I have spent the last few years unsuccessfully executing the steps to become zero waste for the following reasons:
1. Buying the tools (glass jars, containers, reusable cloths, etc) got to be too expensive to make the transition all at once. This meant I was getting some items, but unable to fully transition because we still had a need for plastic.
2. Not liking the tools because of poor quality or because they did not get the job done effectively. The amount of wooden/natural bristle dish brushes I have purchased and had to almost immediately throw away after a few uses is ridiculous. They do not clean well, and they do not last long.
3. Not being satisfied with the natural cleaning solutions I was finding. I switched to steam cleaning my floors & making my own natural cleaners.
Overall, I ended up going back to chemical-heavy products because I was just so tired of buying (or making) natural cleaning product after product that just didn’t clean well.
Laundry stains, tough counter stains/messes, still having dirty feet after walking on floors that had just been steam cleaned, etc…these were just some of the issues I kept having when using a variety of “natural non-toxic” products/solutions.
4. Products we love still (and only) being available in plastic packaging.
Fast Forward to today and I feel like I am finally finding all of the pieces that will make transitioning to a non-toxic, zero waste household a real possibility.
This is how I am tackling the issues I have run into previously:
1. I found a less expensive solution for getting the airtight glass jars that I love.
You can get the same style jars from IKEA for a fraction of the price of the fancy french glass jars I originally started getting. While they won’t match my existing jars exactly, they will allow me to get enough jars to hold all of the pantry items and herbs that we will be using as a family.
Having proper storage for these items means we are more likely to use them and not just keep dumping them in the compost because they went bad again.
I actually found a solution for problems 2 & 3 from the same place. I recently was introduced to a company that makes cleaning tools that allow you to clean 90% of your house with just water.
Naturally, I thought this was a scam so I had to try it. I got their mop kit because I was so tired of having dirty feet just from walking on my ‘clean’ floors all day. All I did was wet their mop pad, which does not have chemicals on it, and I mopped my floor with it.
Their cloths & mop pads are made out of superior microfiber that actually picks up 99% of bacteria and removes it from the surface.
So when I was done mopping, I simply rinsed the pad out with hot water to release all the dirt it had removed from my floor and hung it up to dry.
It is woven with baclock, which means it self-purifies and is ready for the next use.
I then went walking around my floors with paper towels under my feet to see if any dirt came up. The part of my floor I had just steam mopped (my usual way of cleaning) was still filthy. There was dirt all over the paper towel.
The floor I had just mopped with my new mop system was clean. I was not able to get dirt to rub off on the paper towel by walking around on it.
But I still thought it was a scam. So I threw the paper towels away and then spent the rest of the day stomping around my floors, determined to have dirty feet again by the end of the day.
The end of the day came & the bottoms of my feet were 99% cleaner than they normally are after a day of walking around my “clean” floors barefoot.
So. I was sold.
The same technology is in their counter, window, dusting, bathroom, etc cloths. I clean 90% of my home with water now and it is cleaner than when I was using product after product trying to find things I liked.
When I realized cleaning this way meant I could transition my house to zero waste & non-toxic efficiently, I got really excited.
I’m just at a point in my life when I am tired of talking about all of the “ideal” ways we want to live and I actually want to be putting them into practice.
For a long time, I just felt like zero waste wasn’t possible because I didn’t like the options I was finding.
Now, we have the tools to grow our own food, order what we can’t grow from organic farmers at discounted rates, effectively clean with non-toxic zero waste products, and store our food without having to use plastics.
I feel like I have most of the pieces in place and that is exciting. It is possible! Hooray!
If you are wanting to transition your family to non-toxic zero waste living then I suggest the following quick switch ideas:
- Get inexpensive glass jars and containers from IKEA, they ship most places if you don’t live near an IKEA.
- Use Norwex products for your zero waste, mostly water cleaning solution.
- Grow your own food when possible. We like using our tower gardens to grow salsa veggies, some herbs, and more.
- Find local organic farms to get fresh produce delivered. We ended up finding Misfit Box because we didn’t have any local organic options and we love it! The packaging is able to be recycled or used in the garden and the food is all from organic farms. Get 25% OFF when you order a Misfit Box using this code at checkout: COOKWME-MY7IQQ
Just taking those few steps will get you well on your way to having a zero waste, non-toxic home!
If you have questions about anything or want to find out how you can get your Norwex products for free or at a discount, join my Healthy Home Facebook Group for more info on product giveaways, samples, demonstrations, and all info on reducing chemicals in your home!
I am looking forward to fully transitioning our home to zero waste using the items I have found (mentioned about) throughout the rest of the year!