We recognize the choices we make every day in our buying decisions matter. Starting every day thinking about and changing small choices in our lives will add up over time to conscious decisions to reduce our impact. We hope some of these resonate, but also spark conversations about the impact we make with our choices on waste, energy, climate, nature, equality,

As a part of our new start in 2019 we are tracking and sharing how we are reducing waste. Each day over the course of January we have been sharing posts on our pages, and would like to summarize the first week with you.

#1: Reusable Bags

I’m sure everyone already has these but it’s certainly a way to keep plastic bags out of the oceans and landfills. 
Stores like: Target, Trader Joe’s, Wholefoods, Ralphs, Lowe’s Foods and other grocery stores offer up to ten cents off per bag or have stamp cards that turn into coupons once full. 
I keep bags in the car and put them on the porch so I remember to grab them on my way out. I keep a compact one in our diaper bag and in my purse. They usually cost about a dollar at grocery stores and places like Homegoods. 
Just remember to ask for no bag or put your bag in front of your groceries on the belt.

#2: Cloth Napkins

It’s not necessary to have different types. That’s just how we do it. 
Yes, it does make more laundry but if you’re doing laundry anyways it’s super easy to just throw them in.

#3: Cloth Diapers

We use what are known as Pocket Diapers that come with removable inserts. You take the insert out and wash both the insert and shell. 
We also use wet bags which hold the dirty diapers, on laundry day I throw everything in including the bag. 
Yes, it is more labor intensive. Yes, there was a huge stressful learning curve when we first started using them. Yes, they were initially more expensive (about $7 per diaper). But they grow with our little one and will last longer. 
There is SO much more information about Cloth Diapering, let me know if you’re are interested in learning more. 

#4: Bees Wax Wraps and Silicon Bowl Covers

It’s my goal by the end of the year to phase out plastic wrap. Don’t get me wrong, I love my Press N Seal! As much as we love these reusable options I haven’t found anything that sticks as well as the plastic stuff. But I’m determined to find something! Wish me luck!

#5: Compostable Garbage Bags

When we do have trash/waste we use compostable garbage bags that will break down in a landfill. There are many different types of biodegradable trash bags. This particular kind are strong and durable, tests some out and see what you think.

#6: Bulk Items

Find a grocery store near you that offers bulk wholesale items to reduce package waste. I have labeled everything with the name and the weights of the container. Make sure to grab the PLU number on the item to make checkout easier. 
I love these airtight containers for dried goods. I used the always loyal mason jar for peanut butter and a reused hard cider bottle with a fantastic sealing top for olive oil.

#7: French Press

For those coffee lovers out there it’s tough to find a completely waste free coffee solution that doesn’t sacrifice time or flavor. It certainly took me awhile to find my perfect solution. 
There are many different styles of French presses mine I found discounted at Starbucks because of a dent. To go completely waste free though I did a bunch of research and splurged a bit to find the most airtight container to hold my bulk coffee beans. To get the best taste, grind fresh beans before making your cup of coffee. 
Might sacrifice a bit of time but I would argue the flavor makes up for it. 
No k-cup or filter to throw out. No bag of grounds or beans to throw out and it still allows you to save the grounds for compost or straight out in your garden to ward pests away. 

BONUS: Recycling your Christmas Trees (and collect them from neighbors)

This makes it on the list of weirdest things we’ve done for the garden for sure. We pulled a Grinch and stole two Christmas trees that were at the end of our street waiting to be picked up by the town for recycling and recycled them in our garden! 
I wish someone would have captured a photo of us dragging them down the street to our house ? 
We put them over a couple of our beds in our annuals. Pine needles are great fertilizer and covering the beds helps nuture the topsoil. I think next year we’ll put something in our neighbor’s mailboxes asking them to just put them on our lawn and let them know how they can recycle them in their own garden.

Stay tuned through the month of January for the rest of our list.

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