Earth Week: Zero Waste Edition

OKAY !!! SO, many of you know that I have been on a journey to reduce my trash (kinda the whole point of this blog, lol). It started back in January and I have been slowly building up habits, tips, tricks, recipes, and tools to go Zero Waste.

However, one of the greatest things that as come from this journey is the support I’ve gotten from all of you ! So, thank you !! Thank you for doing research, for bringing your own bag, for inspiring me, for holding me accountable, and for your encouragement. I could not have done this without you !

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So, for Earth Week (4/17-4/23) I decided to go Zero Waste. . . meaning. . .

I PLANNED TO GO TOTALLY ZERO WASTE FOR THE WHOLE WEEK !!!!!!!

I did pretty well ! My plan was to really try Monday – Saturday, and then on Sunday I wanted to relax the reigns a bit and see how much the past week had an impact on my habits. So, here’s how I did:

Monday

  • Breakfast: feta and herb scone from the farmers market wrapped in my DIY tee-shirt bag !
  • Coffee: re-usable glass jar at the coffee bar !
  • Lunch: brought my reusable bowl and silverware to ESSEN and got some delicious rice with mushrooms and chicken from their hot bar
  • Snack: an apple and an apply tart (from the farmers market)

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  • Dinner & Drinks: chick pea tikka masala over rice with a side of blood orange beer (everything to make this dinner came in a packaging that was totally recyclable)

 

Tuesday

  • Breakfast: Dragon fruit and pomegranate chia seed pudding !

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  • Coffee: home made cinnamon cold brew (the coffee filter was totally compostable, and I made a bulk batch of this heavenly nectar)
  • Lunch: leftovers from last night’s chick pea tikka masala
  • Snack: a croissant (so fancy)

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  • Dinner: Home made pasta and sauce !
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All the ingredients to make the sauce were compostable or came in totally recyclable packaging !

However, Tuesday was not COMPLETELY Zero Waste. . .

I asked Carl to pick up some red wine for dinner on his way home. As soon as he walked in the door he was like – “uh-oh. . . i don’t think this wine is zero waste. . .

Sure enough, there was some foil wrapped around the top of the bottle.

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how could you?

Carl has been so incredibly supportive through this journey. It was actually kinda adorable to see how worried he was that he “messed up” my zero waste day. We drank the wine because wine, and I will be blaming Carl for this hiccup (jk, love you).

Wednesday

  • Breakfast: Feta & herb scone
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Enter a caption

Side note, the guys at Bread Alone said “thank you for saving the planet” today and I was just like

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aw shucks
  • Tea: Chai tea latte in my reusable Starbucks mug I bought in college
  • Lunch: left over home made pasta from last night’s dinner

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  • Snack: an apple
  • Second Snack: *GASP* a tiny cupcake. . .
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it was a tiny cupcake. . chill. . .

it did have a non compostable wrapper and you better BELIEVE I stared that thing down for about 40 seconds deciding whether it was worth it or not. . . it was. . .

  • Another Tea: I went to Think Coffee with my kick-ass coworker for a cup of Mint Detox tea

They have compostable cups, ethically source their coffee, and strive to be respectful and conscious to the environment.

  • Dinner:  Dinner OUT ON THE TOWN at Thai Villa

Eating out can be pretty hit or miss as far as trash goes. If you are eating out at a fast food place, be prepared to lots of plastic and unnecessary wrappers. However, if you go to a sit down dinner (like the place I went last night) then they are usually really good about minimizing their waste. I asked for “no straw”  in my water, but when I looked around, I realized that no one had straws ! Way to go Thai Villa !

Thursday

  • Breakfast: chia seed pudding with fresh strawberries !

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  • Coffee: the rest of that cinnamon cold brew I made earlier in the week (mmmm)
  • Lunch: I took my reusable bowl to the hot bar at ESSEN once more !
  • Snack: an Asian Pear (with no sticker!)
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#fancyfruit
  • Dinner: home made potato gnocchi with rosemary 18053091_10208924068366771_905571905_o

For those of you that know me probably know how much I love breakfast food – and I have a special place in my heart for cereal. When I decided to move toward Zero Waste, I knew I had to figure out how to get cereal in my life without making trash. . . and I found a way !

