Zero Waste & the Movement
Since going vegan in February of 2018, I’ve thought about the zero waste lifestyle. In the past few weeks, I’ve gotten several items that are reusable or that don’t have plastic for my every day life. But, I also wanted to delve a little into the history of the zero waste movement. By no means am I an expert and this post won’t go in depth into the history of the movement. Also, just as a disclaimer, there are a lot of links in this post but if you click them, I am not going to be making any type of commission from them.
The basic explanation of being zero waste or having a zero waste lifestyle is that it is a “lifestyle where people aim to eliminate their trash output completely,” according to Planet Aid. It’s not just about recycling but also about being more strategic with your money. Even though only nine percent of all plastic has been recycled according to Vox. The rest has gone to landfills. There are several companies that are repurposing water bottles to become products that can be used in every day life like Rothy’s or Converse. These companies have shoes that are made out of plastic water bottles.
There are about 4.7 to 12.8 million metric tons of plastic in the ocean as reported by Vox. Companies like Amazon make it easy to have a lot of trash when ordering things online. As individuals, we send about 4.4 pounds of garbage to landfills every single day.
There are also businesses that cater to this lifestyle. One of them being Package Free, a shop that is based in Brooklyn, New York by Lauren Singer. I first heard about her from the Ted Talk above and I also believe that she was in a BuzzFeed video.
I started my journey with some shampoo and soap. My mom had given me some bars of soap around April of 2019. Previously to this, I was using a lot of liquid body wash that was housed in plastic. My favorite brand was Caress and it usually came as a two pack. I loved the smell and I loved the amount of time it lingered on my skin after I got out of the shower. Then, I started to reflect and I didn’t want to have so much plastic in my morning ritual. After I ran out of the bars of soap that my mom had given me, I went to Target and got the Method Soap bars. That was some time in the month of May I believe and I haven’t finished a bar.
I also finished all of the liquid shampoo that I had because at that point, it had already been purchased and I didn’t want to throw out any product. I have been using the Lush solid shampoo bars since mid May. I bought two bars and I recently finished the last one the day before yesterday. The first two that I bought were Jason and the argan oil and Godiva.
I have also switched my toothpaste and my toothbrush to something more sustainable. Currently, my toothbrush is made out of bamboo that I got at Target for $5. The brand is The Humble Co. and can be found here. The toothpaste is called Schmidt’s Activated Charcoal toothpaste.
As far as my water bottle goes, I have had two. One that I purchased a couple years ago that was blue by the brand Hydro Flask. I am currently using one that my girlfriend got me that is a light purple color. I love drinking Starbucks. Recently, I purchased a reusable coffee cup for the 16 oz cold drinks. Sometimes, I forget to bring it with me and use a disposable plastic cup. For my hot drinks, I use a stainless steel tumblr.
At the end of the day, it is not always plausible for someone to commit to this lifestyle. But I also believe that our money talks and that we have a choice where we shop and what our money supports.