• Samantha Coffin

Reducing Our Waste

I have always been a little bit on the crunchy side. I love the idea of living off the land and having a purse made out of a repurposed plastic fish food bag. I love my reusable water bottle, ball jar for coffee, set of bamboo utensils I keep in my purse and aluminum drinking straws. I have been using reusable bags before it was a thing and search for stores where I can buy bulk items and use my own containers. This isn’t new for me. This has been something that has been a part of who I am for as long as I can remember. However, I have noticed over the beginning of my post-college days, I have become a bit more wasteful. Living rurally, I thought I would naturally become more eco-friendly and less wasteful but after realizing how often we take out our household trash, I was furious with where I was.

I am pledging to make small changes over the next months and work hard to become more environmentally friendly and mindfully grounded in my rural life. Here are some of the things I hope to do.

Repurposed our UNUSED items | I have already gotten started on this one! I am excited to share that I am supporting local and up cycling my college t-shirts into a quilt with the help of Project Repat! Use this link to order yours today for 20% off! Mine should arrive soon and I cannot wait to order another. I have lots of shirts!!

Shrink the plastic waste in our bathroom | This is going to be tricky but I have so many ideas already.

  1. When it is time to replace my Preserve Toothbrush, replace it was a bamboo one!

  2. Make our own mouthwash. I am not quite ready to make my own toothpaste, but I will work hard to purchase toothpaste in non-plastic packaging.

  3. Start making my own face lotion and wash with castile soap, shea butter and essential oils all purchased at LOCAL + SMALL stores.

  4. When I have used all my Venus razor heads, replace it with a more economical solution. I am not sure what yet. Please share your ideas.

  5. Make our own shampoo and body wash using castile soap once our stock pile has reduced.

  6. Up my eco-period game! I have used a Diva Cup for years and just bought a Yuuki Cup recently and LOVE it too. I used to use washable, reusable pads but haven’t in years. I am going to explore this again! ****UPDATE: I now use the XO Flo and this is my absolutely fav! Use code SIMPLYWILD5 for $5 off!****

  7. RECYCLE any plastic we are still creating and reassess what else needs to be changed.

Re-evaluate our food sources | The kitchen has been were I was most surprised by our new waste. We live in the woods!! This should be easy, right?

  1. Buy LOCAL meat from LOCAL stores and bring our own packaging! This is going to be easy since we know a couple of butchers we can get meat from. I am going to buy a few more glass containers, probably Pyrex which I know have plastic lids BUT it will cut down on lots of disposable plastic and paper use. We also recall the taste being significantly better when we have purchased local meats in the past.

  2. Try to buy in BULK with reusable containers at local stores. I tried to use my own containers at Whole Foods just the other day and they wouldn’t let me. Say what?? I was furious! I don’t want to use their plastic containers!! I saw another woman use the small paper bags they have and decided, when I “need” something there, thats what I will use. But, I am going to work hard to find smaller stores that have local products that will allow us to do this.

  3. Stop buying produce in packaging. This one should be really easy! I am going to be getting produce from our CSA soon, starting a garden and buying more locally. BUT, when I need something from a Big Bob Store, I am going to pick the product with the least amount of packaging and make sure it is recyclable. I am going to stop purchases frozen fruits and veggies and instead buy fresh and freeze them myself, storing them in glass containers.

Figure out HOW to recycle where we live | This is going to be a challenge. This is what I have found to be the biggest change in our lives. My entire adult life, I have lived in apartments that had mainstream recycling. Now, all we have is a dumpster on our property. So, I am going to pool my resources and figure out how and where I can recycle the items we are unable to avoid, currently.

#ruralliving #minimal #earthfriendly #recycle #resuable #ecofriendly #zerowate #mindful

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