Steps towards Zero Waste in cosmetics and the day to day

I haven’t written much on the ‘simple life’ stuff  lately, partly because I’ve moved and it’s harder to do in my new home! However what I have been focused on is moving towards zero waste living. I’d previously been doing this, but I’m happy to see it’s now got a name and a bit of a movement – google it and you should find other ideas. However here are some of the steps I’ve taken:

  • while more fresh fruit and veg, deliberately avoiding the kind that is wrapped in plastic, unless it’s in the ‘reduced’ section and about to go out of date.
  • carrying around a travel mug and/or reusable coffee cup, particularly to my new church where they use paper cups, but also when out and about. (Though I’m thinking about giving up coffee tbh)
  • changed shampoo, conditioner and body wash for ‘soap’-like blocks from Lush Cosmetics. There is minimal paper wrapping that is optional, and no plastic.
  • For moisturiser, I’m using up some old almond oil, but I’m going to shift between a mixture of Lush massage bars and their hand/body lotions that come in black plastic tubs that they recycle themselves.
  • carrying reusable bags everywhere.
  • at work when they are putting on events, committing that I’ll do the washing up rather than using disposable plates and cups. Though, the last time I did this, I was running the event and someone washed up before I could get round to it…

One of the problems with modern environmentalism is that it looks for ways to ameliorate the effects of our current practices, such as offering recycling. But much stuff put into recycling bins don’t get recycled. The real solution is to reduce consumption and stop producing so much waste.

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Recycle or re-use? Ways to use rubbish

English: Recycle logo

English: Recycle logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Like a good green consumer, I faithfully recycle all the rubbish I can. My local council will take most items, like paper, plastic, glass, and even garden and kitchen waste.
But… I’ve decided that rather than put my rubbish out for an energy-consuming lorry to take away, to who knows where… I’m going to try and reuse it myself.
So:

  • I’m keeping paper and cardboard ready to make paper bricks. I’ll be trying them out in my stove in winter time and telling you all about it.
  • I’m composting my garden waste in the back garden, which didn’t achieve much until I found out what an activator was, and a cheap and plentiful source of it!
  • And, I’m keeping a large pile of jam jars, which I’ve written about here.

You definitely need storage space to take this route – luckily I’ve got a pantry which stores my paper and jam jars. And I’ve got an understanding housemate.

What ways of reusing rubbish have you find? Please comment below.