I was reading this really interesting article in Sunset yesterday (it was a little old, but bear with me) about this family who has committed to having zero trash come out of their house. Now it's not really ZERO waste, but definitely less than the average person. While I think the idea of having no trash whatsoever is a bit difficult for most people, I was inspired by this family. They suggest doing some small steps, one at a time, that will gradually add up; instead of trying to do everything at once. The focus is on buying things without packaging, keeping only what you need and use, and avoiding plastic (since even if it is recycled, it is stil turned into something that will end up in a landfill). Some things I think I will try:
1.) Make some re-usable bags for produce and bulk items at the grocery store- if they're lightweight cotton, they won't really affect the cost of the items, and it's one less plastic bag to throw away.
2.) Compost- I already have a small canister, we just don't use it. We can either start a compost pile in the backyard, or just add it to our yard waste container. Also going to start putting the bunny's droppings in the yard waste/compost, rather than the trash.
3.) Reduce buying things with excess packaging
4.) Bring reusable containers for deli items- like cheese (although I'm not sure if they have Tillamook at the deli; this is the main cheese that I get because it is sooo tasty, it is semi-local, and it does not contain animal rennet- which many cheeses do.)
5.) Possibly buy more reusable "paper towels"; I have a couple of them, but not really enough to make a difference.
Some things I will not be doing:
1.) I cannot give up kleenex. Sorry, but if I had to wash enough handkerchiefs to make up for nose blowing and such... just doesn't seem very cost/time effective to me.
2.) Bulk shampoo/soaps: The ones I use do not come in bulk, and this also is not very cost/time effective to me.
For more ideas, you can visit The Zero Waste Home and read the family's blog!