Zero Waste Master Class

Hey Guys!

Yes, my first master class. (Side note: It’s driving me nuts that I can’t find online whether “master class” is one word, or two. Bear with me.) I am so cussing nervous, but also excited. I am walking this weird internal line of “Only 7 spots!? That’s gonna sell out too quick and people are going to be so mad at you.” but also, “7 whole spots!? Are you nuts! How are you going to fill that?!”

I’ve been wanting to host a class for awhile now. When I started this zero waste journey, a lot of people had a lot of the same questions. Even though I love talking about zero waste and love answering anyone’s questions, I thought that a class would be a great alternative.

I am so looking forward to having a room full of like-minded people, all eager to make a change.

I am also very excited to shutdown stereotypes and bring a whole new outlook into the mainstream daily life. I get teased a lot at work and most people that are from the south call me granola and ask me if I shave my legs. Which is fine. I know most of the time it’s all in good fun. What upsets me more is that there’s this assumption that if you care about the earth, you also don’t bathe, don’t shave, and spend all your free time inside a drum circle. If that sounds like you, carry on with your bad self, but that’s not me.

If I can help change the public’s view about people who are “green”, I’ve succeeded. Nashville is such a growing, contemporary city and I am so excited to potentially be a part of that change and growth.

The class is going to be an hour long, and I will also be giving everyone a “Zero Waste Starter kit” at the end of the class. It will go over what zero waste is, why it’s important, and how to start on the journey yourself. I hope to focus on the very important fact that the goal for everyone may not be zero waste, but less waste. I really hope that when everyone leaves my class they understand that by simply bringing a reusable water bottle, rather than a plastic bottle, they’re a superhero. I don’t want to bring on any guilt or any paranoia that they all have to be zero waste or they fail.

Baby steps, guys.

If you’re reading this, live in or around Nashville and are thinking you might want one of those 7 spots, click here.

If you don’t live in Nashville, but know someone who does – feel free to spread the word like wild fire.

The community I’ve fallen into and the friendships I’ve made on Instagram have really helped me throughout this journey. They answer all the questions and encourage me during those little victories. I really, really hope to create that same camaraderie here, in person, in Nashville.

Talk soon,
Audrey

PS: Special shoutout to Lauren Singer and Andrea Sanders for really inspiring me to go through with this class. They’re awesome and their websites are super helpful. 🙂

Look Ma! No Plastic!

Hey guys!

Let’s be honest, making your own beauty products sounds awful. From the effort to making them, to the fact that you don’t even know if they’ll work – can’t be a good idea. But after using my Lush products, I have become more accepting of the more natural choices. After I went through my Febreze and facial lotion I decided to give DIY a chance.

The DIY Febreze was super easy to make and all I had to buy were the essential oils. I purchased Jasmine and it smells so good. Although, the recipe called for 8-10 drops, I can barely smell it on my fabrics. So I definitely dropped about 5 – 50 more inside. Since the base is alcohol, it does have a strong odor when spraying it, but that lasts about 5 seconds and then everything just smells clean and fresh.

The facial lotion was a little bit more difficult. I am making my own because I wanted to reduce the plastic in our home, but in order to make this lotion you need aloe vera. So I went to the store and bought the aloe vera but then thought to myself this is pointless. This bottle of aloe is plastic and the facial lotion I would have bought would be the same size, so how am I saving plastic? I couldn’t find any answers besides to find some in bulk – impossible. So I bought an aloe vera plant, and will be using it from now on.

  
[in a glass canning jar with a metal lid]
1 part coconut butter or coconut oil
2 parts aloe vera
8-10 drops of essential oil

[in a glass bottle, with aluminium top]
1 part rubbing alcohol
1 part water
8-10 (or 50) drops of essential oil

I used tea tree oil in my lotion, rather than an essential oil because I have acne and wanted to make sure I was still fighting that issue. The coconut oil definitely makes this lotion super oily. Yes – I know that sounds obvious, but it was much more oily than I originally assumed. I use about a pea size or smaller for my whole face, neck and hands. I was warned by a friend that the natural oils would clean out the pores on my face, so I could break out while my body adjusts. I haven’t encountered that yet – but I also only use it when my face feels like it needs some moisture. I definitely don’t use it every night. We’ll see how long that lasts with winter right around the corner.

