Living Zero Waste with your Non-Zero Wasters

I have tried to be transparent about my zero waste lifestyle on this blog. It's important to note that I am a recent college graduate who is living at home in order to help save money and pay off my loans. One of the biggest issues I have faced in my transition is living with people who aren't zero waste. That doesn't mean they aren't conscious consumers; they purchase a lot of stuff in plastic bags, styrofoam, and other non-recyclable or biodegradable containers. Instead of fighting with my parents and forcing them to completely change their lifestyle to meet the zero waste guidelines, I have decided to create reasonable guidelines that allow me to only produce unavoidable waste.

This has allowed me to come to terms with the Blue Apron box that comes to our door every week, the plastic boxes of pasta, rice, and other items that could be bought in bulk, and other unnecessary areas of waste that I can't control. Here are a few areas that my parents and I agree with that has allowed us to make our home a little bit more sustainable and waste free!

One of the easiest transitions that one can make to become more zero waste is to start using reusable bags. To help my parents start using them, I decided to create packs of small, medium, and large bags for all of our cars. I also started going grocery shopping with my parents so I can purchase from the bulk bins. This allows me to limit the amount of packaged fruit, veggies, and other food items that they purchase. I also try to make a lot of my own meals, including dinner.

I have created my own detergent and all purpose cleaner. Unfortunately, my parents aren't completely on board with using either one of those products. I have gotten them to start using dryer balls with some oils, instead of dryer sheets. The dryer balls have been a great step forward to bringing more sustainability and natural resources into my home!

It's not impossible to live zero waste with others, but it is difficult. I have continued to work with them to make sure that there is a balance. The same has had to go for my job, because I work with a lot of people who do produce a lot of trash. I will be writing a post on limiting your waste at work soon!

This is a picture of my families take out containers. Even though I tried to make this picture look "cool" and "artistic" it's still a pile of messy take out food that would look so much better in reusable containers!