Better Not Perfect - How to Live More Sustainably

4 November 2018

Hi everyone!

I have been on a journey to reduce my waste and be more environmentally-conscious since July 2018. This was when I discovered the plastic-free movement, and started educating myself on single-use plastic and how our rapid rate of consumption has a significant effect on our planet. Hence, I started incorporating small ways of eliminating single-use items in favor of multipurpose, long-lasting items as a method of decreasing my own waste production. At first I was very overwhelmed, feeling like I could never reach 'zero-waste', but I later came to terms with the fact that I have to start slow and going zero-waste is not congruent with things that bring me joy. Yes I'm vain, but I cannot give up fashion and skincare (however I have started making an effort to check my own closet, or second-hand items before making a fashion purchase). Therefore, just like I never tell my patients who want to lose weight to go vegetarian in one day, I have taken my own advice and adopted small changes that I plan to keep for the rest of my life to help the environment.

So without further ado, here are some of the modifications I have made, and ideas of some to come:

1. I've made it a priority to always have reusable bags in my trunk for my groceries. I also purchased mesh begs to hold my produce (tare weight is on the tag for the cashier).

2. Reusable bottles and tumblers - I have a stainless steel bottle for cold beverages, and a thermos for coffee/tea. You can bring your reusable cups to any coffee shop and they typically have no issues with filling it up.

3. I bring a small tote I can roll up in my purse when I do other shopping (ie/ going to the pharmacy, mall, flea market, etc).

c: zerowastecollective instagram (also check out their website here, they're one of my daily sources of inspiration to stay on track and motivated!)

4. I stopped using single pods for my Keurig, and have a reusable k-cup instead. This started a few years ago since I prefer my own coffee beans, and I also discovered how to use a French Press. This is a great way to remove single-use pods from your home. I have been looking for re-usable Nespresso pods, and I am finishing up all my tea bags because I heard those are NOT recyclable. Hence when those are done, I will do loose-leaf tea only.

5. I finished all my ziploc bags and replaced them with reusable silicon bags. They're fantastic, sturdy and tightly sealed. You can also use these to store food in the freezer, and place them in high heat for steaming veggies. Woot woot!

6. I have started replacing saran wrap with bee's wax sheets (Bee's Wrap is what I currently own). They smell lovely and work great! However, don't expect them to be as sealed as plastic wrap or aluminum foil, because they're not.
7. I replaced parchment paper/aluminum foil with reusable, non-stick baking mats from Amazon.

8. For women, there is also the ability to cut down on single-use feminine items like tampons and pads. There have been wonderful reviews on the Diva Cup to replace tampons, but I cannot attest to this because I've yet to try it. However, I have tried the fleece pads and officially converted, because they are so soft, absorbent and come in the cutest patterns. Definitely recommend, and super easy to wash!

I'm also hoping to get on the safety razor train once I use up my current ones! I have yet to replace straws because I rarely use straws, but I may add one to my arsenal at some point just in case. What are some changes you've made that have cut back on your waste? We had composting set up city-wide in Toronto, and that's one thing I miss doing. Anyone compost in an apartment? Tips would be appreciated!


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