It does smell a bit odd because the coconut oil is sweet and delicious and the tea tree oil is, well, tea tree oil. I got used to it and now kind of enjoy the smell.

Next, I am interested in potentially a stain remover. But I’m sorry, oxyclean is absolutely amazing and it gets everything out. I don’t see how a natural substitute would be just as effective. This might be a plastic guilty pleasure I am sticking with. :/

Talk soon,
Audrey

Lush Haul Empties

Hey guys!

I have officially gone through everything I bought at Lush awhile back. I am still in shock at how long the products lasted. Everything is so small! But they’ve lasted almost longer than anything jumbo sized from CVS.

Curly Wurly Shampoo: I didnt mind this one. The consistancy was weird, but I definitely got used to it. I especially learned to put it all over my head and then add a little of water and then scrub – works a lot better. It leaves little chunks of coconut in your hair that usually would brush out when dry, but there were a couple times a glob would be on top of my head and look like dandruff and that’s not cute.

SUBSTITUTE: Shampoo Bar! I believe the scent I bought is Jason and the Argan Oil. It smells so cussing good. It has rose and lemon in it and I want to eat it, but I won’t. I didnt understand how shampoo could be in bar form, but it works so much better than the Curly Wurly goop. Once your hair is thoroughly wet, you just rub this little nugget all over your head and suds up and is awesome. I bought the tin for it and keep it closed when not in use so it doesn’t get water logged. LOVE this.

Veganese Conditioner: This smells so good, but thats about it. I couldn’t tell if it was working or not, and since you’re only supposed to use a small amount I felt like it was pointless.

SUBSTITUTE: This crazy shampoo bar. I don’t remember what scent I chose, but I looked on Lush.com and apparently there’s only one. I have that. This chunk of love is so weird. The smell is overpowering. I can put other products in my hair, dry it, style it and still all I smell is this bar. Like the Veganese, I don’t know if this is doing anything to my hair. I won’t be buying this again.

T’eo Deodorant: Definitely one of the best things, ever. Not only is it plastic free, but it smells so good and works really well. No substitute for this one. I love too much to buy something else.

Retread tester conditioner: Absolutely disgustung. It smells like hot rubber and patchouli oil. So not down. Definitely not buying a full size.

R&B Deep Conditioner: This stuff is magical. Definitely my favorite item I purchased. I use it almost everyday, and look how much is left! Can’t say enough good things about this.

Toothy Tabs: I’ll admit I was nervous to use these on a regular basis. The texture is like brushing your teeth with chalk and none of the flavors they offer are the standard pepermint or minty fresh. So it’s a giant mindf*** trying to understand how using something that tastes like cloves and coffee (Atomic flavor) is helping your teeth and breath. But I’ve grown accustom to them and don’t think I’ll ever go back to normal toothpaste. After I was done with my Dirty Toothy Tabs, my boyfriend and I bought Atomic and now he’s hooked as well. I also purchased a new flavor for me, Ultrablast, because it smells like mint and I’m trying to keep it as normal as possible. I will confess the Atomic flavor is delicious though. As far as Ultrablast goes – I know, looks gross. Why would anyone combine lavendar and wasabi and mint – just NO. But it’s actually my favorite so far and leaves a fresh minty taste.

Between my last haul and now I finally went through all my face wash – Woo! F*** you, microbeads!! Never buying microbeads again. Instead, I opted to try this acne fighting solid face wash.

It’s called Coal Face and it’s sent from heaven. I have bad acne and have been losing an active world war III with it for years. This chunk of black gold is winning the battle. It has charcoal and licorice and other happy things and works like a dream. The chunks of charcoal replace the evil microbeads which I love because I wanted some sort of scrub. Highly recommend.

I am still so in love with Lush and hope some of you venture into one of their stores soon. Let me know if you try something weird!

