zero-waste balance.

April 30, 2018

In the world of seeking zero-waste inspiration, it can be difficult to find inspiring folks who also have families with very young children. It’s harder still to find zero-waste families with small children and two parents who work full-time. As a working parent in a family with two of them, I’m the first to concede that there are moments when we choose convenience over conservation. Takeout pizza is not what you might call a rarity in our family.

We need to make fewer excuses for our generally abusive relationship with the planet—and the people on it—not more, but the truth is that sometimes making an effort to curb waste can feel like taking on another part-time job. At the end of a busy week, making a choice to walk a few extra blocks to a grocery store that sells bulk tofu, or backtracking to find recycled rolls of toilet paper, or carting bags full of compost to the farmers’ market, requires concerted effort. I do sincerely think that much of this effort can be made to fit manageably into a busy life, but I also understand that there are folks out there without the minutes in the day or the mental space to implement those changes easily. For lots of folks, getting through the day-to-day pressure of working, and living and, perhaps, also raising children, feels…hard enough. 

I won’t deny the environmental and human cost of convenience, but here’s a post offering a bit of encouragement to folks who haven’t found a way to entirely extract themselves from systems that can be inherently wasteful. If, for whatever the reason, you find yourself in a position where you rely on services of convenience, here are a few simple ways that you can still reduce your waste footprint:

Shipping/Packaging/Subscription Services:
If you use delivery services, especially from big, online companies delivering straight to your door, you’re likely overwhelmed by packaging materials. Here’s what you might consider:

+ Send a note: Adding a note to sellers can be a simple and very effective way of cutting down on waste. From Etsy and other small online shops, to much larger online businesses, there’s usually an opportunity to add a note to the seller during checkout. When there is, I’ve recently started to include a note that reads something like this: “If it’s possible to ship with as little plastic as possible, that would be so greatly appreciated!” No guarantees of course, but I’ve been really pleasantly surprised by how effective this has been for me so far.

+ Reuse: We don’t have a lot of room to store things like packaging materials in our apartment, but I do keep a small tote in our closet for things like mailers and envelopes that I can reuse when sending my own packages. When you receive a package that includes things like dreaded packing peanuts, consider bringing them to a local shipping and mail service shop. In cases like this, it can be so helpful to develop a friendly, neighborly, and most-importantly mutually beneficial relationship with a local business. In the case of packing peanuts, they can put peanuts back to use right away, and none of them end up in the landfill (or flying around the sidewalk).
 
+ Combine shipments/Choose wisely: If you buy regularly from large online sites like Amazon, there are a few habits to consider changing. One easy fix is to shop from Amazon’s Frustration Free Packaging portal, which includes a huge catalog of goods shipping without plastic, blister packs, boxes within boxes, and other wasteful packaging. Not every product sold on the site is available in this kind of packaging, but it’s definitely worth a look. Other measures like checking boxes to ensure that multiple products you order will ship together is also relatively easy. It might mean opting out of next-day arrival, so try to plan ahead when you can.
 
Takeout/Meal Services:
In an ideal world, we’d make all of our own food, from scratch, with whole ingredients. Reality means that sometimes takeout feels like the simplest option. Here are a few habits to incorporate into your takeout routine:
 
+ Take less:  Whether you have an account with a service like Seamless, or you’re phoning your local pizza parlor for delivery, you can make a note for them to please not include napkins, utensils, soy sauce, or whatever other extras they might otherwise include. If you have a sushi takeout habit, buy a bottle of soy sauce to keep in the fridge instead of relying on single servings packaged in plastic. Better still, if you’re feeling like you’d like someone else to take on cooking duties for the night, consider dining out instead of ordering in.
 
+ Patronize thoughtfully: While it would be excellent if all businesses paid the same kind of attention to their packing materials, that’s not the case. If you’re ordering takeout from a local restaurant, vote with your dollar by patronizing the businesses that pack their food most thoughtfully. Instead of getting your takeout from the shop that’s still packing their dinners into styrofoam clamshells, buy from the local spot filling up compostable containers instead. If you’re considering a meal kit service, shop around to try to find one making efforts to curb waste. This article from last summer is sobering, but some services, like Sun Basket, do seem to be making efforts to improve their packaging. 
 