  • Night time Snack:  “Cereal” (granola in almond milk)

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Friday

  • Breakfast:  free (and zero waste) bagel at work !

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  • Coffee: brought my handy dandy reusable mug to the coffee bar to get a chai latte with soy milk

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  • Snack: a banana
  • Beer: brought my own mug to our company happy hour

Every week we have a happy hour at Digitas. There is music and beer and merriment. This week The Green Team (which I am delightfully a part of) planned an Earth Day themed happy hour. We played Planet Earth on the projected screens, had office plants for people to pot – that we would later scatter around the office – and encouraged everyone to BYORC (bring your own reusable cup) to the taps ! If you brought a reusable cup, you would be entered into a raffle to win a $50 Whole Foods Gift Card ! The number of people that brought their own cup made me SO happy !!!

  • Dinner: 2 slices of pizza and a soda (the pizza came wrapped in tin foil)

Ladies and gents this is where I fell off a bit

Saturday (The Launch Party for Package Free Shop)

TODAY WAS A VERY EXCITING DAY ! It was the launch party of Package Free Shop, a Zero Waste lifestyle store I have been working for over the past 2 months. It was a very exciting party . . . but I realized I barely ate anything that day.

  • Breakfast: a banana
  • Lunch: a slice of pizza (that came in a cardboard box)
  • Drinks: beer and wine and nitro coffee in a reusable glass jar

THIS PARTY WAS SO MUCH FUN !!!! It is so incredibly inspiring to be around Daniel and Lauren. Their vision for the store is to make living a Zero Waste lifestyle easy, accessible, affordable, and sexy.

Sunday (the day I tried to let my instincts take over)

  • Brunch: rose lemonade, a mini salad, potatoes, and Eggs Benedict from Saragina
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mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm it was so so so so soooooooo good
  • Snack: cupcake and lemonade

After brunch my friends and I walked around Williamsburg. We found an adorable sweet shop and decided to “just look insdie”.

I ordered a tiny cupcake – which came with a wrapper – and it was DELICIOUS ! I also ordered a ginger lemonade “for here”, and was very surprised when they pulled a ready made lemonade out of the fridge in a plastic cup with a plastic lid. I thought for sure I would be given a glass or something. . . but they did not. The choice was made, and I was unhappy about it, but it was already ordered, and so I did what I could to reduce my trash. So, I chose to not use a straw.

  • Dinner: pork chops, potatoes, and asparagus

Carl and I cooked at the apartment tonight. We made pork chops, mashed potatoes, and asparagus. The only trash that came from this dinner was the plastic film on the pork chops.

 

AND THERE YOU HAVE IT ! 1 week of being Zero Waste. It was pretty good !

The only pieces of trash I made all week were:

  1. The wrapper from a tiny cupcake (curse you free cupcakes at work)
  2. The foil wrapper from a bottle of red wine
  3. A piece of tinfoil from 2 slices of to go pizza
  4. A mini cupcake wrapper
  5. Plastic film from a pork chop

I also wanted to also call out some non-food related things I did (and that you could totally do too !) to help further my Zero Waste efforts

Misc:

  • During the week I brought a bunch of silverware to work with me so I could avoid the plastic cutlery
  • I got a totally raw, un-packaged bar of soap from my dear friend Judith at Good Juju Herbal !
  • At least 1 reusable bag was with me LITERALLY every where I went. Sometimes I even had 3 or 4 bags (just in case)
  • My metal water bottles were also on hand throughout the work day. In addition to being zero waste, this also caused me to be 100% hydrated
  • I brought some old clothing to a donation center near my apartment
  • I switched every one of my bills / statements to be online ONLY (saving trees !)

All in all, this week was really successful and – dare I say it? – actually pretty easy.

I have been building these tiny habits and altering my decision making process since January, so now I know what to look for and do to cut down on my waste !

Stay (un)trashy,

-Sam

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