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Zero Waste Goals 2019- Update

Now that 6 months of 2019 are over I feel as though I should post an update on my zero waste goals for this year. I recommend that before you continue reading this blog post that you read the original which will be linked here. In this blog post I shared my initial ideas for each goal and how I planned on achieving it.


There have not been any significant changes regarding my efforts to reduce the amount of waste that my roommates produce. We are still recycling all items accepted by our city. I would like to further encourage my roommates to not use single use plastic when buying produce and other items from the grocery store. They have reduced the amount they use by not using a plastic bag at all for produce or just for large items or things that only come in plastic like grapes. 


As mentioned in the initial blog post, Sustain is the environmental/sustainable club that I am a member of. The campaign that I focused most on while in school was to eliminate the distribution of plastic bags on our university campus and replace them with a more sustainable alternative. In late May I got an email saying that the stores on our campus are willing to take part and show support for our campaign. My current job is to finish the application for the grant fund to put the campaign into motion. I will update more on our progress once the school year starts again in the fall. 

Making A Difference

This is one goal that I totally did not achieve at all thus far. I have only called my local representatives once so far this year. 


On a better note I have been able to significantlly reduce the amount of waste I produce in regards to bathroom products. I have done this with the help of several products that I will dedicate a whole blog post to in the future months. So use the three dashes in the upper right hand corner to subscribe so you don't miss that blog post. Currently the only waste I have is a few plastic bottles (which get recycled) and cotton rounds from removing my nail polish.

Getting Involved Locally

One event that I was able to volunteer at through my university was the university wide service day. Due to the help of a couple campus clubs the event was zero waste. On the actual service day I helped with both sorting trash into their appropriate bins (trash, compost and recycling) and helped to clean up a community member's front and backyard. Other than that one event I have not been able to get more involved locally due to my work and school schedule. This is a goal I know I will be able to work more towards once the school year starts up in the fall.


When it comes to formal education on the need to produce less trash I have not been able to achieve that so far in 2019. As a final project in one of my environmental classes I did a presentation on community and urban gardens. So in that sense I did some formal education that is loosely related to trash production. In a more informal way of educating people through everyday conversation I have helped people like my mom and grandmother to make more sustainable choices. When I first wrote this initial blog post I had just become a Girl Scout leader and had all of these ideas for how I was going to teach them about recycling and composting. Unfortunately I was unable to fulfill those ideas due to the Girl Scout curriculum already being written for us and not having the ability to change it.


If you follow my blog or any of my social media accounts then you might already know that I started composting at the end of my spring semester. For more information on that topic and this particular lifestyle change then check out my blog post on My Experience With Composting: Weeks 1-3

Food and Groceries

I have almost made my entire weekly grocery hall zero waste. Currently it is low waste with the only 'trash' being single use plastic from the chicken I buy every other week and the frozen broccoli that I buy each week. I purchase what I can from the bulk section of my supermarket and from the unpackaged organic produce section. Rarely I will buy something that comes in single use plastic. I have yet to find somewhere where I can purchase liquid laundry detergent in bulk so I just buy the Seventh Generation liquid detergent in the biggest plastic bottle I can find. I am very pleased with the progress I have made in regards to the low amount of waste that I produce from the foods that I consume. 

Saying NO to Shopping

In these past six months I can only remember purchasing new clothing items in Newport, Rhode Island and new jean shorts from Target. I have to make excuses for the Target shorts because I waited until the last minute and didn't have any for work and I also couldn't find anything else I wanted to buy with the Target gift card I was given. I did donate a big pile of clothes to thredUP and have made some purchases from the app since the start of 2019. If you want to learn more about thredUP then I suggest reading my review of their services and if you want a discount on your first purchase use this link to make your purchase discount (note I will also receive $10 off of a purchase). I also purchased a shirt and sweatshirt from Shawn Mendes' concert merchandise which had to be shipped because they did not have what I wanted to buy when I went to his concert this summer. Overall I have done significantly better this year than any previous year when it comes to participating in traditional consumerism. Confession: I went through a planner phase where I would got to Hobby Lobby or Dollar Tree at least once a week and buy stickers or washi tape to decorate my planner. Don't worry when I left this phase the washi tape went to my sister who uses it for her planner and will probably use it in her future classroom and some stickers went to my last place of employment. That actually reminds me that next time I go home I should go through the rest and see who I can give it to. In case you were wondering planning is still a hobby I love and I switched to digital planning a little over a year ago. Click here to learn more about that.


At the time of writing my initial blog post I was not working. Since then I have started working/interning at a children's center. While at work I produce more waste than I ever had in a day due to the need to adhere to policy when it comes to changing diapers and handling food. After talking to my boss I am still able to use my hand towel to avoid using paper towels. I also bring a bag for compost if I eat any fruit for snack, but other than that I don't eat because I would have to use paper plates or bowls to eat off of. 

During the first half of 2019 I was able to severely lessen the amount of waste I was producing personally and hope that this blog post encourages you to look at what I have done as inspiration to do the same in your life. Even though I do not have all of the answers and am far from perfect, I do have a list of environmental and zero waste focused blog posts below to help you get started or stay encouraged to be zero/low waste.


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