Talk soon,
Audrey

My First Month Counting My Trash

I DID IT! I MADE IT! One month of trash was able to fit into a mason jar. I was nervous that I wasn’t aware of how much trash I was actually making and that my jar would fill up after, hmmm – a week. For anyone who thinks this is impossible, it’s not. If I can do it, you can do it.

jar

everything

Most of my trash was plastic. Obviously. I had a couple large items like the cheese plastic bag, the plastic that the cauliflower was wrapped in and I bought some brussel sprouts that just had to come in a mesh bag. Also that super gross looking tissue at the bottom is the wax paper that came under some fries I ordered. Doesn’t smell good. [see above] Medium items were all the produce wrappers. So dumb. [see below]

produce wrappers

These made me the most mad because – WHY? Why?! Drove me nuts that carrots are wrapped twice and every produce item had a sticker on it. I started only taking fruit that the sticker had fallen off, and then just writing down the SKU number to tell the person at checkout. I am going to try and avoid these stickers and wrappers by shopping at a farmer’s market.

Small items included the plastic seals on kombucha bottles, the wrappers from nyquil and dayquil, a couple straws and random plastic wrappers on things I didn’t even realize I was buying.

NOT INCLUDED IN MY JAR:

One million tissues from when I was sick. I only have a couple cloth napkins at this point and with the amount of yuck I was producing, those towels wouldn’t be able to handle it.
Anything to do with my lady bits. Because I’m not switching over to anything zero waste at this point and also why would I collect that? Gross.
Anything I owned before my zero waste journey. I haven’t counted anything I owned before because purposely using those items to get rid of them so that one day I can be completely waste free. *I’m looking at you, old make up and face wash*

THINGS I CAN’T GIVE UP AT THE MOMENT:

Q-tips: I know everyone says they’re bad for you and you shouldn’t be using them to clean your ears in the first place – but I think visible wax in your ear is disgusting. I’m not down to walk around with that. Sorry landfills.
How I plan to make this zero waste: No idea.

Personal flossers: I would use normal floss that you wrap around your fingers and such, but that never seems to go well.
How I plan to make this zero waste: There is that machine that uses water to floss, rather than actual floss. It’s about $35.00 so it’s definitely affordable – just have to save up for it.

Oxyclean: I know some people use a mixture of dawn and peroxide or any other combination of things – but those definitely dont get out the stains well enough. (I’m looking at you, turmeric…)
How I plan to make this zero waste: If anyone knows of a really good homemade stain remover, let me know. I want to be able to get out everything. EVER-Y-THING.

THINGS I NOTICED:
I was making trash that I didn’t consider trash. For instance, when I’m in a public restroom, I’m not going to take in my linen napkin to wipe my hands. Nasty. So now I swing my hands around like a crazy person and then wipe my hands on my pants, or use the air dryer if they have them. I know a lot of people say those blowers are like a bacteria breeding ground, so I’m hoping I don’t die. Shout-out to the bulk hand sanitizer we have at work.

Trash from eating out is something I kind of ignored until this month. I didn’t count the straws I was served, or the napkins that were brought to me. That’s the restaurant’s trash – not mine, right? How about wrong. The struggle here is I’m brought the napkin and the water before I am even asked. So a lot of times it’s a losing battle. I’m going to make “no straws” one of my top priorities. But I’m already the weird jar lady and I don’t want to add the “picky bitch who says no straws in her whiskey” at the bar to my list of nicknames. :/

Most places are nice, some are – less nice. I usually only encounter problems with newer employees. I do feel like crawling inside my own skin whenever I hand the employee my jar and they say they can’t accept it, or they don’t know and then run and get a manager. I know I’m doing a good thing, but when there is a line of people behind me and they’re now having to wait for this weird hippie to see if her stupid jar is okay to be used – that’s when I want to just take the trash and cut my losses. So embarrassing. So awkward. But like I said, it’s usually only new employees that don’t know me yet.