+ Pick up: This requires quite a bit of forethought, but our local sushi restaurant is pickup-only, so it’s easy for us to bring down a few glass containers when we place our order and they happily fill them for us. (Whenever I say this, folks chime in with examples of this not working. Of course! Not everyone will oblige, and sometimes there are missteps. But if you get in the habit of asking, eventually you’ll find the places and systems that work for you!) And if you can’t supply your own reusable container, of course, don’t forget to recycle whatever you can!
 
Outsourced labor:
Lots of us rely on the labor of a whole network of people and businesses to keep our lives flowing. Sometimes this outsourcing of labor can mean that we’re one step further removed from the ways our lives impact the environment. Here are some things to do:
 
+ Talk to people: Like a sending a note to a seller or dropping off a box of packing peanuts, it’s worth considering how valuable developing relationships with actual people can be in your zero-waste efforts. If you live in a city and rely on services like getting laundry washed out of your house, for instance, ask that the folks at laundromat not use a plastic bag when packing your clean laundry. If you have someone else care for your kids while you work, open up the conversation about the efforts you make in your own family to reduce waste. Show a caregiver how your family composts, or sorts recycling.
 
+ Provide solutions: At the laundromat, supply your own environmentally friendly detergent. If you hire a cleaning service, choose one that uses environmentally conscious cleaning solutions, or provide your own. If someone else cares for your children while you work, provide them with tools like reusable water bottles, or refillable snack bags, or whatever else will make their jobs easier and keep your family’s waste in check.
 
What did I leave out? Other easy fixes for curbing convenience waste?

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46 Comments

  • Reply Gill F. April 30, 2018 at 11:07 am

    Thank you for this! I don’t have kids, but I do have a chronic illness and it’s draining. I used to be very on top of my environmental footstep. I helped build a compost pile in my family’s tiny NYC apartment, I recycled religiously, I shopped at thrift stores, I ate out less often and cooked more. Now, though, I’m exhausted and sick a lot, and I feel this guilt for not keeping up. I don’t always have the energy to cook my meal at home, so I order out. I don’t have energy (or the knees or hips) to start a small backyard garden, even though we have the space. I don’t live far from work, but many days I can’t walk there. So I love these suggestions and the recognition that we’re all just trying our best and as long as we try that’ what matters 🙂 As for what I do, I love to hit up my local coop to bulk shop and my local farmer’s market for in season produce, I take the bus to work so I’m not driving, I recycle at home and work, and I plan to recruit my brother to help me build my mom a compost pit in her yard 🙂

  • Reply Millie April 30, 2018 at 11:19 am

    Thanks for this post – lot of great suggestions! I didn’t know about the frustration free packaging portal at Amazon. Do you have any product recommendations for eco-friendly laundry detergent? I can no longer find the Seventh Generation powder that we used to get in a cardboard box to try to minimize plastic packaging. Thank you!

    • Reply Kellyn April 30, 2018 at 12:55 pm

      A lot of times the cardboard packaging has a plastic layer to it – I found this out when I went to recycle my box of planet detergent and when it came out the other end it was still intact with the plastic film. (Definitely surprised me because it seemed to be 100% cardboard…but you can imagine what a disaster it would be if the packaging got wet while the soap is still inside…)

      I continue to use Planet for my cloth diapers but I use a homemade detergent for our clothes – and have been for 7 years 🙂 Works great for us. It’s a combination of washing soda, baking soda, and castile soap.

      • Reply Audrey April 30, 2018 at 1:39 pm

        We make our laundry detergent using the same ingredients and I love it! For anyone interested in a recipe…we have been mixing together 4 cups baking soda, 3 cups washing soda (bought in laundry aisle at grocery store) and one bar of Bronner’s Castile soap that I grate using a fine cheese grater/zester. Takes less than 10 minutes and lasts for quite a while. We use maybe 2 tbs per load., which gets about 60 loads.

