The average American generates 4.4 pounds of waste every day, and only about 1.5 of those pounds are even recycled or composted (EPA, 2016). The good news is, little adjustments can add up to big impacts.
Simple Ways We Can Preserve Our Planet
I’m Ally, a local mom that is passionate about the Zero Waste Movement. I reached out to Kat about writing this blog so that I could share all that I’ve learned with the FIT4MOM village. I hope to inspire many of you to implement small changes, and maybe even some larger ones.
Tips for Reducing Waste
- Reusable Bags: Start a collection and keep them in the trunk of your car;
- Skip pre-packaged produce and say no to plastic produce bags: bring your own cotton or mesh bags to the store;
- Bring your own containers to the meat, seafood or cheese counters;
- Shop the bulk bins and fill up your own bags from home. When you get home, transfer your food to jars or containers and reuse the bags;
- Bring your own mug. Bonus: most coffee shops will even give you a small discount;
- Carry a Zero Waste Kit - This includes a jar, a small cloth napkin and reusable utensils;
Buy used whenever possible and quit fast fashion! (To learn about the massive problems within our fashion industry, see The True Cost documentary on Netflix) Here is a list of some great spots where you can purchase or trade gently used items:
- CHLA Thrift Shops in Burbank
- The Habitat for Humanity ReStore in Atwater Village
- Flea markets (once per month): Rose Bowl Flea Market & Pasadena City College Flea Market
- Online: Swap.com and Thredup.com
- Mom’s Club annual swap
- Wear it Once (kids)
- That’s a Wrap
- Swap Society
- Local Buy Nothing Group : these are often found on Facebook
- Swap with a friend!
- Try a BYO container option. Check out Sustain LA for their refill station and check out the website for their pop up schedule, and updates on their upcoming retail location;
- Shop at LUSH for package free and in store recyclable packaging options;
- Try a Zero Waste online merchant - They will send you products in packages or bottles to send back. Check out Refill Revolution, The Refill Shoppe, or Plaine Products;
- Use bar soap: find package-free soaps at many local farmers markets or Whole Foods;
- Try a shampoo bar: popular brands include Unwrapped Life and Ethique;
- Purchase Bamboo toothbrushes - Once you are done with it, the bristles can be removed and the rest can be composted.
- Disposable pads can be swapped for washable ones, or a menstrual cup can replace your tampons. You could even try period panties like Thinx. In addition to being kinder to the environment, it's also more economical!
- Consider cloth diapers: cloth diapers can save tons, but if that isn't for you consider a cloth diaper service or a diaper composting service. Blessed Bums
Around the House:
- Use rags to clean your home instead of paper towels;
- Buy cleaning products via refill instead of disposable plastic bottles (see Bathroom section) or make your own;
- Try composting: The City of Burbank offers a free, extremely helpful workshop for beginners that includes a compost bin. You can have functioning and minimally-smelly compost that produces nutrient-rich soil to use in your yard.
Other useful tips:
Google: Use google to find your own waste-free or waste-less options for things you need. For example, I recently broke my phone case and discovered Pela Case, a sustainable alternative to purchasing another plastic one!
Invest in high-quality, classic toys like wood blocks and trains.
Avoid plastic, as well as things such as trendy characters that are more likely to end up in a landfill eventually.
When you do buy new, ask about the practices the company uses, including the sustainability of their material and the working conditions and wages of the seamstresses using #whomademyclothes via fashionrevolution.org
Together we can build a world for our children where natural resources still exist for them to enjoy, and reusable items (not disposables) becomes normal!
Please feel free to reach out with any further questions - firstname.lastname@example.org. To learn more about the problem of excessive consumption, check out The Story of Stuff Project