My Waste-Free Journey - by Michael

My name is Michael and I am working on an eco-friendly project where I am attempting to convert an entire household into a waste-free environment.

The inspiration for this project came from hearing the family talk a lot about wanting to go waste-free but then watching as they continued to shop and live without being waste-free.

So I took on the challenge; I decided I would do a three phase plan to slowly start the waste-free journey. Phase one is to stop purchasing any food with single-use plastics. Phase two is to purchase food with zero waste including recycling. Phase three is to eliminate all household waste like hand soap bottles, razers, cleaning supplies, etc. By the end we will be completely waste free!

So far we are on phase one (stop buying foods with single-use plastics). To start, we looked at everything that we purchase on a regular basis to see what produces waste. All the items that did make waste were put on a list. We realized that things like fruits and vegetables are easy to buy waste free. But sadly more things than not are impossible to purchase waste free at our local grocery store like bread, most snacks, baking supplies, etc. So we started looking into stores that either allow you to use glass jars, Tupperware or compostable bags. (As a side note, the organization Ottawa Reduces lobbies local shops and restaurants to accept reusable containers. Once they agree to accept reusable containers, the business gets an Ottawa Reduces sticker. Check out the stores that have Ottawa Reduces stickers here!) When we were searching we found quite a few stores that could fulfill our needs but the closest ones were Farm Boy and Bulk Barn. But they did not quite fill all of our needs for phase one none of the stores we found had meat, cheese or bread completely waste-free. In the end we decided that the environment was more important than our cravings for meat and cheese. But with bread on the other hand we could not find a way to function without it. But we were on a mission so we decided we would make all the bread we use from scratch.

Going waste free is a lot easier than we originally thought but there are still some big struggles as well. One of the main struggles is that most people these days have very busy lives and shopping waste-free involves shopping at different locations and planning meals ahead. My next challenge in this waste-free journey will involve going cold-turkey on all forms of waste, including recyclables. Stay tuned!


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