Skip to main content

My Zero Waste Struggles

On my blog I have shared my 2019 Zero Waste Goals. One thing I have strayed away from talking about is the areas in my life that I struggle with and why these areas are a struggle for me. In this blog post I am going to share the different parts of going zero waste that I am stilling working on and how I plan to change these habits. If you are new to my blog you may not know that I am in my second year of getting my Environmental Studies major and Environmental Education minor. Okay, let get into my zero waste struggles.

Frozen Food

The area in which I struggle that most to reduce single use plastics is in food packaging. I can't be too hard on myself because I have switched to buying somethings not in plastic, but there are still some food items that I continue to purchase that are in plastic packaging. The freezer items in my weekly grocery haul that come in plastic are deli ham, frozen chicken tenderloins, vegetables, pepperoni, and pizza crusts. For some of these items I cannot find zero waste alternatives at my grocery store and that is why I still purchase them. For example the only type of broccoli that my grocery store sells is in plastic, whether it is a head of raw broccoli or frozen broccoli. I was completely Low FODMAP for six months and only recently started reintroducing foods. One food that I will be reintroducing later in February is beans. If all goes well I will stop buying ham and switch to beans as my source of protein with my lunch. Not only is this a zero waste switch because I can buy beans in bulk, but it also promotes other environmental practices of lessening the amount of meat that you consume. I have to admit that most of the reason I continue to purchase these foods packaged in plastic is because its a habit and making the switch to an alternative takes time, thought, and sometimes more money. 

Other Foods

Some other products that I purchase that come in plastic bottles, jars, or tubs are almond butter, ketchup, and vegan margarine. Again the reason for most of reason I continue to purchase these items is because its habit. Once I know wether or not I can handle high-fructose corn syrup then I will look into buying ketchup that is not Low FODMAP and comes in a glass bottle instead of plastic. I use almond milk for baking, but can never finish a whole carton before the expiration date, so I buy the individually bottled 8 oz. almond milks. I have the appliances necessary to make almond milk and almond butter at home, but honestly I am not motivated to do so right now. I am usually not one to choose convince over the environment, but that seems to be my excuse right now. With my food restrictions its hard to find flours and chocolate chips in the bulk section that I can eat, so certainly I am buying them in plastic packaging. What I need to do is find a bulk store that sells a flour and chocolate that I can have and just stalk up. One baking item that I have tried numerous times to buy in bulk at different grocery stores is brown sugar. I have yet to find a store that sells it, so I continue to buy it in a box that then has the sugar in plastic. My mom bought me some tea not knowing that I am mostly drinking loose leaf tea, I am using those up but don't plan on buying any more. Also let me know if you know of any mint or peppermint loose leaf tea that I can buy in bulk. I am struggling to find some that doesn't have plastic packaging. 

Personal Items

One area of my life that I know and have accepted that will continue to produce plastic waste is when it comes to my health. I rely on a number of prescriptions ranging from pills to face washes for acne for health reasons. When it comes to the plastic that I produce from my prescriptions I always recycle them properly either by talking them to a recycling center or to my pharmacy. I have mentioned this before, but one of my favorite ways to pamper myself is to paint my nails. This is something that I do every week. I have looked into eco-friendly and zero waste alternatives to the products that I use, but I simply don't have the money to buy these things when I already have supplies that I am working to use up. I know when it comes to living a zero waste lifestyle you have to be willing to give up certain things, but right now painting my nails brings me joy and I am not willing to give it up. When it comes to toilet paper I continue to buy it from the grocery store in the plastic because I do not have it in my grocery budget to purchase it from somewhere like Seventh Generation from Amazon or Who Gives A Crap.

Online Purchases

When it comes to some of the zero waste items that I purchase online, they always seem to come in plastic packaging no matter if I request for a box or not. For example I bought another tube of David's Natural Tooth Paste and the Amazon packaging was plastic. This is one area that I cannot avoid due to the fact that I can only purchase bamboo toothbrushes and David's Natural Toothpaste from Amazon.

If you are working towards zero waste don't be discouraged if you run into struggles just like I have. Certainly I am struggling with eliminating the convenience of some products, changing habits, and the money required to make some of the switches. Let me know in the comments what zero waste struggles you are facing.

Make sure you click the three dashes in the right hand corner to subscribe using your email so you never miss a blog post. 

More Zero Waste and Sustainability Related Blog Posts

Don't forget to stay up to date on my blog by following my social media accounts!


Popular posts from this blog

Reasonable Dorm Room Cleaning Schedule

Reasonable Dorm Room Cleaning Schedule After my first semester of college I have developed a cleaning routine that I have been able to keep up with. You can read my previous blog post about What I Learned In My First Semester of College . Over the past few months I have experimented and I am confident in the routine that I have created.  Personalize When it comes to personalizing the schedule you could add or take out the different chores. For example I also wash my retainers weekly and monthly my roommate and I decorate the marker board on the outside of our door. We also only clean our mirrors when needed since we have found that they do not seem to become too dirty regularly. Something that I would make sure you sanitize every week would be the surfaces that you are constantly touching. That means light switches, door handles, and your desk. By doing this I managed to avoid getting sick when my roommate and other floor mates go sick. Another task that you could add to y

Bullet Journal Fitness and Workout Spread Ideas

If you want to purchase some of these spreads you can buy the digital bundle from my Etsy shop: Simply Paperless .  I had created six different bullet journal fitness and workout trackers/spreads. These spreads were made in my digital bullet journal using the GoodNotes App.   I highly recommend to use a stylus when using GoodNotes as a digital bullet journal. For this project I used the Adonit Dash 3 Stylus , which I highly recommend. I also recommend the Bargain Depot Stylus 2 Pack  from Amazon. Daily Workout Plan This first spread can be used to plan out what exercises you plan to workout each day of the week. I would recommend this spread for those who are just starting to workout. I did not created the workout that is used as the example for the content of this spread. The workout is from Pintrest Workout Plan .  Workout Tracker This next tracker is in the format of a monthly calendar. In order to track the different workouts accomplished throughout

Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus Book Review

Reasons For Reading This Book: Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus was Jackie's choice for the month of October. Jackie is the host of The Readheads Podcast Book Club. This is a monthly podcast book club that I have been apart of since it was established in 2020. I love getting to hear the thoughts of the hosts each month.  Content of the Book: Elizabeth Zott is a chemist but is much more than meets the eye. She is not only beautiful but also extremely smart, confident, strong, and not afraid to beat to her own drum. Elizabeth is one of the only female chemists working at Hastings Research Institute. She is viewed as different by everyone there. It's there that she meet Nobel-Prize nominated chemist Calvin Evans. Calvin who falls in love with Elizabeth is described as a loner, grudge holder, and extremely brilliant. Fast forward a few years and Elizabeth is now a single-mother working as the host of the most watched cooking show, Supper at Six . With Elizabeth's ways of