  • Reply Kim R April 30, 2018 at 11:28 am

    Thank you for this reminder that no one is perfect, and for the tips to help us improve! Just this weekend I was going to make tacos for my daughter’s birthday but I got a migraine. Reminder: the day you have to prepare for a birthday party is probably not the best day to give up coffee. Instead of trying to push through it and most likely make the migraine worse I reminded myself that I could also just order pizza. I made some coffee, forgave myself and then took a nap.

  • Reply Cynthia April 30, 2018 at 11:36 am

    These are all great suggestions, Erin. What strikes me though is how much is needed at the city or state level. It’s mind-blowing that a city the size of NY does not have legislation in place to mandate planet-saving measures. In Seattle we have our recycling picked up every other week and no longer have to sort. The city learned compliance increased if the consumer had less to do and our goal is 100% compliance. Every week our big rolling bin of “clean green” is picked up and composted. In this bin we put all food waste, dirty paper like pizza boxes, bones, oyster shells, and all the clippings from our yard. The city sells this compost back to us in the form of mulch! Plastic bags and styrofoam containers for takeout have been banned for years. I love living in a city that educates its citizens, creates legislation that does good, and then provides the services to make participation easy.
    P.S. I have a local sushi place and a car so I love to drop off big platters with my order and then pick them up and serve dinner in my garden. So fun with guests and sometimes better than going out.

    • Reply ERIN BOYLE April 30, 2018 at 12:28 pm

      Yes, agreed. Thankfully some change is brewing! After more than six years of walking our compost to the farmers’ market, we finally got curbside food scrap pickup in our neighborhood (not yet everywhere)! Bans on plastic bags and styrofoam containers have been more difficult. So hopeful that the more folks agitate in their local communities, the more those places will follow in the footsteps of places like Seattle!

  • Reply Amy April 30, 2018 at 11:38 am

    I feel this every day. Once you strive for zero waste, it’s hard not to feel like a failure when you end up opting for convenience. I have two small children and live in a small town so this is a daily struggle!

  • Reply Debra April 30, 2018 at 11:40 am

    I started using soap berries for laundry which has eliminated my need for plastic detergent bottles. Plus when they wear out you can compost them.

  • Reply Joanna April 30, 2018 at 12:04 pm

    These posts have been GOLDEN and feel inspiring to me. Thank you 🙂

  • Reply Sara April 30, 2018 at 12:20 pm

    Thank you for this. I can’t help but look around and see trash everywhere, but feel helpless and tired. Most recently I was appalled at the amount of trash at my doctors office. Gloves, sterile packaging, needles, plastic robes and table covers, all for a check-up! I know its important to keep everything clean (although I always feel germ covered after leaving the doctors). Its just another reason to take care of your health to minimize appointments. National health issues like preventable diabetes, heart disease, cancer, etc is also a national trash issue.

    • Reply Rachel May 1, 2018 at 2:08 pm

      Pretty sure all those things are required and mandated at a doctor’s office. I’d turn and run the other way if I DIDN’T see those items in an exam room.

  • Reply catie April 30, 2018 at 12:39 pm

    reusable cups & stainless steel straws – a bit clunky to lug around, but i won’t accept disposable.
    (meaning, we don’t get drinks if we don’t have our cups.)
    stored in a market basket by the door, they are easy to remember.

  • Reply Kim April 30, 2018 at 12:55 pm

    Sometimes I think we really overestimate the time it takes to “eat in” rather than take out or order delivery. There are “quick service” options that use real plates and even at a sit down restaurant, as long as you order right away and ask for your bill after a couple bites, you can be on your way pretty quickly. Plus I always enjoy my food better when I slow down a bit!

