowed to other habits. No longer would I use a paper cup, plastic lid and straw to drink out of at work, but I would bring my own.
For about four years now I have been conscious of bringing my own reusable water bottle and within the last year and a half, I have been using my Beta.
It is a 16oz aluminum cup, that does indeed have a plastic lid, but I think abut how many plastic water bottles I have saved because of using that cup instead. Being conscious of the plastic water bottles brought awareness to the other types of plastics that weren’t recyclable, so I would avoid as much of it as I could.
This new habit of mine was not a New Year Resolution, but I had ironically become more serious about making changes closer to the beginning of this year. I just didn’t know how.
The first bit of advice I would give: Youtube.
I watched one video, that lead to another, and another, and next thing I know, I was taking notes and writing what I wanted to change, what I have changed and how to do it.
The next thing I would suggest doing is following @packagefreeshop and @trashisfortossers on Instagram. Those accounts are ran by Lauren Singer, the founder of The Package Free Shop and has been zero waste for over SEVEN years.
To save time on explaining the products I have switched and use now, I have a video and photos to show you on my youtube channel! I make these videos and entries to hopefully help at least one person. Just remember, you don’t have to execute it without error, and perfectly change your life from here on. I still use plastics I am trying to avoid or forget my to go containers at home when I want to bring the left overs with me from the restaurant. Just do your best, it’s better than not doing anything at all.
Below are photos of the products I use that offer a plastic free option instead! In the video, I give my thoughts on the products I use. The first ten minutes are about hygiene and what I use/put on my body. Starting at the eleventh minute until the end, I talk about to go containers, reusable cutlery, etc.
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