the ReFab Diaries: zero-waste lifestyle
Showing posts with label zero-waste lifestyle

Goals - Week 29: 
  1. Walk the walk at work and at home
  2. Share good ideas for reducing office waste
  3. Appreciate working with people who share my values.



Goals - Week 26: 
  1. Commit to #plasticfreeJuly
  2. Make an extra effort to avoid single-use plastic items
  3. Spread the word



Time to send these goodies to a new home! As always, I used a randomizer to pick the winner and it chose entry #521 - that's Cheryl F. 

Cheryl, congrats! Expect an email from me to get your shipping details. Thanks to everyone who entered for your interest.

Here's to wasting less :) 


Goals - Week 21:
  • Never stop being inspired by what I see around me 
  • Pause. Notice. Share.
  • But be real about upcycling. Most ideas have their pros and cons.

This past weekend was a long, sunny one. Four days off work... and Chicago was celebrating the beginning of summer and Memorial Day. On Saturday afternoon, I still had no idea what this week's post would be about. I really didn't want to be inside making, or photographing, something. I certainly didn't want to be staring at a screen doing research. And then, wondering down an alley behind a residential condo building, I happened upon this vegetable garden. And because I was with a pro photographer, I have beautiful pictures to share with you! 



Goals - Week 20:

  • Reduce reliance on paper towel 
  • Spread the love and help you do the same
  • Tell you about a company I really like

In January, I committed to Be Zero's #MakeLessTrash2016 challenge. I'm 20 weeks in and I find that I've joined an amazing community. People all over the planet who get up every day and try. Try to do a little better. Try to resist convenience. Try to live mindfully. People who remind me every day that "zero-waste" is not about showing off how you crammed a year's worth of trash into a mason jar. It's about living mindfully. Here's something BeZeroWasteGirl posted to Instagram this week:



Goals - Week 19:
  • Declutter
  • Turn unwanted stuff into money
  • Get creative with how to rid myself of the stuff



Goals - Week 18:
  • Boycott products containing microbeads
  • Reduce my dependance on big-brand skin care products
  • Make more, buy less
The Aveeno scrub pictured below used to be my go-to product. Yup, I'm admitting it. Even though it states quite clearly on the package that it contains "gentle microbeads", I still bought it. I had no idea and now I know I've contributed to the massive pollution of our lakes and waterways. When I finally understood, I threw it out. 

What are microbeads? Microbeads are tiny pieces of plastic that are added to everyday cosmetic products like face wash, toothpaste, abrasive cleaners and lots more. They are most frequently made of polyethylene but can be made of other petrochemical plastics such as polypropylene and polystyrene. Microbeads are tiny (smaller than 5mm) and wash straight down the drain, easily bypassing water filtration systems.







Goals - Week 17:

  • Gradually replace store-bought products with homemade ones
  • Reduce packaging waste
  • Simplify

Stretch goal: use only homemade cleaning products



Goals - Week 16:
  • When buying packaged goods, carefully consider the packaging
  • Boycott any manufacturer using #6 grade plastic
  • Support cradle-to-cradle companies when possible

Stretch goal: vastly reduced reliance on packaged goods


What do tennis balls, pantyhose and broken crayons have in common? They're actually recyclable. Not through your city's recycling service, but in other cool ways!

So in honor of Earth Day, here are 20 things you might be surprised to discover can actually be returned for repurposing, recycling or upcycling. Here's to keeping more stuff out of landfills.



Goals - Week 14:
  • Reduce my reliance on single/limited-use plastic items
  • Slowly replace things with non-plastic alternatives
  • Stop bringing plastic into my home - especially single-use crap!
Stretch goal: no single-use plastic in my life



Goals - Week 12:
  1. Reduce my reliance on plastic in the kitchen
  2. Slowly replace things with non-plastic alternatives
Stretch goal: plastic-free kitchen

Goals - Week 11:
  • Reduce my textile waste
  • Support organizations that recycle the usually un-recyclable
  • Finally get rid of 8 pairs of old bras I've been "storing"

Stretch goal: organize a bra drive!


Goals - Week 10:
  • Reduce my reliance on single/limited-use plastic items
  • Slowly replace things with non-plastic alternatives
  • Stop bringing plastic into my home

Stretch goal: no single-use plastic in my life


Goals - Week 9:
  1. Reduce packaging waste
  2. Shift my shopping habits to incorporate more bulk
  3. Retrain myself and local stores: reusable bags/containers need to be "allowed"
Stretch goal: A pantry full of glass jars by the end of the year!

If you follow me on Instagram then you know that my first step into shopping the bulk section of my local Whole Foods was fraught. And I'm so glad I shared the experience because the response was fabulous! 


Goals - Week 8:
  1. Reduce my household carbon footprint
  2. Spend my money on renewable energy
  3. Walk the damn walk
Stretch goal: Get everyone else to switch!  :)




Goals - Week 7:
  1. Reduce my reliance on single/limited-use plastic items
  2. Slowly replace things with non-plastic alternatives
  3. Stop bringing plastic into my home
Stretch goal: zero-waste toothpaste

About half of the nearly 600 billion pounds of plastics produced each year go into single-use products. Just think about that for a second.



Goals - Week 6:
  1. Spend less time dealing with email
  2. Avoid the message to buy
  3. Avoid the damn message to BUY

Stretch goal: ZERO promotional emails

If you use gmail, you have a partitioned inbox like I do. And it's a really a great way to filter "promotional messages", most of which we've volunteered to receive. Who knows why. Many reasons, right?

Here's the problem: they're all tempting us to buy things we don't need. So. My goal this week is to scroll down and UNSUBSCRIBE. It's a pain. But if I'm committed to reducing my "stuff" and trimming my waste, temptation to buy doesn't help.

Any of you done this?







Goals - Week 5:
  1. Precycle - bring less non-recyclable plastic into my home
  2. Buy less, make more (without being stinky)
  3. Save money!


Stretch goal: make this for everyone I know so they'll try it!  (recipe after the jump)



Goals - Week 4:
  1. Look for ways to make my coffee habit more environmentally friendly
  2. Make less trash
  3. Repurpose more
Stretch goal: pay more to buy locally roasted, fair-trade coffee.
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