Prepackaged Living

Taking on a zero waste lifestyle means saying no to a prepackaged life. Josh recently used that phrase  in one of his posts, and I thought that summed up zero waste living quite well. While we have not shunned all packaged products, we do bring very few prepackaged items into our house. Here is a list of some items we continue to purchase in various wasteful packaging:

  • Vegan Products: such as Tofu pups, tempeh, veggie balls, and seitan. We try to eat these only once a week. We can not recycle this packaging, so it is complete waste that we do not like to make. Maybe a “Vegan butcher” will open near by like they have in Minneapolis
  • Dish Detergent, soaps, etc… Some soap items we buy in bulk, and some we continue to buy in bottles. We can recycle the bottles, but it is a goal to reduce our plastic recycling. It is not always cheaper to purchase soap and shampoo in bulk, so we go back and forth between bulk soap and packaged soap.
  • Pet food and litter. After a previous post on pet food and litter, we were told that Petco sold bulk litter and food or treats, so we decided to drive to our nearest Petco and check it out. They do indeed have bulk litter, but you must purchase the Petco container to hold the litter, they do not sell it by the pound. They do not have bulk food, only some bulk pet treats. We decided it was not worth the 30 mile drive to the store for these options. The litter is not cheaper than our local store and we still have to buy the container. We learned that the Wellness brand petfood bag can be brought to Terracycle. We are not fans of Terracycle as they have a complicated return system with wait lists etc… but a local pet feed store has a Terracycle drop box. So we decided to use that option would work for now.
  • Mascara. While I have ditched the hair dye, I have not ditched all makeup. After a year of refusing to buy a new bottle of mascara, I broke down  and bought one this week. It is not safe to use old mascara. I have made my own mascara in the past, but I was not pleased with the outcome. However, if I try again, I will share the recipe and my results.

I had a difficult time coming up with the list of items we use that comes packaged. We have whittled it down pretty well over the year and a half we have been on this journey. I see zerowaste living as a process of evolution, trial and error, and deciding what one can renounce or reinvent. Notice I didn’t write deodorant on the above list. We make our own. In my next post I will share that recipe.

Thank you for reading.

Angie

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