Zero Waste : The Joy of Using Up

In 2017 I started my zero waste journey. Zero Waste is the goal, mindful practice is the action. When I use the term Zero Waste, that is my ultimate goal, but Less Waste would be a more  accurate description of my evolving lifestyle.

 Old hotel shampoos and conditioners and huge, horrifying plastic razor that we are in the process of using up. 

Old hotel shampoos and conditioners and huge, horrifying plastic razor that we are in the process of using up. 

The other day, I scraped the last little bit of mayo from a large plastic Hellman's container and I thought happily "this is the last plastic jar of mayo I will ever buy!". I have had a lot of these moments since I have started my Zero Waste Journey.

There's something so simple, but still challenging and satisfying about swapping out the mindlessly acquired items in plastic packaging that we used to buy for things in recyclable, compostable, or reusable packaging. I went out several days later and decided to try a really fancy mayo in a glass jar! Why not?! It was way more expensive than that huge plastic jar, but I know it'll be more satisfying and exciting to try a little bit of something new and more sustainable. I get to try something cool that isn't going to generate a ton of waste after I use it up.  

Not only do I love using up something in plastic and buying something new NOT in plastic, I love to NOT buy a replacement at all. It's exciting to realize that I don't need that Item any more and feel good about that. This goes for freebies, too! 

Recently we used the last of our of shampoo and conditioner from big plastic bottles. We plan on buying bars to replace these, but in the meantime, we brought out all those little hotel shampoos and conditioners. You know you have them! Every time we use up a baby hotel bottle I get excited about recycling it and vowing to never bring them home again!

The joy and excitement that comes with using up and getting rid of things that no longer fit my lifestyle is an unexpected pleasure of going zero waste and plastic free. What do you love using up? What surprising pleasure have you gained from a new lifestyle choice?