Zero Waste Boxes: Assisting you on your zero waste journey

Day 77 – I first talked about TerraCylce on Day 23. I gave a brief description of the various services they offered. On Day 56, I went into greater detail about the Free Recycling Programs. Today, I am sharing information about their Zero Waste Boxes.

Zero Waste Boxes collect anything from candy and snack wrappers to cassette tapes. They have boxes for pretty much anything. I purchased the Kitchen Separation box. The kitchen has been the most challenging room in the house when it comes to going zero waste. Food packaging is difficult to avoid and recycle. It’s the frozen fry bag, the shredded cheese bag, the tortilla chip bag, and so on and so on. All of this packaging used to go into the garbage and now it goes into the Zero Waste Box.

Some say that the existence of TerraCycle is encouraging companies to continue making products that are disposable and non-recyclable. I say, TerraCycle exists to help us on our journey to zero waste. We may never reach the end of that journey, but we can improve along the way. There is nothing easy about living a life of zero waste and it most certainly does not happen overnight. TerraCycle is there to help us recycle our trash, while we make adjustments to minimize the waste we produce.

After you order your Zero Waste Box and it arrives at your home or workplace, the collecting begins. Most of my trash that I put in the Kitchen Waste box is plastic bags (food packaging). I could put many other items in the box (plastic packaging, paper packaging, filters, cleaning accessories, coffee and tea accessories, party supplies and dining disposables, interior home furnishings, prescription drug packaging, fabrics and clothing), but I have found using the box for plastic packaging has been the most beneficial.

Now, the not so great news. The Zero Waste Boxes are not cheap. The cost of the box pays for the shipping of the box to TerraCycle and the recycling of the items in the box. It takes a real commitment to want to pay for these boxes and for many, it’s just not in the budget to cover the cost. If you’re interested, but the price tag is discouraging, I suggest you start a Zero Waste Box fund. Place loose change in a jar and save up that way. Or you could even suggest a Zero Waste Box for a gift suggestion around the holidays or for your birthday. If there is a will, there is a way. I collected my plastic food packaging in a regular brown box until I was able to purchase my first box. I also suggest that you sign-up for an account with TerraCycle, so you’ll receive updates and news when there is a sale on Zero Waste Boxes. And they do have sales.

With the help of the Zero Waste Box, recycling and the incredible ease of composting with Waste Not Compost, my family of six has gone from two bags of garbage (minimum) per week to one bag of garbage every two weeks. So we have gone from producing 104 bags of waste (on the low end) per year to just 24. Can we do better? There’s no doubt we can. We’ve only been at this new way of living for 3 months.

So, celebrate Global Recycling Day, by coming up with a plan to reduce your daily waste.

Tomorrow, ways to have a sustainable Easter.

National Geographic: 133 years old and still going strong

Day 27 – On January 27, 1888, National Geographic was founded in Washington D.C. Its purpose was for “the increase and diffusion of geographical knowledge.”

As a kid, I had a subscription to National Geographic. Sadly, I was not a big reader and spent most of my time looking at all the beautiful pictures. I dreamed of working for National Geographic one day. I figured I would probably have to be a photographer, because I was not the best writer.

Fast forward 35 years, I’m still dreaming of being a National Geographic photographer and I’m still enjoying the National Geographic magazine. The only difference, I’m reading a few more articles now. And it’s those articles that have given me a glimpse into the vast world around me. Giving me a window into places and people, I may never have a chance to see for myself.

National Geographic has also been a wonderful resource in my journey to a more sustainable lifestyle. They have covered every topic imaginable when it comes to having a more environment friendly way of living.

Here are a few of my favorite articles:

  1. You Can Help Turn the Tide on Plastic. Here’s How
  2. How People Make Only a Jar of Trash a Year
  3. Closing the circle on waste
  4. The business of nature
  5. Do You Know How to “Go Green”?

So, on this National Geographic Day, I encourage you to spend a little time reading one (or many) of their great articles and be sure to check out the amazing pictures.

Tomorrow, a clock that everyone should keep an eye on.