Things I’ve Given Up for
One of the first things I did after finishing Zero Waste Home was cancel all my monthly comic book subscriptions. I was getting tired of that routine of having cheaply made, 30-page booklets shipped to me every other week that most of the time I wouldn’t even get a chance to read. Then before I knew it, the next issue would arrive in the mail, and I definitely wouldn’t be able to read that one because I hadn’t gotten caught up in the storyline yet. It just created a domino effect that left me with a stack of over a dozen books that I knew I would never get around to reading before the trade came out, and then by that point it would just be more worth my while to borrow my husband’s copy and read all 12 issues therein all at once. Monthlies are also almost impossible to get rid of once you realize that you aren’t the sort of person that is meant to have a closet that looks like the picture above. Monthlies are so worthless that you’d be hard pressed to find someone who would take them off your hands even if you paid them. The sheer aggravation involved in trying to figure out what to do with ones you’e not interested in keeping anymore (if you don’t bite the bullet and just huck em out) was 95% of my reason for doing so. ZWH was the last straw that made me call it quits.
- Monthly comic books
You know what else is aggravating? Feeling like a complete schmuck every time you have to go out and buy a new box of razor cartridges at $4 and $5 a pop. So when I wore my last razor head down to the dullness of a butterknife, I cancelled my Amazon subscription for more razors (and this isn’t to mention all the packing supplies I’m not using for those orders now too, because Amazon likes to use way too much) and bought a stainless safety razor that should last me the rest of my life. And maybe if it works for him, my husband will be kicking the disposable razor habit too.
- Bimonthly disposable razor purchases
Ever since discovering the “no-poo” method of haircare (baking soda for washing, diluted vinegar for shine), I’ve proudly and gleefully stopped buying shampoo and conditioner. In the months since I adopted that routine, I’ve since learned that I can make almost everything else that I could potentially need for my skin and hair. Lip balm, which is a notoriously difficult product for me to shop for as my lips will react to ingredients in most commercial brands, will now be home made once my precious collection of $10 tubes run out. (I’m an anxious lip-chewer, so not having access to balm is like being without access to a bathroom: nerve-wracking.)
- Hair and skin care products (sans sunscreen and facial moisturizer), lip balm/chapstick
I don’t drink soda and haven’t for a number of years, I hate sweetened beverages in general, and I find bottled water to be completely ethically unjustifiable and absolutely abhorrent. (IMO, stainless water bottles should be part of every city’s municipal water utility. Section 8 residents and the homeless get theirs free. Make labeling guidelines as stringent as for cigarettes, or just ban the damn things altogether. They are no better than plastic bags and just as useless.)
- Beverages in plastic bottles (other than the occasional pressed juice, which is an important part of my diet and isn’t something I can replicate at home)
I go to conventions and festivals here and there as it’s important for me to network and stay on top of what’s going on in the industries I work in. Unfortunately, each convention is its own sin city in a multitude of ways– throwaway plastic and paper products being the chiefest among them. How many fliers and business cards get handed out and thrown away when the weekend’s over? Plastic and laminated promotional doodads? Too many. I usually end up at the hotel afterwards with a bag half-full of things I never purchased and never wanted to begin with.
- Fliers and freebies
Espresso drinks are something I’m guilty of having a craving for a few times a week. It’s been over a year since the plastic cups used for cold drinks (whoever came up with that should be tarred and feathered) ticked me off enough for me to buy a reusable cold cup from Starbucks. I’ve since donated that one and bought a larger one, as well as a hot cup. I’ve officially decided that if I don’t have my cups on hand, I’m not going to give into the urge to buy a drink, end of story. Unfortunately, I’ve yet to figure out a way to clean the reusable straws that came with my cup (they get nasty really fast), so I’m still using disposable ones until I can afford a stainless set with a cleaning brush.
- Hot and iced drink cups/lids
Hopefully this list will get longer in the coming years. :]