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What Are Your Recent Zero Waste Wins?

If you’ve been reading GreenLifeNH for a while, you likely know that I don’t drive an electric car and sometimes like a good hamburger. I know the perils and pitfalls of both and am working to improve my habits. Rather than eating a regular beef burger, it has become a once in a while treat. My husband and I have also talked about actively seeking a hybrid-at-minimum vehicle when it’s time for our next car. Do the above confessions make me a bad environmentalist? Maybe. But I also know that changing one’s lifestyle is a work-in-progress goal and that lasting change takes time. Little by little, we are adapting our family habits and they are slowly becoming thoughtless routines. If we can do it, so can you! So I’m starting a new series called “What Are Your Recent Zero Waste Wins” and am sharing some of our new ones today!

I’m saying no to unnecessary car trips, while also asking local friends and neighbors if they need anything before I run errands. Trying to combine trips together, realizing things can wait and/or I can do without it. Will one car trip save the world? No. But what if all of us try these habits a bit more? For example, Covid has made “Zooming” a lot more common. Should that replace in-person socializing? Of course not. But can we turn that one hour meeting, which costs over an hour of car time, into a video call? Yes. We should also say goodbye to needless airplane travel.

I’m working on my food waste by being more aware of my leftovers. Try as I might, I am not the kind of person who can eat the same meal every day. Variety is this spice of life, as they say, and three dinners of chili won’t work for me. I used to throw away what was left, but now freeze the rest for a rainy day. Am I reinventing the wheel? No. If anything, I’m horrified that I would throw away perfectly good food. But better late than never. I am also getting on board with meals like “sandwiches for dinner” (food snob, I know) and having a leftovers and clean-out-the-fridge night. It’s actually quite the relief to no longer cook every night, plus my wallet and the Earth thank me.

Re-wearing my clothes before washing. Hannah just shared a great post about simplifying your via through the creation of a capsule wardrobe. However washing your clothes less often – and doing less laundry in general – is helpful as well. I used to wear something for just a few hours and then thoughtlessly throw it into the hamper. More washing and work for me, when the item probably wasn’t that dirty. Now I’m trying to be more mindful about “airing out my clothes” between wears. My husband also reminded me that I pulled out the hand-me-downs the other day when nothing fit our six year old. She was thrilled to go “shopping” and didn’t care that all of it was used. I know most people save hand-me-downs between kids, but he thought I should add this to the list and give myself credit where credit was due. Don’t forget to that do for yourself too!

So that’s the changes I’ve made here. Have you had any zero-waste wins at your home? Share with us – we’d love to hear! – Rachel

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