30 Day Zero Waste Challenge – Week 4

We are into the final week! You can also find the recap of weeks 1, 2 and 3 here.

22 | Think twice before buying

For me this has been the biggest change in mindset when it comes to zero waste living. When we were trying to minimise our waste output we had to start by thinking about what we first brought into the house. I think I’ve mentioned this before but this can make all the difference.

In the past I have been a sucker for spontaneous purchases which just clutter up my house and I end up just throwing out in a year or two anyways. Being more intentional with my purchases means I pick better quality products and I am 100% sure I still need it.

23 | Go paperless with all your bills + junk mail

This seems like a simple, insignificant change to make but every single little bit can help. Next time you get a bill in the mail, jump online and see if there is an option to just get it by email instead. We still get a chunk of junk mail so our next step is to put a sign saying ‘no junk mail’ on our mail box.

24 | Eat a veggie meal

This may seem a little bit odd right? But I have found that having a vegetarian meal once a week or so is not only great on your grocery budget and encourages a healthy diet but it also goes hand in hand with sustainable living and reducing waste. All those veggie ends can be used as stock or composted.

25 | Swap to a bamboo toothbrush

Jake has been using a bamboo toothbrush for the last few months and loves it. Bamboo is a great alternative to the standard plastic toothbrushes because you can just shave the nylon bristles off and compost the handle. But I did some reading and it is better to compost the handles than chucking it in the trash.

We are going to try a different style of bamboo brush next time (maybe one with contoured bristles) but we definitely aren’t going back to the old plastic brush anytime soon. Sadly I’m still stuck on my good old electric toothbrush at the moment which is going super strong, and I am torn between trying to sell it or just keep it until it dies.

26 | Visit a thrift store

Yaaaaah we are going thrifting! My mum used to thrift the majority of our clothes growing up and she was the master at finding amazing deals! Shopping second hand saves so much from going into landfill plus again it is great for the budget if you know what to look for. There’s definitely a skill to op-shopping but it just takes time and practice… and looking through absolutely everything! And since all the ‘kon-marieing’ has been happening its the best time to check out all the op-shops because you are very likely to get some amazing finds.

27 | Make a face mask with items in your fridge or pantry

I think its time for another challenge… try and make a face mask with items you already have in your house. I have a friend who always tries making all different masks for her mum and sister but I’ve never tried it before. Not only will it be low tox because you know exactly what is in it but you get to have a spa day anytime you want without needing to grab anything special. I am keen to try out one which is just used coffee grinds and coconut oil! So simple.

28 | Ditch tissues for hankies

We’ve talked about paper towels already but next on the list is tissues. We actually don’t have an open box of tissues currently in our house, I know shocking!!! I rarely use them and Jake just has handkerchiefs. So next on my list to sew is some handkerchiefs for myself for when I do need tissues! If hankies aren’t the thing for you, we actually do have a box of recycled paper tissues for guests.

29 | Purchase tree-free toilet paper

Yep even our toilet paper got a zero waste makeover. Now you can go all out for a thing called ‘family cloth’ which is basically reusable cloth you use as toilet paper, wash and reuse. Buuuuut we aren’t quite game for that. So we got our first box of ‘Who Gives a Crap’ recycled toilet paper a few months ago and I love it!! It gets delivered to your door annnnnd everything the company stands for is amazing.

30 | Look to decrease your recycling

I know, I know, by this stage you are starting to master your recycling and if you are anything like us, have noticed that recycling (both plastic and normal) has significantly dropped your waste. But the final step of this challenge is to start to reduce even your recycling! Recycling is a very important step but it isn’t the whole answer. For us, we are keen to look into the practicality of trying milk in glass bottles which you can ship back to the company for them to reuse, and buying our eggs from the local farmers market (again where you can bring the cartons back for a refill).

And that’s a wrap! Well done if you finished all the steps, used it as a bingo-board or even attempted just a handful of items. One of the best quotes I’ve heard about going low/zero waste goes something like this: “we don’t need a handful of households doing zero waste perfectly, we need thousands of households doing zero waste imperfectly”. Long way of saying, every little bit of intentionality really helps in the bigger scheme of things.

Whatever your journey looks like, know that I am in your corner cheering you along. Reach out to me on Instagram or Facebook if you have any questions or just want someone to talk all things low-waste to.

Instagram – @lifewithbess & Facebook – @lifewithbess6