Waste-Less Wednesday

It has been one week since I started my waste-less journey and I will be adding an additional type of waste to the challenge on Wednesdays!  One week ago, I started my training to be a “zero-waste warrior” focusing on eliminating the use of plastic straws.  With my metal straw in tow, I set out to share the work of FRN and zero -waste food systems. Any time that I used a disposable straw, I had to pay $1.00 into my FRN jar.  As of yesterday, the jar has  $3.00 in it and I have some experience combatting disposable straws. Here are my lessons learned:  

On the road last week with my straw and even brought one for my friend

On the road last week with my straw and even brought one for my friend

Courtesy of facebook memories, here I am (on the left) enjoying a wine slushie with my best friend. The picture from 2 years ago made me smile this morning. Except… now I see the glaring yellow straws! Cringe!  My goal is that two years from now, you can’t spot a disposable item in my happy moments.

Courtesy of facebook memories, here I am (on the left) enjoying a wine slushie with my best friend. The picture from 2 years ago made me smile this morning. Except… now I see the glaring yellow straws! Cringe!  My goal is that two years from now, you can’t spot a disposable item in my happy moments.

1. People have not always used straws -- this I know-- but I like using a straw.  One friend asked me why I did not give up the habit all together but as I making less waste challenges that suit my lifestyle (and hope you will do the same), I am keeping the straw habit. I don’t like ice clinking onto my teeth nor do I want to risk a $8.00 organic green smoothie dumping all over me as I try to shake the slushy consistency out of the cup. I tend to use the straw with colder drinks so perhaps the winter will be a better time to re-evaluate the straw habit.  But it is hot here in DC and I want a cool drink.

2. Yes, yes---  I hear your thoughts.  But what about the disposable cup that you are using?  I am getting there but in order to make lasting change, habit gurus suggest small, consistent change. Trust me, the disposable cups/bowls/utensils are in their last days. You can donate  $15.00 to FRN now and I will add another type of waste to my challenge and you can see me address disposables faster.  

3. Like all warriors-- I must be prepared.  I think the biggest lesson learned this week is that I have to think about bringing the straw with me.  Two of the three dollars in the jar ended up there simply because I forgot to put the straws in my bag. And as you join me in your journey, a waste warrior also thinks about how to deal with the straw once it is used. Admittedly, I did not think it through and kind-hearted baristas rinsed the straw for me and lent me wax paper so I could put it in my purse as I didn’t want to put it wet in my bag. Obviously, drying the straw with a paper towel isn’t ideal.  I purchased bent metal straws but if you buy a straight one, it seems like it would fit into a travel toothbrush holder and solve this problem! I will let you know once I test it out.  

Next up:  This week I am going to say no to napkins and coasters  I noticed during the straw week that little cocktail napkins  or coaster usually accompany a drink and I started proactively saying no-thank you. I will add all other napkins to the challenge. Follow me on instagram at @zamaka7  and through the FRN facebook community.