Day 1: January 3

Okay. *deep breath*

Today was my first day going “trash free” and SPOILER ALERT: I didn’t make it. I did have to throw something in the garbage. . .

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BUT ! It’s okay, and here’s why:

My first (and only) piece of trash was generated at breakfast. That may sound really bad – a horrid start to my day – but this actually helped set a positive, realistic perspective for the rest of the day / year.

Here’s what happened:

I bought ingredients to make about 15 smoothies for breakfast / snacks over the next two weeks. I already froze the bananas and tossed their glorious, Zero Waste peels in the compost bin ! I then added some coconut / almond milk (in an all recyclable bottle), and got ready to add the finishing touch – CHOCOLATE & PEANUT BUTTER PROTEIN.

I thought “Ooh yea, I’ll use this to get a little flavor and protein in the morning ! Plus, the cap and bottle are both recyclable !” . . . But . . . I didn’t account for that sneaky little plastic seal (above) that usually hides inside packaged products like this.

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CURSES !

So, some of you may view this as an automatic Whammy. Strikes 1, 2, and 3. I was already out of the game and it wasn’t even 9:00 am. . .

But, I like to think of it this way: If over the net 10-15 home made smoothies, the only trash I generate is this one, small piece of plastic. . . then I am okay with that. Yes, it isn’t ABSOLUTE ZERO WASTE, but it’s a start. There is going to be a learning curve, and this was the first bump in the road.

Instead of beating myself up about this one plastic seal, I am choosing to admit that I am not perfect, learn from this experience, search for better options in the future*, and move on. If I want to use protein powder in the future, I will either seek out a larger tub or find a brand that don’t have this silly plastic cover.

Any who, onto the rest of my day:

Morning Snack:  I had an apple (score !!) Which is Zero Trash because I am going to compost the core when I get home. #hippie #bringingmycomposthome

Lunch: I went to Just Salad to get myself (shocker) a salad ! The great thing about this place is that they sell a reusable bowl in store for just $1. If you bring the bowl back to get a salad next time, you get 2 toppings for free !

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Note the Zero Waste water bottle #H2Ohyea

So, on top of being Zero Waste – it’s a healthy lunch option ! I also opted to bring my own silverware from home, so I didn’t have to use the plastic forks there.

**Places that let you bring your own container like this are awesome !

Coffee: MUGS MUGS MUGS MUGS I LOVE MUUUUUUUUUUUGHHHHHSSSS. We are lucky enough to have a fully stocked barista in our office, so I just brought my mug downstairs for a coffee.

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Company logo = unicorn #winning

HOWEVER – if you don’t have a coffee shop in your office, you can always bring a reusable mug / tumbler to almost any local coffee shop ! Plus, you can usually get a discount for going green. I know for a fact that Starbucks gives you a discount for bringing your own mug. Saving money AND the planet. Not too shabby !

Dinner: I am making Chickpea Tikka Masala. This recipe is boss, delicious, vegan, AND ZERO WASTE !!!! BUH BAM ! Everything in this recipe is either compostable or comes in a totally recyclable package (like the can of chickpeas or diced tomatoes). I highly recommend this recipe. Plus, it makes 8 servings, so you’ll have left overs for lunch the next day (or not, who am I to judge?).

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Day 1 Take-Aways:

  1. Bring your own silverware to work ! Bye bye plastic cutlery
  2. Find places that let you bring your own container
  3. Mugs and Tumblers are a great way to reduce your waste (and save $ome Ca$h)
  4. Fruits are your friends (and 100% compostable!)
  5. Embrace the learning curve – be realistic and kind to yourself

All in all, I consider Day 1 a SUCCESS ! If any of you have any favorite smoothie recipes, favorite fruits to snack on, or use a protein powder that is zero waste, let me know in the comments !

Stay (un)trashy,

-Sam

*UPDATE: Optimum Nutrition makes protein powder that comes in a recyclable container without the pesky little plastic seal !

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