I did try and order Starbucks for the first time since going zero waste. Although I worked at Starbucks for about 3 years, I still wasn’t on my game enough to make no waste. I started saying my order and held up my jar, but they started writing my order on the cup before I could say I brought a jar. Also, I know a lot of the time Starbucks employees use a cup because they need the lines to measure the drink. So a part of me wants to say it doesn’t have to exact, please don’t use a plastic up. But that’s also super embarrassing and I’d feel like an asshole. The struggle is real.

The impact I’m having on my coworkers seriously makes my day, everyday. One of my managers bought me a huge recycle bin and that made me so cussing happy. Even though I’m the weird jar lady, everyone has been so supportive. Zero waste at work has been a breeze with these awesome coworkers.

Thanks to everyone that has liked or commented on here or instagram. It makes me feel like I’m not doing it alone. And shoutout to my boyfriend for still wanting to be seen with the lady who brings 10 containers to Whole Foods and needs them all separately weighed. You’re cool.

Talk soon,
Audrey

My Trash

Hey guys!

By now I have some zero waste shopping experiences under my belt and have accumulated a bunch of reusable items to get me through my day, so I have decided to start collecting my trash.

That’s right. I will now know how much trash I make in a month. I’m not going to count anything that I have purchased before the month, that just happens to run out during September. I’m only counting trash I purchase as of today.

I’m slightly nervous that I’m going to make an ass out of myself. I’ve been on this zero waste journey, and if I end up still making a lot of trash – well, that’s just embarrassing. I know I’m at least making a little bit of a difference with my lifestyle changes, but I really want to be completely waste free.

As much as I am nervous, I’m definitely more excited. I’m so curious to see how much trash I actually make in a month. I definitely have noticed a difference over the past couple months already. Our recycle bin is always over flowing and we are definitely taking out the trash a lot less. To be clear, trash is anything that can’t be composted, recycled or reused.

I’ve bought another large mason jar, like my smoothie jar, and will be keeping the trash in there. Really scared it won’t all fit in the jar, but I don’t think I have any large items, so cross your fingers.

Wish me luck!
Audrey

OMG, you’re like, so healthy. Like SO healthy.

Hey guys!

Today I wanted to talk about a “normal” upbringing. What even is that? Does that exist? Is normal even a thing, or is normal just a fancy word for ‘the majority of people do it this way’? To give you a background on my “normal” childhood and what we ate – it was healthy. We never had soda or junk food in the house. If we had anything that was considered unhealthy it was a special occasion, like a birthday or my dad had done the shopping and only bought mint chip ice cream, whole milk and frosted flakes. My school lunches always had a balanced diet. Usually a peanut butter and honey sandwich, some apples, (no skin, because – ew), some graham crackers or tortilla chips, and a napkin with a love note from my mom that I will never admit I loved because I’m still trying to be cool.

In Nashville however, it’s a lot of “down home” southern cooking, fast food and complete disregard for salad. Salad is totally offended – btw. And no – a fried chicken salad does not count.

To me, anything unhealthy should be few and far between. Although, I was raised with the awareness of nutrition and what was bad for me – we weren’t perfect and I definitely understand that there are things you can’t give up or change. But that’s not what is so awful. That’s not my point.

One of the most shocking things for me moving here, was that eating healthy for every meal was considered weird. Since I’m allergic to basically everything, I tend to make my own food. When I make my own food, it’s going to be healthy. Even when it’s dessert, it’s going to be healthy. What’s the point of creating your own meals, if you’re going to be, essentially, poisoning yourself. Dessert can be chocolate dipped bananas with peanut butter. It’s delicious, and won’t give you heart disease. There is nothing more annoying than coming into work everyday and having at least one person comment on my food. EVERY. DAY.

I have a couple friends who talk about their weight, what they eat, and how they look more often than the weather and traffic – combined. Clearly they’re aware of it, so why are they so reluctant to change? I’m assuming it’s because of how they were raised. If everyday as a child they were allowed to eat whatever they want, and now as an adult, they are trying to be healthy – nothing will ever taste as good as that fried chicken and fries.

