Madi’s Zero Waste Week Challenge

Day One

I started off my first day really strong.  I had peanut butter toast for breakfast and pasta leftovers for lunch, which produced zero waste (so far, so good); but for dinner, I decided to cook 2 chicken breasts, which took up almost all of the room in my bag. Argh.

Day Two

Day Two didn’t go as well.  Ever since high school, I’ve always been a breakfast bar eater.  It’s so much easier to just grab a bar when you’re on the go.  However, each bar is individually wrapped, so this morning was an eye-opening moment for me.  I should try to wake up earlier and make breakfast, in order to avoid eating bars that have disposable wrappers.

Day Three

My goal was to wake up earlier and cook breakfast, but unfortunately I ended up grabbing a breakfast bar again, but that is the only piece of trash that went in my bag today.  I packed my lunch in reusable containers and cooked a meal at home for dinner!

Day Four

Today was a good day!  I grabbed a banana for breakfast (instead of a bar), packed my lunch in reusable containers, and made a chicken salad for dinner!

I did, however, add my first non-food item to my bag.  I ran out of deodorant today.  This made me realize that I use a lot of personal-care items that are plastic made: shampoo, conditioner, tooth brush, tooth paste, lotion, etc.  If you’re planning on living zero-waste free, I would highly encourage you to make all of your personal care items at home.

Day Five

Today I managed to not add anything to my bag – except for a Doritos bag.

Day Six

I finished a bag of almonds. I’m starting to realize that a majority of my waste comes from food packaging.

Day Seven

Today was the last day of my challenge.  The only items that got added to my bag were a couple of Clorox wipes (next time I will use a cloth and soap) and packaging from Ramen noodles.

IMG_0333Reflections: What surprised me the most, was the amount of waste that I actually produce on a day-to-day basis.  Halfway through the challenge, I realized that I had been throwing away paper towels after washing my hands.  I’ve been throwing things away without really thinking.

Final Thoughts:  I think this is an amazing challenge that everyone should participate in.  It is such an eye-opening experience.  Most people don’t realize how much they’re contributing to landfills (myself included), until they take this challenge.  Even if you fail the challenge, you will learn better ways to reduce your waste and help the planet!