Hi, I’m Kathryn from Going Zero Waste and I don’t make any trash. Not much has changed from my pre zero waste days (PZW) I just shop a little differently. I’m a lot more invested in my local community, I know my farmers, I buy my food from bulk bins in my own bag, and at the end of the year, just by changing the way I shopped, all my trash fit in an 8 oz mason jar.
This journey started for me in college when I started feeling extreme pain in my left breast. I couldn’t lift my arms; I couldn’t wear a bra – it was horrible. The doctors found a lot of abnormal growth they thought to be cancer. The tumors were benign, but the pain didn’t stop.
The whole experience made me question what I put in and on my body. First I ditched process food. I wanted to eat whole, clean food. Then I started making my own cleaning products – which sounds really scary, but it’s not! I swear vinegar can clean your whole house. So. Easy. Then I tackled my beauty products, and when I made my own deodorant, the craziest thing happened. My pain went away.
And, then I started shopping a little different; because, I became so overwhelmed with the amount of plastic in our lives and the ocean. And, you’re all caught up with the story.
Kathryn shares the top 10 simple ways to start going zero waste:
- Handkerchief vs. Tissues
- Woven Cotton Cloths vs. Paper Towels
- Glass or Stainless Steel Storage vs. Plastic Tupperware
- Glass or Stainless Steel Water Bottle vs. Plastic Bottles
- Reusable Bags vs. Plastic Bags
- Cotton Produce Bags vs. Plastic Bags
- Plastic Free Brush vs. Sponge
- Bamboo Toothbrush vs. Plastic brushes
- Reusable Food Wrap vs. Plastic Baggies & Aluminum Foil
- Composting vs. Trash to Landfill
WHY is going zero waste important to you and why should it be important for everyone else?
The average American throws out 4.4lbs of trash a day. A DAY! It’s important; because we’re overwhelmed with stuff. Everything is convenience. Don’t like it; throw it away. Fast Food. Cheap clothes you wear three times then toss in the garbage. We’ve gotten so obsessed with stuff, and there is no away. It doesn’t disappear. What you wore three times will sit in a landfill for over 1,000 years.
We need to take a step back and invest in our own community. We need to have relationships with where our food comes from, who made our clothes, who fixes our shoes, etc. We all need to look for things that have longevity, that can be repaired, that are made to last.
It’s not about reducing your trashcan down to the size of a mason jar. It’s about being aware. We lived without plastic for 100’s of years. We lived without most of these “conveniences” for 100’s of years. Is it really that inconvenient to remember some reusable bags or to bring your own coffee cup or water bottle? I’m just so tired of convenience being an excuse.
Even small changes add up over a large period of time; we can all make a difference!
What do you bring to the store to buy in bulk?
I go to the farmers market every week. I bring along a market basket to store all of my goodies and several cloth produce bags. I only put small loose items in the produce bags like mushrooms. Most everything just sits loose in the bag like broccoli, potatoes, or carrots. There’s a cheese guy at the farmers market who’s more than willing to fill an 8oz mason jar with cheese. So, is the local deli or butcher. Whatever you need to buy, just kindly ask and typically people are more than willing to give it to you in your own container.
I go shopping for the pantry once a month and I typically bring 3-5 mason jars which have the tare weight written on them. (The weight of the empty jar so the cashier can subtract it at the register) And, 5-10 cloth produce bags. I typically stock up on flour, pasta, cocoa powder, pretzels, peanut butter, rice, oatmeal, or other dry goods.
What does a zero waste bathroom looks like?
My bathroom has simplified a lot. I make a 3 in one soap bar (shampoo, wash, shave) that I use in the shower with a stainless steel safety razor. I use a toothpowder with a bamboo toothbrush. I use the oil cleansing method at night and use olive oil bought from bulk tankards. I make my own deodorant. I make a dry shampoo I love that I often use to extend hair washes. I do still wear makeup occasionally. I’ve experimented with making my own. I have a lot of successes and failures.
How can we encourage zero waste during travel and festivals and what is a perfect kit of items to have?
When traveling I like to keep it really simple! I don’t want anything too bulky. I find most waste can be knocked out with just a simple 16oz mason jar and a cloth napkin. Maybe you might want to include a couple of cloth drawstring bags for bulk or a small, foldable reusable bag? It really depends on what you’ll be doing. If you’re going to be grocery shopping or getting lots of snacks, then I’d definitely bring those items along.
I am so happy to begin sharing more information from blogger’s such as Kathryn on how you can further reduce your footprint, but most importantly how you can detox your life and live happy, healthy and free. I am offering a variety of methods to facilitate your own transition into a beautiful healthy simple lifestyle. You can start by joining me for a FREE WEBINAR: Life & Home Detox into Spring, which is April 2nd at Noon PST.
I will also be offering a detailed e-course to follow, which will include loads of information, tools to keep you on track, diy recipes and more. If you are ready to jump right in, I also offer One-on-One session packages geared towards your specific needs.