“I am a slow walker, but I never walk back.”
With only a few days left in 2017, I wanted to reflect on my zero waste goals for 2017. While I didn't have lofty goals and certainly am still not able to fit all of my trash into a mason jar, I believe I've made great progress. It's always good to stop and review progress as this informs what you need to work on. I've loved that fact that people term this "a journey" because it definitely certainly is. For me, I'm in my 30's and I didn't know about the concept of "zero waste" until last year so I have 30 years of habits and external influences that I personally need to battle
This post is not meant to brag, but to celebrate some of my wins as they will ultimately build up my confidence for greater and better things and perhaps convince others to start with something small.
Top Zero Waste Wins For The Year
- 1 Whole Year Without Buying and Using a Single Plastic Water Bottle
- I started out mid-2016 and learned where to find water, how to ask for a refill. For 2017, I made it through the Philippines, Las Vegas, Grand Canyon, Portland, Iceland and lots of beach days without buying a single plastic water bottle. The key was planning and getting creative with where to fill up.
- Sourced all of our summer vegetables and fruits locally using 3 different neighborhood farmers markets
- I live in New Jersey and we have some of the best produce, and thankfully, during the summer, farmer's markets abound. We had a chance to frequent a few from June to October and got some of the most locally produced veggies and fruits around.
- Sourced 95% of my clothes from thrift stores
- I didn't go shopping that much this year, another win, but when I did, I bought them at thrift stores. From dress pants to workout clothes that were barely used, I opted out of stepping foot inside malls and got something secondhand instead.
- Learned to can and preserve tomatoes and apples.
- I didn't think it would happen, but I also learned to preserve a few things. Tomatoes are in abundance during the summer and apples in the fall so I learned to preserve them so that we could enjoy them later in the year. It was easier than I thought and after hitting my parents basement, even was able to reuse mason jars that were just sitting around.
Along with the wins above, I think my biggest is influencing and convincing my parents to stop buying bottled water. This took a few months for them to wean off, but now you'll see them bring their reusable water bottles with them. With this, I also found some bags in their attic that I told them would be good for groceries so now a few sit in in their car so that they can skip the plastic bags. My dad has been on top of his game, making sure to put the bags right back in his car after it is emptied out. Woohoo!
How about you? What were your zero waste wins this year?
I'll be posting my Zero Waste Goals for 2018 in a separate post so stay tuned.
Track your progress using this printable.
Easy to print or duplicate into an A5 notebook so you'll always know that what your doing has big impact.