In this series I share tips on what toxin free & low waste alternatives I use in my household, that not only protect your health and the planet but helps you to save money as well!
What little trash we produce we collect selectively. I have a metal bin with 3 separate compartments for this purpose. I do not use a bin-bag for the plastic and paper parts, as I can just wash the removable buckets after emptying them. For any non-recyclable waste, I use the third compartment. Here I use a biodegradable bag, as this one can get a bit yucky. I tried paper bags, but as this kind of waste can be wet, it didn’t really work.
I try to shop packaging free whenever it’s possible or if packaging is unavoidable, I go for the recyclable packaging such as glass or paper. I always have a few textile bags with me in case I must purchase and carry stuff.
Packaging free shops are just great, you find not only dry goods such as flours, legumes, nuts and seeds, but some waste free personal care and household items as well, such as shampoo and soap bars, cleaning and washing powders and liquids in bulk, toilet paper and even washable textile female sanitary products!
You can either bring your own bags, jars and bottles to fill them up, or you can get some of these in the store. You measure your container before you fill them up, so their weight can be deducted from the weight of the goods. This takes some getting used to, but after your first shopping you will rock it like a real pro!
Tipp: Have a look if there is a packaging free shop in your area. If you live in Germany, the concept gains popularity by the day, so there is a good chance that there is a shop available near you.
So happy that finally a packaging free shop opened in my city recently: Duisburg Unverpackt
Before that, I had to drive to either Düsseldorf or Essen, which kinda killed the benefit due to the emission. But these stores are also great:
As we do not consume meat and aiming to live fully plant based, almost all our non-recyclable waste can be composted. I have an indoors worm composting system that produces great soil for my plants. No, it does not stink at all!
I will share my project with my little pet worms in a separate article, but until then, you can have a read why this composting system is so great: Vermicompost (Wikipedia)
All in all, I try to follow the main guideline not to buy anything new unless absolutely necessary. I try to get second hand things and just to live with less in general.
No, our yearly waste does not fit in a tiny jar yet, not even our monthly waste! This however is a personal journey and every little step count. Whatever you can do in your own household, just rethink convenience and do it. If everyone would do the same, we could turn around the decline of our home planet.