Monday 10 October 2016

Zero waste :: Successes

Further to my zero waste challenges, here are a few of my successes. It's hard, and I'm trying to make changes slowly so that they are more permanent changes, rather than trying to cut everything out and failing because that's not sustainable.

These are a few of the small changes I have adopted that have become part of life now. There are many many more ways I can (and will) change my lifestyle to produce less waste and lessen my impact on the environment. But I thought since I listed my challenges, I would also celebrate my successes!

Coffee To Go

Since I got this cup for Christmas I have used it A LOT. There have been a couple of times when I forgot it, and I have taken a paper cup. But those times are few and far between. In fact I have been documenting every time I use the cup and am planning to put together a little video of all the photos as a reminder of all the cups I've refused!

I also love using this cup because not only do I now prefer to drink out of it, I'm now not a walking advert for the coffee shop! No one knows where I bought my coffee! It's just me and my cool mug strutting down the street! Since I'm photographing it, I've also started to think more about what I want as the background of my shot! All very sad and arty but fun as well!


 I have three water bottles - two camelbaks and one glass apana bottle. I use these all the time. I have found that there are many, many places to fill them up and this has increased the amount of water I drink resulting in far better skin. All round this has been a great change!


I don't use clingfilm really any more. I've realised that there is never really any need to. If I am warming something in the microwave, I just cover the top with another plate. I use Tupperware boxes in the fridge, I have 3 glass ones as well which cuts out plastic somewhat). 

If I really need to wrap something, I will choose foil instead of plastic wrap since I can wash it and then recycle it. I have also seen this beeswax paper stuff that looks intriguing and I 
may experiment with in the future.


I have adopted a couple of zero waste tricks in the bathroom that I am pretty happy with. Firstly. My floor cleaner is now castille soap. This little bottle has lasted for a long time, and it acts a just a floor cleaner for now, but I will be rolling this out to clean the rest of the bathroom once my method spray has run out - incidentally method is eco-friendly too.

More importantly (and used for longer) are my cloths. I've never really used many disposable wipes, but I wouldn't have actively avoided them before now. However, I am now consistently using these micofibre clothes, and a scrubbing sponge. Once they've been used, I just chuck them in the wash. Maybe lots of people use these, but I list this as a successful zero waste addition as I am very conscious of using them this way now.

Lastly, I have invested in these reusable cotton pads which eliminate the need for face wipes or cotton wool balls. They come with the little cotton bag to hold them all together when they are in the washing machine. I also used this bag when I washed out my sponge last time. Worked a treat!

Zero Waste. Period.

The cup is inside this bag. I didn't think it appropriate
to take a picture of my used cup and post it on
the internet for everyone to see...
I haven't bought tampons for about 8 months. This has helped lessen my environmental impact, but more significantly it has saved me a tremendous amount of money. I've actually been using the diva cup for around 2 years, but I was using it in conjunction with tampons, but now I don't really use tampons at all. I have a few left over still, and these serve as emergencies incase I am caught at work or out and about without the cup - so I keep a couple in my bag.

There's basically only gains to be had from using a menstrual cup. I had read this before, and was put off by the need to empty the cup. However I've since got over that, and I wouldn't really want to go back to tampons now. They are bad for your body, carry the risk of developing TSS (and dying...) plus they are extraordinarily bad for the environment. I'm also not clear on whether the tax on tampons has actually been scrapped... I don't much care anyway since I no longer buy them.


So I did have the disaster with the glass jar, and it did melt during those hot summer months but... I have made my own toothpaste and use it every morning. This has been a success. I checked this through with the dentist and she approved it. After I'd been using my own toothpaste for 6 months I had another check up and everything was still ok. 

I like this recipe because it makes as actual paste rather than the usual tooth powders. I'm sure they are just as effective but I like that this is more similar to what I am used to. I haven't completely migrated to this paste, since it doesn't have any fluoride and I'm not convinced that we get all that we need from our water. However, by introducing this into my routine I have halved the amount of toothpaste tubes I personally put into landfill.


This is me on a bike in Cambodia, since I don't
have a photo of my current bike!
I've had a bike since last April. I use it everyday. I try to ride all the way to work at least twice a week, and recently t's been much more. I'm a bit of a fair-weather cyclist so if it's raining I am put off. However, even if I'm not going all the way to work, I cut out any bus emissions from my journey by cycling to the station. 

This isn't exactly zero waste, as I wouldn't be driving anyway. But cycling is better for the environment and my health and I feel it is an added bonus of this kind of lifestyle! :-)
 ::Are you conscious of your environmental impact? Are you trying to be less wasteful? Let me know your successes below and feel free to share any tips of things that you love doing/using that are good for the environment!::

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