  • Reply Camille April 30, 2018 at 1:22 pm

    Thank you so much for this post! We relocated 2 weeks ago to US and are coming from Europe (I am french, but I was living in Germany and Austria the last 6 years). There recycling is a must. You have no other choice than to sort paper/cardboard/plastic/packaging/cans/glass/compostable/… very carefuly otherwise you get fees from the town.
    When we arrived here in our community, where we will rent a flat for the first months, I asked: ok, what about the waste, how does it work? Where should I dispose cardboard boxes from our move for example? And I was astonished by the answer: just put everything in the bin, we do not sort it. Is was so surprising So, our Ikea boxes, plastic waste waited 2 weeks in the garage, taking the place of the car, but I couldn’t just accept to through them like that. I finally found a solution at another community in the neighbourhood, where packaging material is sorted and collected.
    We are definitively not staying long in our community, and we surrely put « waste management solutions » on the list of our criterias to choose our next town :•)
    It is so surprising how different (developped) countries manage the environment.
    Thanks for sharing all your best practices, I will follow all of them!

    • Reply ERIN BOYLE April 30, 2018 at 1:29 pm

      Yikes. Well, there’s certainly some places that have single-stream recycling, which means that everything gets sorted by the waste management company and not the individual, but not sure if that’s the case where you are!

  • Reply Anna Maria April 30, 2018 at 1:49 pm

    Thank you for this post, Erin! So often I scroll through an Instragram filled with hashtags like #zerowaste and #minimalism and just feel bad about myself for not keeping up, instead of being inspired. Just having someone acknowledge that it’s hard to do helps (and is inspiring). I don’t have any great tips myself…except to try not to get discouraged & know that little steps are helpful…

  • Reply Eva April 30, 2018 at 2:11 pm

    So very important! Lately I’ve been so distressed by the amount of trash we create that I’m considering starting to compost in my backyard. Much of our waste is food, and we recycle heavily, but we’re still simply consuming too much. I also love the food at a local brunch spot, but their take out containers are all #5’s or #6’s which our town doesn’t recycle (though I bring them to WholeFoods anyway). So, I’m thinking of asking them to considering using other, biodegradable materials. I know the owner well, what do you think is the best way to approach him?

    Eva | http://www.shessobright.com

    • Reply ERIN BOYLE April 30, 2018 at 2:30 pm

      It might be helpful to gather a few ideas for the kinds of alternative containers they could use so that they don’t feel overwhelmed by the amount of research they have to do? Margins are notoriously tight in the restaurant business, so folks are usually look for ways to save money. Could also be effective to gather some info about how they could afford the switch?

  • Reply Jennifer Odle April 30, 2018 at 2:18 pm

    Thanks for this post! We just had our daughter’s 1st birthday party last weekend (our second) and I was just astonished by how much waste we made. I was trying to be very mindful of it but had a family emergency a few days beforehand and it just derailed everything–takeout food, paper products, plates, etc. And the wrapping paper and plastic-filled gifts! I was appalled and felt horribly guilty afterwards. My oldest is turning 3 this fall and I am determined to produce less waste for her party. I’ve already started making notes for myself on how to throw a zero-waste kids party–homemade food, served on real plates, LESS PEOPLE, provide some gentle (and very polite) suggestions on experience-based gifts, etc. I’d be so grateful for a post on kids parties though, what do you do for your kids?

    • Reply ERIN BOYLE April 30, 2018 at 2:25 pm

      I think you’ve got the list down! We’ve had *very* simple parties in our family—just a very few family members, simple food on real plates, and requests for no gifts!

    • Reply Audrey May 1, 2018 at 1:12 pm

      We bought about 20-30 salad sized glass plates from IKEA for less than $1 each. They are nothing fancy, but this is what we use for bday parties and other large gatherings. And if one breaks, it’s okay. Depending on how often you entertain larger groups, it might be worth investing in something along those lines. When you factor in the cost of paper plates and plastic silverware, it only takes a handful of gatherings to break-even on the investment.

      • Reply Kim R May 1, 2018 at 8:39 pm

        My plate solution was our everyday plates for adults and camping enamelware plates (that we already own) for the kids. Our party wasn’t very big. Sounds like last weekend was not the weekend for homemade kid birthday parties.

      • Reply Rachel Lucas May 2, 2018 at 3:55 pm

        We held a wedding barbecue 6 months after our marriage (which was tiny, just 8 of us!) and spent those months picking up dinner plates, glasses & bundles of cutlery from charity shops. It was wonderful to have ‘real’ plates instead of balancing paper ones and bendy disposable forks. They’re stored in our cellar and we also lend them to friends for their large parties…the washing up afterwards is the only slight downside but I’ve always quite enjoyed the post-party clean-up, especially if everyone helps!

