When it comes to Zero Waste Living, its all about “baby steps.”
Since deciding to pursue a more “zero waste” lifestyle back in 2018, I have experimented with several products and behaviors in effort to reduce my personal waste footprint. This shift in behavior and consciousness has led me to pay close attention to what I throw away and where, and has allowed me to identify, reduce, and eliminate my personal garbage output in many areas. It has also impacted the way I approach purchasing. This whole process has been one of slow transitions, and by no means am I able to claim that I now live a completely Zero Waste Life. No, I still like my Starbys, bubble teas, and take-out and have yet to figure out how to enjoy these treats without their accompanying plastic waste. In any case, the transitions I have made are helping to reduce my personal waste output, and I hope that in reading this you will join me in transitioning to a more zero waste life. Some of the switches are very easy. If all of us start making small changes where we can, big changes will ensue.
Below are my reflections on the Zero Waste Products I have tried over the years, plus a few tap dance related updates and a bonus plant fact.
- Dental Floss
- Dr. Mercola – favorite thus far, works better than silk dental floss and comes in a cardboard container
- Silk dental floss in glass container – a bust, the silk floss breaks easily between teeth as does the container if you drop it, which is likely since its round and can roll off counters…
- DIY toothpaste eliminates toothpaste associated garbage which tends to be difficult to recycle
- Uncle Harry’s toothpaste – comes in glass jar with plastic lid, can buy in bulk and refill
- Georganics Natural Toothpowder – comes in glass jar with metal lid, I tried the black charcoal one, its weird but it works, would buy again due to plastic free packaging
- Leaf Shave – an investment, but rewarding since it is zero-waste and also has lifetime guarantee so if it breaks, you can send it in and get a new one free of charge
- Cloth hankies
- Food Wrap
- “bees-wrap” to replace saran wrap
- Dish soap
- bar soap – package free, ie no plastic container
- Food and Beverages on the Go
- To-Go Ware (bamboo utensil set)
- metal straws – small, smoothie, and bubble tea sized
- Sea-To-Summit “Seal and Go Set” – didn’t particularly like this but its worth mentioning because it is a compact food container, pretty heavy, which is what I didn’t like. I wanted something I could carry around at all times. Ask me about my invention.
- reusable water bottle
- shopping bags and produce bags (either cloth or bring my own plastic bags to reuse)
- cloth velcro bags instead of zip-locks
If you’re curious about any of the topics mentioned above, please ask and I’ll be glad to elaborate.
Reflecting on the areas I can still reduce waste, the first things that comes to mind are to-go cups (for coffee and smoothies/juices) and to-go food containers (for take-out and nuts).
Apologies for all this talk about me, but as Henry David Thoreau, my historical crush put it:
“I should not talk so much about myself if there were anybody else whom I knew as well. Unfortunately, I am confined to this theme by the narrowness of my experience.” (Walden)
Deeper observation is needed to further analyze my garbage footprint and see where improvements can be made.
What about you?
Food for thought.
Moving on, I wanted also to share some musical projects that have been happening.
Tap Dance and Street Performing in NYC
In tap dancing news, Gregory Hines, legendary tap dancer who was most prominent in the 1980’s and ’90s and know for collaborating with male ballerino Mikhail Baryshnikov among other things, has been honored by the USPS by being put on a postage stamp.
In the spirit of tap dancing and its vaudvillian roots, I also wanted to write a little about the world of street performing.
I started dabbling in this craft last year and had the most fun dancing with my then-roommate, Martina the Ballerina. I find street performing to be a good way to work through the nerves of performing, receive feedback, and practice playing loudly, plus it give me somewhere to play other than my bedroom with less pressure than open-mics. When I street-perform (aka “Busk”), I either play guitar, acoustic or electric (acoustic is less cumbersome), or tap dance (either to recorded music, a metronome, or with nothing). The goal is to combine tap dancing and guitar, and I haven’t quite figured it out yet other than stomping out 1-2-3-4 beats.
Thought I’d have more to say about that but turns out no. Just wanted to introduce the topic.
Ok, last 2 things. I wanted to mention a novel product idea that I encountered last year at a craft fair. It was this guy:
Simmer is a tomato sauce that comes in smaller package than other sauces on the market. It is meant to be a solution to moldy tomato sauce, which often happens when a single person opens a jar o’sauce. Even though his packaging is plastic, I thought it was clever to address the issue of portion sizes and food waste in packaging. He also had great sample spoons made out of cardboard instead of plastic. If any of you are thinking about giving out food samples, consider these.
Finally, a plant fact for you that I learned at work. Ficus, a common house-plant, is a fig plant! I didn’t know that but it makes sense.