The first 3 products I bought to kick off my goal of becoming zero waste and how I use (or don't) them now.
The Journey of Zero Waste
In 2018, I turned on A Plastic Ocean after a dinner service on the Ave simply to have something on in the background while I finished up my homework. Little did I know this documentary would spark a fire in me, keep me up all night, leading me to start a blog-turned creative agency focused on sustainability.
I became inspired to "change the world," and was quickly off to the races as many in this capitalistic world do - by buying into it.
Then vs. Now
Of these three items, I still (kind of) use all of them; if I could go back to being a newbie, I'd do it a little differently.
First and foremost, I bought all of these from Amazon. And while I used to dog on Amazon regularly, (Jeff Bezos, I've got so many questions for you,) I can now see benefits of the giant corporation. So now I would try to buy directly from the production company or one that aligns with my values.
Swapping to a bamboo toothbrush wasn't a hard one for me, but I did not like this Sprml brand. I appreciated the packaging, however, which actually has often created a hiccup for me in choosing a toothbrush. Anyone else get as irked by the bamboo toothbrushes that come packaged in plastic as I do? The irony!!! My most recent and favored bamboo toothbrush comes from The Humble Co., I get it from Thrive Market.
The dog poop bags have a few red flags right off the bat: "Biodegradable" remains a term to watch for as a greenwashing tactic. Everything breaks down over time, that doesn't really hold any value unless that broken down material is going to provide value to the Earth.
One 2019 study found that bags marked biodegradable lasted in soil, submerged in seawater, and out in the open air for three years or more.
Moral of the story: Buy the eco-friendliest version of the dog poop bags: Compostable ones.
As for the dog brush - I didn't end up returning it and that's the one thing I wouldn't change. Most returns actually end up in a landfill and it's better to keep and use the items you already own than to try to buy, buy, buy. If you have something that will do what you want it to do, even if it isn't "perfect," use it until you can't. That is sustainability.