The human body treats food and drugs almost the same. If everyday you eat sugary and high fatty foods, you will crave those foods. It’s an addiction. Stop giving your body crap, and your body will have a withdrawal, and then have a party. You will start to crave that salad, without the fried chicken on top. You will see a difference in your energy, or those headaches you always get, or your insomnia. Food effects them all, so why not change? Stop eating crap and you’ll stop feeling like crap.

Just to let you in on what I do put in my face, it’s not all kale and pine nuts. My staple foods are apples and peanut butter, veggies and ranch, a homemade burrito bowl, a matcha smoothie, and a romaine salad with random fixings. Obviously I do not eat just these foods everyday, but at least one of these items is my backpack everyday.

What breaks my heart is people asking me about my meals, and wanting me to teach them about nutrition out of complete desperation. No one should be that unaware of diet and nutrition. One woman I talked to, who has an obese daughter and is obese herself, started crying because she didn’t know what to do, and also couldn’t say ‘no’ to her child. First off, saying ‘no’ to your child regarding junk food is never a bad thing – EVER. If you can’t handle saying no to your child, or have them cry because they wanted McDonald’s, check yourself. But here, food is a way of life. Food is religion. Food is happiness. So denying your child junk food, is essentially denying your child happiness. That is why people are so unhealthy here. Food is not happiness. Food is sustenance. Memories are happiness. The people at the dinner table are happiness. Food is not.

Not saying food can’t be delicious, because let me tell you – I could eat apples with globs of peanut butter all day. ALL. DAY. The most important thing is that people learn to make their food delicious and healthy. All food is delicious if you want it to be. I feel like no one makes their own food anymore. If you make your own food, you can control how delicious it is. Hence, my globs of peanut butter.

I am thinking of posting a couple YouTube videos of how I make my food, healthy and zero waste. Let me know if that’s something that sounds interesting. 🙂 For now, here are some of my favorite info-graphics.

Click here for the 24 must see diagrams that I live by.

Below is the best smoothie chart, ever.
The-Ultimate-Green-Smoothie-Formula

Hope those help!

Talk soon,
Audrey

Whole Foods isn’t just for millionaires…

Hey guys!

Today I wanted to share how I save money while shopping at Whole Foods. Yes, I save money. It’s possible.

First, let me point out that I was spending about $50.00 every week at Kroger/Ralph’s for my food before I went zero waste. So when I say I’m saving money at Whole Foods, I’m saying I’m spending less than $50.00 per trip.

Now that everything is out on the table, let’s get down to it.

Stay on the outside of the grocery store. Buying package free foods (at Whole Foods or any “normal” market) will save you a lot of money.

Only buy what you need. Whenever I have a recipe, I bring measuring cups and my own containers and shop in the bulk section. I save so much because, for example, if I need one cup of chocolate chips, I only buy that one cup. Instead of spending $5 or more on a bag of packaged chocolate chips, I spend under a dollar on the one cup of bulk chocolate chips.

Shop oragnic. Whole Foods is all organic, so there are no markups. Whenever I am at a normal market there is always an organic and non-organic option. Obviously, the organic option is more expensive. But since Whole Foods is all organic, there are no markups. If you want to buy organic, I highly suggest Whole Foods or a farmer’s market.

Bulk is beautiful. For example, salad mix. My boyfriend used to buy a packaged salad mix of kale and spinach. It was a plastic box for $4.00. When he went zero waste, he bought a bundle of organic spinach and a bundle of organic kale – each $1.00. When we got home, he spent about 10 minutes washing and cutting up the bundles. He ended up with twice the amount of salad mix, and cut his cost in half. He was basically paying $2.00 extra for saving 10 minutes of prep time and for half the product. I repeat, bulk is beautiful.