  • Reply Abby April 30, 2018 at 3:20 pm

    Thank you for another great post! We do our best, but we’re still working on remembering to ask restaurants to leave out plastic utensils when we order takeout.

    A few things on my mind lately: we bring reusable bags every time we go grocery shopping (and usually remember before we do any other kind of shopping), but so many people don’t. Our city (Providence, where you used to live) was on the verge of banning single-use plastic bags until a number of concerned representatives brought up the fact that low-income shoppers wouldn’t have any alternatives. So the interest is there, but the infrastructure is still lacking. I’d love to know if you’ve heard of any regional solutions to this problem.

    Additionally, I’m so envious that you live near bulk-produce stores (which I guess is a nice thing about NYC). For the majority of the US, that’s not a possibility. Any ideas for people who want to buy more in bulk but have maxed out with the bulk-food bins at Whole Foods?

    Thanks for your thoughts!

    • Reply ERIN BOYLE April 30, 2018 at 3:38 pm

      Yes, all of this can get tricky and I think it’s important to keep in mind how sustainability may or may not be feasible for all kinds of folks. It’s easy to dismiss precut and packaged veggies for instance, but important to remember folks who might need help with basic food prep because of a disability or health concern. I think it’s always important that the folks who are most able bear the brunt of the responsibility for sustainability efforts and not folks who are already marginalized. In terms of bulk shopping, I think some of this is about looking where you might not otherwise and some of this does get time-consuming. But I wouldn’t dismiss what you might find at Whole Foods and local farmers’ markets. That’s a great start!

    • Reply Stacey April 30, 2018 at 4:49 pm

      My city (Portland, OR) banned single use plastic grocery bags a while ago. (We still have plastic bags in the produce section though.) BUT there are still free paper bags with handles at the checkout line, so even if people can’t bring reusable bags they still have an easy option. Maybe that’s something to suggest to the Providence city council?

      • Reply Abby May 1, 2018 at 9:41 pm

        Love that idea, Stacey. Thank you!

  • Reply Natalie April 30, 2018 at 3:43 pm

    zerowastehome.com Very inspirational. Two parents working outside the home and two children.

    • Reply ERIN BOYLE April 30, 2018 at 3:48 pm

      Yes, agreed! Lots of inspiration there. But not two very young children and definitely different when part of one’s work is, indeed, making the family’s life zero-waste. Not a criticism at all, but something worth thinking about! To an extent, the same is certainly true of me!

      • Reply Katey April 30, 2018 at 6:44 pm

        These are really helpful tips! However, I don’t think having young children or older children or no children at all really matters — as you well articulated, living up to the standards of a zero waste lifestyle can be daunting and exhausting if most of your waking hours are spent working (whether that work is raising and caring for children or working a more traditional job). I don’t have children, but my husband and I live in NYC and are out of the house from 8am until often 8pm or later most week nights, spending long days working at our respective offices, and we feel equally as overwhelmed at keeping up with the zero waste lifestyle as someone who is working a job outside of the home and has also kids and/or someone whose full time work is raising and caring for kids at home. Time is a luxury for us all, kids or no kids!

        • Reply ERIN BOYLE April 30, 2018 at 8:32 pm

          No doubt that time is a luxury kids or not, but I think it’s fair to say that having small kids brings with it particular sets of challenges that don’t exist in the same way when kids are not part of the equation!

      • Reply Robin Barneby May 2, 2018 at 2:07 am

        Hi Erin!

        I know the zerowatehome family personally and they did begin their journey when their children were young.

        I started mine a few years before I was pregnant and have been attempting this lifestyle for about ten years now. If I could offer any encouragement to anyone starting it would be to just know that the efforts you make initially may seem effortful at first; however, they will become second nature.

