January may be over, but I still have goals on the horizon…
My journey to less waste began in late 2018, but I’ve been looking closer at the trash my purchases make and I resolved to make even more changes this year.
As I use up my personal items, I’ve decided to source a more local, more environmentally friendly, higher quality, zero-waste alternative. The first item I used up is my natural deodorant. I switched to the Crystal Body Deodorant, Rock, 5 Ounce back in December and have used it since then with great results. I really like the rock, but it did come in a plastic sleeve – in a plastic and cardboard packaged container. I kept the plastic sleeve to put it in when I travel but tossed the packaging.
The second item I’ve nearly used up is floss. I’m still sourcing an alternative, but am thinking about getting dental lace. I want to check out what the Bothell Recology store has for floss, if any and take a quick peek at my local PCC for alternatives as well. I have a little bit of time before the last bit of my Costco Oral-B Glide floss runs out. I also don’t want to check out the local stores when I’m near them and not go out of my way to visit them.
A third personal item that I didn’t necessarily use up, but am already making changes for is for my menstrual health. I got the Lunette Reusable Menstrual Cup – Blue – Model 1 for Light Flow – Your Vagina’s New Best Friend in December and tried it out for 2 days. Then I read some comments in some of my Zero-Waste groups on Facebook that the device, since it uses suction, can cause a prolapse. Scary. So I haven’t tried it since. I did receive two very lovely pairs of Thinx period panties on my birthday. Thanks, Sis! I still have quite the supply of pads left and am looking forward to trying out the Thinx on the lighter days.
Other changes I have made are as follows:
- Composting in a bin in the backyard
- Keeping veggie scraps and making them into stock for soup
- Refusing whenever I can (envelopes at the bank, straws at restaurants, bags at the grocery store)
- Using my produce bags and reusable bags at the grocery store
- Using handmade hankies for blowing my nose instead of toilet paper or tissues
- I stopped using q-tips
- Taking the trash can out of the bathroom and leaving a ‘compost’ bin instead
- Using my Buy Nothing and other friendly online groups to recycle items I don’t want and don’t use
- Re-using any packaging materials I receive for work/personal
- I didn’t buy anything new that wasn’t consumable in January!
- Making my own rags for cleaning out of old clothes that were too worn out to donate
- Resolving to plan meals at home every day of the month and only eating out when cooking doesn’t work out or when I’m traveling
- Planning my meals around what food needs to be eaten (I’m looking at you leftovers!)
My future projects:
- Consider a family cloth and figure out the logistics
- Make my own Poo-Pourri
- Make my own laundry detergent or source a better alternative
- Line dry my clothes instead of using the dryer
- Stop my junk mail
- Source an alternative to my current shampoo/conditioner bottles
- Get/Make/Source reusable cloth napkins and store in a usable location for both upstairs and downstairs
- Source packaging free fruits and vegetables that aren’t inconvenient to purchase
- Source facial lotion
Do you have any other ideas I should consider to reduce my waste?
I completed a fitness goal in January as well – I successfully completed the Blogilates 100 abs challenge. Though many days I did the easier version of the ab-challenge move and some days I didn’t complete the challenge in one day, I did all 100 ab moves in the 30 days. Blogilates is one of my favorite fitness guides on Youtube. I feel stronger and more able to complete ab-related workouts now. I also feel that I do have more ab muscles.
Early in January, my partner and I both got a BodySpec scan and it was fascinating to see the measurements. According to the scan I’m very healthy. It’s always reassuring to have the numbers. It was also quite reassuring to have the 15-minute phone consultation after the scan and for them to tell me that having such a high fat content in the gynoid region (35%) isn’t bad and doesn’t indicate a higher risk for something like diabetes. The gynoid region is where you want to store your fat! Huzzah! My partner and I have both been going to the gym for strength training this month, which I have never really done before. I actually enjoy it (almost anything is more exciting and easier than cardio).
I have dog walking midday all month and have enjoyed the extra movement. Moving forward I want to continue to work on strength training, ab-exercises, and movement during the day. I also want to continue to take my pole classes and the acro-yoga classes I’ve been going to weekly/biweekly. Eventually when my wrist (specifically my left wrist) feels like it has a greater range of motion, I want to work more diligently on handstand training.
My main goal for the year was to save as much money as possible! I’m doing this by earning more money, spending less money, and investing the money that I do have. I put the maximum allotment for 2018 into my IRA account and I am trying out some short-term CD investments. I am also looking for creative ways to earn money. So far I have tried filling out surveys (it’s hard to get chosen for the ones that pay real money), Rover (I love getting paid to exercise and I get to watch cats sometimes), selling unwanted items on Facebook selling unwanted items on Ebay, and selling the remaining book inventory (which means seeking out events where I can sell my books). By the way, if you’re local – come meet me! Cough cough buy my books cough cough.
I am also closely watching all my money. I created a yearly budget and broke it down by month and track every single expense categorically. My monthly goal is to save half of all my incoming money. Here is my monthly budget spreadsheet and a brief breakdown for how January went.
I did spend 55% of my income for January. Mostly because I prepaid my car insurance, legal fees, and 6-month maintenance this month.
Advanced level waste reduction? Many cities have local food rescue organizations that salvage leftover food from restaurants, businesses, or events and then get it to people facing food insecurity. Sometimes these groups are nonprofits, other times these are faith-based initiatives, but they usually need volunteers to help them rescue food and keep it out of the landfill, or distribute it.
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