To really drive the point home, here is my most recent shopping list:

• $2.99 Head of romaine lettuce
• $2.19 Bundle of bananas
• $0.67 Three carrots (big, with the tops still attached)
• $4.15 1lb of freshly ground peanut butter
• $1.60 About a cup a kalamata olives
• $2.00 An avocado
• $0.86 Half a pound of bulk black beans
• $0.69 A tomato
• $6.00 4 Fresh mozarella balls in water

Total: $21.15

Like I said at the top of the post, I’m used to spending $50.00. This trip I spent about $20.00 – TWENTY. Everything was organic, everything was in my own containers. Zero waste, plastic free and cheap! I wish I would have known about zero waste in college. I would have had so much more money for Forever 21 dresses and jaeger bombs. (embarrassing)

**Disclaimers: Since I am now making the majority of my meals, my kitchen is stocked with a lot of kitchen staples to go with my grocery items. I plan on making a giant salad with the romaine lettuce and kalamata olives. I already have feta cheese and the salad dressing. I am going to make a caprese salad with the tomato and mozarella, I already have the olive oil and balsamic vinegar. So I will say, my first couple of trips were closer to the $50.00 I was used to as I stocked up on those kitchen staples.

I am also vegetarian (for the most part), so my shopping is always cheaper because meat is more expensive than beans.

If you do have a craving for lunch meat, the deli is super accomidating to zero waste. You buy the amount you want and have it wrapped in paper. Cheap and waste free!

Talk soon,
Audrey

Not Everyone Loves a Good Mason Jar

Hey guys!

Hipster weddings are not the only place you should be able to use a mason jar. Since starting this zero waste journey, I have been carrying around at least one mason jar with me at all times. It’s spill proof, plastic free and just like those weddings – I look super cute using it. But lately I’ve hit a roadblock with my cuteness, and my mason jars.

I love matcha smoothies and have been going to Smoothie King every since my boyfriend (originally from the east coast) told me that the smoothies are better than Jamba Juice and it was an answer to his prayers to be back in a state that served the essence of happiness that is, Smoothie King.

The store next to my house has been so amazing and has accepted the “weird jar lady” and always takes my giant 40 oz mason jar. I told them about my plastic free life and how I didn’t want to use the provided styrofoam and plastic cups. They have always been so awesome and I’m so happy with my experience with those employees. But I veered off my normal path and went to another store that was not so down with the zero waste life.

I asked them to use my mason jar instead of putting my smoothie inside their cups and he said he couldn’t because it was a health code violation. He also felt the need to point out that it was gross because he didn’t know where my jar has been and if my jar was dirty or not. Just to be clear, my jar was sparkling clean, but I’m pretty sure it’s my business if I want to use a hella gross jar or not. I worked at Starbucks for too long and I had customers with coffee stained mugs, with thermoses that still had DAYS old latte in them, and people with the same cussing paper cup they used two days ago at the Starbucks down the road – I always took it. It doesn’t hurt me and makes those customers happy. If you want to put a fresh latte in a thermos with old latte in it, I’ll rinse it with hot water and you can go on with your bad self.

Naturally, I was livid. Not only were they not accepting my jar, but they insulted my way of life. So I contacted Smoothie King customer support, tweeted them and tagged them in an instagram post that also included the red faced angry emoji. Yeah – it was serious. Smoothie King got back to me almost immediately on social media and only took a day or two to reply to my email. The customer service representative, Jason, basically said the same thing as the Smoothie King store employee – it’s a health code violation.

That just made me more mad. If I was understanding everyone correctly at this point, Starbucks, one of the biggest corporations in the world was simply ignoring a giant health code violation and offering discounts encouraging customers to violate it??? (Yes, those three question marks were necessary.) Why was Starbucks allowed to violate this health code and Smoothie King so strict on it?

Jason told me if I had any questions about the violation, to contact the Tennessee Department of Health. So I did.

That’s when Hugh got back to me with this little gem:

hugh

That’s right – no violation. As you can read, he did say that any business can refuse a personal container. What’s makes me mad about Smoothie King is that they blamed a health code violation that doesn’t exist. It’s all a personal internal company choice. Which is fine for them, but don’t lie to me and blame “the man” when it’s completely safe to refill my VERY CLEAN jar. Just ask my main man Howard Schultz.

I also wanted to clarify to you all what those code references were at the end – just to make sure it wasn’t like a secret line in the document that read “unless it’s Audrey and her mason jar. Don’t serve her” or something like that.

