Here we go!!! It’s time to get ready for week 2 but remember you can read back about week 1 here.
8 | Audit your trash
It’s crunch time. Now is when you look at what you’ve collected over the last week (including that stuff you’ve put in the freezer) and look over it all. Ask yourself these questions?
- What surprised you most about your rubbish?
- What can I swap out for more eco-choices longer term?
- What is one thing I can change straight away?
Then empty everything out and prep again for another week. Although we won’t be specifically checking our rubbish every week it is good to keep track and see your improvement in what ends up in landfill from your house each week.
9 | Buy a bar of soap for hand soap or make your own
I have been making our own hand soap with castile soap for the last 6 months and I LOVE it!!! So easy and simple and I never really run out! And it means I can reuse the same foaming pump bottle rather than needing to buy a new one each time. But there is also nothing wrong with just the good old bar of soap in a dish on the sink either. You can also easily get paper wrapped or naked soap bars which is a bonus!
Here is a super easy recipe to make your own foaming hand soap!!
We also have just been using a bar of soap in the shower, rather than a bottle of body wash. It does the same thing and I swear it last three times as long!!
10 | Start to collect glass jars
They say when you start to go zero waste you become a glass jar hoarder… and I can testify to this haha. I have a stash of jars in my linen cupboard which I use for leftovers, sauces, pesto, popcorn etc etc rather than just putting it in a ziplock bag or Tupperware.
Originally I struggled with wanting it all the match but you quickly see the old-world charm in having propagating plants in your old jam jar and leftover pesto in a mayo jar in the fridge! It is also repurposing jars rather than just recycling to buy new again!! Lately I’ve been trying to buy as much as I can in glass rather than plastic bottles so I can reuse and reuse and reuse haha. But I’m not too precious if a glass option is not available; that’s life.
TIP: To get that strong garlic or musty tomato smell out of your jars (because believe me it will annoy you), just add a tablespoon of bicarb soda and a splash of water, pop the lid on and shake it. The bicarb acts as abrasive that gets rid that stubborn odour and then store with the lids off! If you get really stuck repeat the process but replace white vinegar for the water, rinse well, dry and let air over night. We got caught out early on so some containers needed to go through a few times.
11 | Replace paper towels and use tea towels
I always just used to wipe up any spills with paper towels thinking it was the easiest option. But one day I ran out of paper towels so just used a tea towel and then chucked it in the wash! So easy and I haven’t missed having paper towels in the house at all. If the tea towels start getting a bit musty, I add a few drops of lavender essential oil to the load of washing and they come out smelling amazing!
12 | Buy a fresh load of bread and bring your own bag
I originally thought that because the plastic on a loaf of bread can go straight into soft plastics that I’m doing the right thing. So why would I need to buy it fresh? But I am now looking to decrease even my soft-plastics recycling so this is an awesome way to think ahead and prevent unwanted plastics entering the home.
Simply ask for your local bakery to put your bread in your own bag. You can use a canvas bag, shopping bag, paper bag or even a specific bread bag but the aim is to cut back on your single-use plastics. I had a follower who even managed to get her hot cross buns put into a canvas bag to take home! So anything is possible if you are bold enough to simply ask the question!!!!
13 | Ask for no straws when you are out
We’ve all seen the documentaries about how straws are almost single-handedly destroying our oceans and I won’t go into that. But asking specifically for NO-STRAW THANKS when you order drinks out can make all the difference.
Swapping to paper straws is better than plastic but honestly that papery taste is … blergh. But bonus points if you just enjoy your drink without it or bring your own stainless steel straw. We’ve got one stainless steel (which is my fav) for our morning smoothies and we also just use a plastic reusable straw from a drink cup if we need a second one!
14 | Cook a meal with only leftovers in your fridge and freezer
It’s challenge time. We meal plan and shop fortnightly, so when it comes down to that last night before the shop again we try and empty our fridge COMPLETELY!! This gives you a good indication if you are buying too much food and therefore at higher risk of food waste. I hhhhate the feeling of throwing out the slimy spinach because I forget it was buried under all the veggies in the crisper!
Look in the deep freezer for that bit of left over cream your froze to use another day or the back of the pantry for the half used packet of pasta and get creative. I often make up the weirdest meals but they are sooooooo tasty when I make up my ‘leftovers leftovers’ meal. Not to mention the sense of satisfaction when a non-recipe book meal actually turns out alright.