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Mon Apr 8, 2019, 07:49 AM

How to be a frugal zero waster

https://www.treehugger.com/green-home/how-be-frugal-zero-waster.html




How to be a frugal zero waster
Katherine Martinko, April 5, 2019

Step 1: Ignore the Instagram-driven message that your zero waste home has to look perfect.
It is a common misconception that a zero waste lifestyle has to be expensive. Of course, if you spend too much time on Instagram, you might start to think that you have to load up on fancy matching jars, cloth bags, wooden brushes, sea sponges, and stainless steel containers in order to do it properly. But that's not true.

(snip)

Frugal zero waste living boils down to a willingness to source food and products in alternative ways, different from the typical weekly grocery store run. Once you are willing to look for things in different places the thrift store, the farmers' market, a roadside stand, garage sale, a recycling bin, a local farm with a sign out front then you start to figure out ways around packaging.

(snip)

Going zero waste is a major lifestyle transformation, a whole new way of thinking and doing. It means I have to think about when to set dough to rise so kids have bread for school lunches. I have to start soaking beans well in advance of whatever meal I need them for. I have to take time to pick berries in summer to freeze for winter.


A minor deviation or conflict between the goals of being Frugal versus Zero Waste?

Going to far trying to achieve perfect boutique Zero Waste at the expense of being just plain Frugal?

10 replies, 2506 views

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Arrow 10 replies Author Time Post
Reply How to be a frugal zero waster (Original post)
NeoGreen Apr 2019 OP
Freethinker65 Apr 2019 #1
murielm99 Apr 2019 #2
patphil Apr 2019 #3
Bernardo de La Paz Apr 2019 #4
NeoGreen Apr 2019 #5
PhylliPretzel Apr 2019 #6
2naSalit Apr 2019 #7
hunter Apr 2019 #8
PoindexterOglethorpe Apr 2019 #9
Kaleva Apr 2019 #10

Response to NeoGreen (Original post)

Mon Apr 8, 2019, 08:16 AM

1. IMO Zero waste is unachievable

Many of one's donated items and items placed in recycling bins, end up in landfills.

Buying a bamboo spoon, to replace your perfectly fine owned, or bought used, stainless steel flatware is not zero waste. Being self righteous because you think you actually can fit all of the waste you created for a year in a mason jar and post it to Instagram is amusingly ignorant.

Waste minimization is a good alternative. Avoiding over-packaging, buying more intentionally, fixing and/or repurposing older items, finding actual people that can use your castoffs/waste as raw materials (happens a lot in industry...sort of like free cycle), is commendable.

Preparing your own food can have major health benefits. I prepare much of my own and prefer to do so, but I understand that even that might often create more waste and use more energy than had I purchased the items already prepared and packaged. And I say this even as I compost and make my own soup stock.

Truth is, anything one does to reduce waste is a positive.

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Response to Freethinker65 (Reply #1)

Mon Apr 8, 2019, 08:54 AM

2. Agreed.

I don't need to brag about the ways we have found to reduce waste. I am sure most DU members have thought of some things.

I will give one bit of advice: I grew up with parents who grew up during the Depression. There were so many things they did that just were normal to them. If you don't have parents or grandparents like mine, find some older people and ask them for ideas you can adopt.

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Response to NeoGreen (Original post)

Mon Apr 8, 2019, 09:03 AM

3. Zero waste is impossible

as long as their are people.

Pat Phillips

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Response to NeoGreen (Original post)

Mon Apr 8, 2019, 09:17 AM

4. Perfection is the enemy of the good. Zero waste is a perfection target. . . . nt

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Response to NeoGreen (Original post)

Mon Apr 8, 2019, 09:25 AM

5. Now that I think of it, the only way to be a true Zero Waster is to be...

...dead.




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Response to NeoGreen (Reply #5)

Mon Apr 8, 2019, 09:38 AM

6. dead . . . . and had a green burial.

If your body is put in the ground filled w/ embalming fluid and resting in a satin lined fancy wooden coffin, you are not a Zero Waster in death.

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Response to NeoGreen (Reply #5)

Mon Apr 8, 2019, 09:40 AM

7. Unfortunately...

I think you're right! It's the only time we humans actually contribute something to the biosphere by feeding whatever consumes our bodies.

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Response to NeoGreen (Original post)

Mon Apr 8, 2019, 10:44 AM

8. I hate shopping and boycott everything.

At my worst, I lived in my car, showered at the gym, and ate out of dumpsters. Later I lived in a garden shed.

Alas, my wife does not support this lifestyle.

There isn't anything we eat that the leftovers can't be fed to the dogs or composted for our garden. My wife is mostly vegetarian, tending to vegan. I sometimes eat animals.

Our dogs are from the animal shelter. I don't expect them to be vegetarian. They are larger dogs and increase our family's environmental footprint significantly.

Spay and neuter cats dogs, and teach children about birth control.

Accumulating books is our major consumer vice. We have literally thousands of them. Both my wife and I have mostly converted to e-books, which has reduced the problem somewhat.

The worst thing most affluent people do is participate in the car culture. When my wife and I met we were car commuters, each suffering more than an hour of stop-and-go freeway traffic every work day. By some planning and greater good fortune we've been able to avoid that lifestyle since the later 'eighties. But we still have to own cars to be considered fully functional adults in this community.

I'm a fairly good mechanic and drive a well-used car I bought for less than $1000. It's likely I'll never buy a new car. I did that once, more than thirty years ago.

There's no such thing as a "green" automobile.

Affluent people like myself can't really be green, we are posers. It's a function of how our world economy works.

This thing we call economic "productivity" is actually a measure of the damage we are doing to whatever is left of this earth's natural environment and our own human spirit.

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Response to NeoGreen (Original post)

Mon Apr 8, 2019, 11:12 AM

9. Zero waste?

Don't those people at least poop on occasion?

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Response to NeoGreen (Original post)

Wed Apr 10, 2019, 11:16 AM

10. My wife and I put out 2 30 gallon garbage cans once every 2 weeks

Garbage pickup is bi-weekly. Every once in awhile, I just put out 1 can.

I cut up all cardboard and papers that can be composted and put that into the compost pile. Some cardboard goes into the garden to be laid down in sheets between the rows for weed control.

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