Below is the section 120-23-01-.04 Hugh referenced when saying the contamination-free process had to follow.

rules
rules2

Basically stating that the blender has to have a lip on it to prevent spilling down the side and the lip of the blender can’t touch my jar. End of rules. That’s it. I can use my super cute mason jar forever and always as long as there is no touching. To be honest, even if there was I don’t see the issue. Blenders should be washed between each drink so where’s the contamination? But that’s neither here nor there.

In any case, I’m glad that I was vindicated. I am emailing Jason at Smoothie King back and asking why he thinks it’s health code violation and if this new information will change their rules at all. Can I use my mason jar now, please? I’ll let you know what he says. I also was denied to use my own jar at the smoothie counter at Whole Foods, so I will be contacting them as well. I just feel for the hourly workers. Almost all of them love my jar and are interested in a plastic free life, but are getting yelled at because of what their boss told them to say. Obviously excluding the rude dude who thought I had some nasty jar cooties. -__-

Just another day in the plastic fight. A surprising positive that came out of all of this was Jason telling me that Smoothie King’s cups and lids are recyclable. I guess that’s a start. He said paper is worse for smoothies and the environment. That paper mills are evil and emit harmful chemicals and gases. Calm down dude. I agree paper cups are bad as well, (everyone should be a weird jar lady) but I could clearly see this was his attempt to retaliate after being backed into a corner. Jason, your manhood was not in question – just asking about your cups. But for the record, my jar is bigger than your cup.

Talk soon,
Audrey

FIRST ZERO WASTE GROCERY HAUL!!!!!!

WOO!
Hey Guys,

As you can see I am a little pumped that I successfully pulled this off. It was so much easier than I thought it would be and it was WAY cheaper than I assumed. I do have to go to both Kroger (Ralph’s for those of you who live on the best coast, west coast.) and Whole Foods because Whole Foods’ produce prices make my life hurt. I would shop fully at Kroger, but they don’t have a bulk section or a deli area that will sell me unpackaged meats and/or cheeses. They’re across the street from each other so I really don’t mind making two trips. Especially because I got great quality food for cheaper than I am used to. Let’s start off with what I bought.

groceries

fridge

Whole Foods
Popcorn kernels (from the bulk section in my own container)
Olives and pickles (from the olive buffet in my own container)
10 slices of swiss cheese (in paper wrapping)
10 slices of fancy chicken* (in paper wrapping)

Totaling about $10
I would be about $5 cheaper if I got normal chicken meat. I know Whole Foods’ meats are all hormone and antibiotic free, but I wanted to see if I could taste the difference between the fancy and normal.

Kroger
2 cans of green beans
2 cans of yellow corn
1 can of black beans
3 avocados
1 baby watermelon
1 head of romaine
1 bundle of cilantro
1 dozen eggs
1 jalapeño
3 tomatoes on the vine
1 pack of jasmine incense

Totaling about $20
[*Fancy chicken is chicken from the deli, thinly sliced, all natural, no hormones, no antibiotics, free range blah blah… you get the picture]

I also bought some coconut oil, tea tree oil, and pure aloe vera at Whole Body so I could make my own face lotion. That’s going to be interesting….. :/

It was so much easier to shop with zero waste than I thought. I wasn’t worried about asking people to use my containers or anything like that. I was more worried that I would bring two containers and end up needing 5 because I didn’t realize which items came in plastic. That didn’t happen this trip because I really tried to plan accordingly. It definitely helped that my boyfriend and I went to Whole Foods and Kroger without containers and took note of what would need containers, and what wouldn’t. This is obviously going to get easier the longer I am zero waste, but I was so excited that on my first try everything went smoothly.

