The Struggle Is Real

Hey Guys!

So I thought I would catch up with you about how this journey is going so far. I am absolutely IN LOVE with how many people have replied to my Facebook posts or texted me saying that my blog has made an impact on them. I think I’m addicted to hearing how all of you are making little changes in your life, just because you read one of my posts. But hey, there are worse things I could be addicted to – you’re welcome mom.

First things first, the issues.

Obviously most of my waste is in the kitchen, so naturally most of my problems revolved around food. Over the past couple weeks I have found myself trying to buy zero waste food while out of the house. Many times I end up waiting until I get home because I don’t want to pay for a $15 burger and/or ain’t nobody got time for that. Also, the burden of being allergic to practically everything makes it that much harder to find little zero waste snacks. (Shoutout to everyone else who is celiac/GF.) I didn’t really succeed at all with finding on-the-go food.

cliff

I did have a GF chocolate chip cookie once, but I had to awkwardly just sit in the cafe for a whole 10 minutes to eat it. I don’t know why I think that’s so weird, to just sit for a short period of time. Maybe because most people get everything to go and are living a fast-paced life? Maybe because if you get something ‘for here’, you have a laptop, a medical journal or are editing a lot of B-roll for your YouTube channel? Whatever it is, I felt very uncomfortable getting something for here and then staring out the window for 10 minutes, then leaving. But hey! If that 10 minutes saves some trash, I can get over my weird complex.

Dose
[GF Chocolate Chip Cookie and Blueberry oolong tea (don’t worry, I recycled the cup) from Dose Coffee & Tea]

In the next coming weeks I am going to try and solve my food problems. I have decided to start carrying a backpack, rather than a purse. That way I can store some reusable sandwich bags, a mason jar and everything else I usually carry, without having to bring like five purses.

It was my birthday this past weekend and my boyfriend won at life and bought all my presents at the container store. We are going on a date night later this week to drink wine and paint, but I’m honestly so excited for my container store presents. 🙂

Container Store
[(L to R) 30oz mason jar, reusable spoon/fork/knife utensil, reusable/washable sandwich bag, stainless steel lunchbox.]

Hoping this will help with my starvation throughout the day.

Next issue I am having is produce. As you saw in my grocery store haul post, almost all the produce I wanted was wrapped in plastic somehow. I didn’t think much on it, because I was at Kroger, and not Whole Foods, and I also hadn’t tried the Farmer’s Market. Now I have…

Farmer's Market

Farmer's Market

Farmer's Market

It was a big failure. Although all the produce looks nice and I would have loved to support local farming, there wasn’t much option and the produce that was there wasn’t anything I was interested in buying. I did grab a bag of peaches from The Peach Truck for my boyfriend, and he said they are delicious. It’s been in the 90’s the past couple weeks here and the produce definitely looked sad. The only leafy green options was kale. I know I should want to eat kale but I do not want to eat kale.

Now that I have a sense of what the Farmer’s Market will offer, I plan to go there when I need those specific produce items they sell, but there’s no way it will be able to replace my grocery store produce shopping. It’s just hard to justify the drive all the way out there for 2 tomatoes and a couple ears of corn. I plan to go on a Whole Foods shopping trip and will let you know how that goes. I’m hoping I will also be able to find more bulk food options, like pasta and olive oil, to reduce on my container trash. Please pray for my bank account.

Last but not least, what is trash? I am getting most of my information from Lauren Singer and she defines trash as anything she can’t recycle or reuse in some way. But honestly, that means a plastic water bottle is totally fine to buy everyday and recycle at night. It’s recyclable. It’s not trash. So I am slowly learning what is actually harmful vs trash. Yes, that water bottle could be recycled, and therefore can’t exactly be considered “waste”, but it’s wasteful. Using a mason jar or any sort of sustainable water bottle just makes more sense. It made me realize that maybe this journey isn’t about going zero waste, but zero plastic. Right now all my tupperware is plastic ziplock containers. Is that wasteful? I’ve reused them for years, but when I’m done with them – can I recycle them? When I’m done with my glass or metal containers, do I recycle those? For now I’m not going to feel bad or beat myself up over a plastic based container if I’m using it over and over, but I also won’t be purchasing them anymore.

Now for the positives! Woo!

Asking Starbucks or Smoothie King to put my beverage in my mason jar is proving not awkward at all. Starbucks also gives a 10 cent discount if you bring your own cup and I’m assuming I’ll find more businesses along the way that do the same.

Smoothie King
[My last Smoothie King in their styrofoam cups and the mason jar that I will use instead. ]

I know in California it is now illegal for companies to use plastic bags, so everyone brings their own canvas bags, which is awesome. I definitely try and use my canvas bags as much as possible, but there are those days where I forget and don’t want to drive back home. I mean, I’m already at the market. Good thing is, most grocery stores have trash cans outside that are solely for plastic bags. So even when I feel like a failure at life when I forget my bag, I know that I can at least recycle the ones that I will be taking home with me.

Finally, eating homemade meals is making me feel really good. Yes, I feel super cool, but more importantly I feel healthier. I don’t have worry about if there’s secretly gluten in what I’m eating and I also don’t have to worry about packaging or wasting anything. I’ve also had a lot of weight gain from my birth control and thought that was inevitable. My doctor told me it was going to happen and I thought I was eating super healthy – so I didn’t know what else I could do to combat the weight gain. But honestly, my clothes are already starting to fit again because I am eating more “clean”, as some people would say. Plus, I’m learning new recipes and eliminating a lot of chemicals and extra fats and oils by knowing exactly what I am putting on my plate. I still want to make zoodles, but don’t want to have to buy the machine to make zoodles. Have you made zoodles?

Hope you made it to the end of this post! haha. I know it’s long. Thank you again so so much to everyone that has commented on my blog. I love you so much. It honestly makes my whole day when someone asks me about it or texts me and says they never realized how much plastic was in their life. I’d love to go on this adventure together with all of you rather than alone, so keep letting me know what you are up to.

Talk soon,
Audrey

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