We had been doing so well at being a low-waste family. We shopped with reusable jars at bulk stores. We bought a very limited number of items in plastic packaging (only things that we could not get bulk anywhere in town, or make ourselves from scratch). We carried our reusable totes, coffee mugs, water bottles and cutlery everywhere we went, just in case we wanted to have a coffee or a bite to eat while we were out and about. We shopped thrift stores first for any clothing or household items we needed. We stocked up on the minimum amount of baby items, much of which we bought second hand. We even asked family and friends who wished to help us out with baby stuff to do the same.
And then the baby was born. And somewhere in the post-baby haze we let some of this stuff slide. Not fully of course, but certain easy convenience items snuck their way back into our lives amidst the never-ending cycle of feeding, burping, rocking and bouncing our brand-new baby boy.
But now we have a better handle on things… (I know, I know, parents everywhere are laughing at this sentence. Don’t worry, I can see your knowing looks from here 🙂 ).
But regardless of how hectic things will probably start to get again (I think we are in a magical but temporary sweet-spot), it’s time to re-commit to the zero-waste lifestyle.
Or, it would probably be more accurate to say, a low-waste lifestyle. We are not perfect at this, and our goal isn’t to obtain Pinterest-worthy perfection. It’s to do the absolute best we can to minimize our family’s environmental impact. We are realists. We are not perfect, but we constantly strive to do better.
Our Zero-Waste essentials
- Reusable Coffee Mugs. Both Dylan and I have Kleen Kanteen mugs and love them!
- Bamboo Utensils. We each carry a set of these in our bags, or keep them in the car depending on the plan for the day.
- Water bottles. We bought cheap ones from Canadian Tire, which I’m now starting to regret, because they’ve gotten banged up pretty recently. But we won’t be replaceing anytime soon because they still work great.
- Glass Tupperware. We usually only grab this when we know we’re going out for dinner. Our Tupperware is all glass, so it’s pretty heavy to carry around all the time.
- Napkins. We use these reusable cloth wipes that we bought for the baby, but are actually great for everything.
- Stainless Steel Drinking Straws. We each shove one in our utensil set case.
- Shopping Necessities: Produce and Bulk Bags, Mason Jars, Reusable Totes. Though I carry an extra tote or two in my purse, the rest of these items live in the car, or the house until we’re headed out to do a shopping trip. In an effort to reign in our budget, we’re trying not to do any spontaneous grocery shops. We store as many items as possible in glass jars in our pantry. It’s a mix of repurposed old jars, and some we’ve bought specifically for this purpose.
What We’ve Added Since Baby:
- Cloth Diapers. We have a whole pile of different brands of cloth diapers (mostly pocket diapers plus a few covers with a combo of inserts and prefolds) that I bought second-hand off of another mom in town.
- Cloth Wipes & Diaper Wipe Solution (in a squirt bottle). We have these wipes that we use for everything (diaper changes, for napkins, to wipe up baby spit up…), and lately we’ve been trying out this diaper wipe solution. We bought ours in town though, and it came in a small glass mason jar!
- Wet bag. To put soiled cloth diapers in both at home and out and about.
- Thermos and Reusable Container (for heating bottles on the go). We go the old fashioned route of using hot water to warm bottles for Atlas, when away from home. At home, we have a bottle warmer that we purchased second-hand.