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This is a project with teeth. I knew the switch to a less wasteful lifestyle would be a challenge. “Old habits die hard” comes to mind.

My biggest lesson is becoming conscious of how I shop. I am not finding it easy.

Our world is packaged. Everything is packaged. To be honest, I’m horrified at how things are packaged. My dislike for plastic has intensified – it’s everywhere.

As I mentioned in my last post, I’ve found a shop which sells olive oil in bulk. I can take my bottle there to be refilled. I have a variety of cloth bags which I’m using to hold produce and bulk items. Remembering to take these bags with me is becoming more familiar, and hopefully, will become a habit.

As a carnivore, I’m still dodging around the way meat and fish are packaged. There is one shop, a ferry ride away, which packages red meat and seafood the old-fashioned way, in brown paper. I’ve found a local supplier of poultry who also uses brown paper. Progress is slow, but being made none-the-less.

I’ve had some entertaining conversations with a friend. She buys coffee in bulk. I, in turn, buy my coffee from her. We are trying to figure out the moral ramifications of the reduction of my waste, but by purchasing from her, am I increasing hers? She buys bulk apple cider vinegar and has offered to replenish my bottle whenever I run low, but again, does this solve anything? I believe there is a local apple cider estate not too far away which sells vinegar. I’ve emailed them inquiring if I can fill a bottle from them.

Shopping mindfully, it seems, takes thought, and time.

The snacks I’m used to eating, even the healthy ones, are packaged. Switching to snack items which can be found in bulk bins is an interesting learning. There’s a pea-pod snack I like, but it obviously can’t be found in the bulk bin. By necessity, my tastes must change.

I’ve switched over to home-made body wash, toothpaste, shampoo and rinse. There’s a big one – shampoo. Initially, the soda shampoo and apple-cider vinegar rinse made my hair feel soft and silky. Blog posts I’ve read advise after a lifetime of using commercial shampoos, it can take anywhere from two to four weeks for the natural oils in my hair to sort themselves out. I don’t think my hair looks any different, in fact, I think it has more body, but, it feels different. Ugh. All I can say is I hope my hair settles down quickly.

I’m learning I have expectations of how things should work. I need to let go of that, and take the pressure off myself. I’ve only been at this a month. It will come.

Zero waste

I’m ready to cover my food with locally made beeswax wraps, I’m collecting an assortment of glass jars for storage and despite my loathing of plastic, I am using plastic containers to hold my body wash, shampoo and rinse. My idea of a good time isn’t stepping on glass if the container were to break in the shower. When I come up with a different solution, I’ll switch.

My wish for 2015? That I may continue to tread ever more lightly upon the earth.

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