My next challenge is going to be making/buying produce bags, but I really didn’t mind just stacking it all in one of my totes. Speaking of totes, while we were at Whole Foods I bought a couple more. They are only a dollar and now that I am zero waste I am finding I need as many as I can get. I don’t just use them at the market, I use them at CVS and when I went thrift shopping as well. 🙂

sky

I decided to for a long walk (over 2 miles) to get some errands done this weekend. I started off the day with a smoothie from Smoothie King, in my own jar. It was over 100 degrees (including the humidity) so I felt like a smoothie would be refreshing. Yes, I am still using their straw. I plan on buying a stainless steel straw, but for now it’s the plastic one they provide. I am definitely not coordinated enough to walk, hold my phone attached to my ear buds AND drink from the mouth of the jar. I would be wearing my smoothie before I even left the store.

smoothiewalk

I didn’t know how long I’d be able to be in the heat, waddling around, so I brought some “fast food” with me incase I got hungry. Like I keep saying on here and on my instagram (@essay_holmes), one of the hardest things for me right now is on-the-go food. I used to live on Think Thin bars, but now I feel panicked that I don’t have food on me incase I get hungry. This lunchbox has been the answer.

noms

I went with some white rice, avocado and corn topped with cumin and tapatio. I ended up staying full from my smoothie, enough so that I didn’t even finish my smoothie. Both my mason jar and my lunchbox were in my backpack, in this hot weather and not only did they both not leak, but both were still cold when I unpacked at home. So awesome.

Really happy with my adventures in zero waste this week and I hope it continues to be this easy and fun. Wish me luck on making lotion. o.0 haha

Talk soon,
Audrey

I’m Not a Millionaire

Hey Guys!
I’ve been meeting so many amazing and helpful people on instagram and I love seeing all of their zero waste journeys. What I have noticed is that every has mason jars, and a bamboo toothbrush and metal straws and the special mason jars with the lids that have a straw hole and cloth bags for produce and farmer’s markets that are fully stocked.

So frustrating.

My Container Store items alone were over $40. I don’t have an extra $40 to spend every week to become waste-free. So I binge read a lot of blogs and looked at the beginning of a lot of peoples’ waste free lives. None of them started with buying everything at the get go. I’ve watched some YouTube videos that kind of tell you “everything you’ll need” and I think being trash responsible isn’t a cake recipe. I can’t go out and buy all these materials in one store trip.

I have been calling around to thrift shops and places like that for mason jars – no one has any. So I guess I will be going to Walmart to buy some, prepackaged in plastic. -____- So defeats the point. As far as cloth bags for trail mix and produce, I’ve seen a lot of tutorials on how to make your own. I’m going to gather up some old pillow cases and see how that goes. Although, I don’t have a sewing machine and can’t sew at all. I’m going to assume that my lack of skills is going to make everything harder.

With all the fancy stuff, like bamboo toothbrushes and stainless steel straws, they’re going to have to come with time. Like I keep saying with the bathroom purge or with your kitchen, don’t go through and throw everything away and buy all new eco-friendly stuff. You’re wasting money with the stuff you currently have and it’ll be too overwhelming. I had to keep telling myself that today and I was shopping on lifewithoutpastic.com. No, I can’t afford to buy 10 toothbrushes for $60. That’s insane to me at this moment. I can however look and see what they offer and maybe save for one item. Step by step.

BUT! I did sign up for Nashville’s compost service! So cussing pumped. As I’ve said, at least half of my waste comes from food. I’m so excited to be able to put that in a proper location and have it be reused for something positive. On a selfish note, very excited to also maybe have the trash can smelling better. I’m assuming that’s where all the lovely smells come from and I’m really looking forward to not having to fight that smell battle.

Speaking of trash, we ran out of trash bags and needed to buy more. It made me so defeated having to buy them, even though I know they’re a necessity at this point in my zero waste life. I’m really, really, hoping it’s the last box of trash bags we will ever use. Granted, I don’t think I’ll be completely trash free like Lauren Singer, so we will need trash bags here and there. Especially because this is my journey and I’m not going to force my boyfriend to brush his teeth with baking soda or stop buying fruity pebbles. But I think I definitely produce the majority of trash in our relationship, so my goal is that by the end of this new box of trash bags we will only need the small size. Hey, maybe by then I’ll be eco-savvy enough to find a better way to line a trash can than with a plastic trash bag. Ooooh! Or maybe because all our food waste will be in the compost, we won’t even need to line the bin. Who knows.

Talk soon,
Audrey