        • Reply ERIN BOYLE May 2, 2018 at 6:45 am

          Hey there! No doubt! Just acknowledging that there aren’t a huge number of visible and current sources of zero-waste inspiration from working parents with small children. Zero Waste Home is such a terrific resource but it’s not a daily source of inspiration that focuses on day-to-day life balancing infants and full-time jobs, for instance! Totally agree that what feels daunting at first becomes second nature, but also wanted to hold space for folks who are feeling overwhelmed by life circumstances, whatever they are, and seeking to balance convenience with environmentalism.

  • Reply Kelly April 30, 2018 at 5:24 pm

    Thanks for the post! Before having a child I lived a very zero waste lifestyle. After my daughter was born, more and more trash crept into my life but I eventually learned to let go of perfection and strive for pretty good in order to have more sanity. One other take out tip I wanted to share was for restaurants that won’t put take out food into your own containers, we order the food “for here” and then when the food arrives on a plate, we just transfer it into our own containers. Obviously this doesn’t work everywhere (a fancy sit down place for instance), but it’s another option.

  • Reply Amelia Brown May 1, 2018 at 6:32 am

    Thanks for this! One thing that I do since moving from Seattle (zero-waste bliss) to Cambridge, UK where bulk stores are difficult to find, especially in a city without an underground and with no car, is to buy what the bulk stores buy and have it delivered. For example, before I would get almond meal in bulk or pasta, etc. from my nearest bulk store. Now, however, that’s not an option, so I buy 5-10kg bags of the staples we use regularly. It’s not ideal, but the plastic bags are generally recyclable here, which helps, and it is how the bulk stores get their products delivered and cuts down on small amounts of packaging waste. Its nice to be able to know, too, that there is food available in my cupboard ready to be made in 20 minutes or less, which has limited our take-out (a definite cost benefit). The cost at the outset is a bit high, but overall it becomes quite cost effective.

  • Reply Rachael May 1, 2018 at 11:04 am

    I live in a rural area, and it’s so difficult to be low waste here! We can’t recycle glass or plastic, and don’t have pickup for the rest, we have to go into town to one of the collection points. We don’t have space to compost in our apartment and there’s no community collection. We don’t have any public transportation, and biking isn’t an option 6 months out of the year with ice and snow on the highway. The one place within a reasonable distance that sells bulk doesn’t allow you to use your own containers, even fabric bags, for “sanitary reasons”. I’ve finally convinced them that my mesh produce bags are ok.

    I just do the best I can. I buy larger amounts than I usually prefer so that I’m using less plastic over time , never buy shrink wrapped produce, and opt for paper packages whenever possible. I drive a hybrid, and keep my trips as compact as possible, walking from errand to errand when I get to town. And I fret about about the ways I would do better if I had the resources. 😉

  • Reply Jenny May 1, 2018 at 1:52 pm

    Erin, I just read your wonderful post and all the comments too. I really appreciate you taking on all the concerns that I sent your way. As a working single parent to two children ages 5 and 1, I want to instill conservationism and concern for the earth and its communities in my daughters but I need to sometimes take shortcuts like delivery for dinner or amazon for shopping (like many urbanites, having no car is a wonderful way to be environmental but shopping online and receiving big almost empty boxes with plastic padding is dis-heartening!). I used the amazon no frustration packaging link today to order a more eco-smart updated small kitchen appliance and I am interested to see if they trim back the plastic! My nanny is coming along too thanks to supplies and a sweet conversation (although today my 5 year old reported that our wonderful nanny used a plastic bag yesterday while I was traveling leading me to fear that I am also creating a sustainability cop (gulp).) As always, I find your blog to be so approachable and a perfect gateway to living the life I want to aspire to for my family. Thank you so very much

    • Reply ERIN BOYLE May 1, 2018 at 2:27 pm

      Jenny! So glad you saw this! Meant to send you a link! I have quite the sustainability cop on my hands, too, but we try our best to help her understand that not everyone understands that plastic can harm the environment, that everyone is doing their best, and that sometimes plastic is necessary! Sending love and encouragement your way!

  • Reply Neurotic Workaholic May 1, 2018 at 4:01 pm

    I work on a college campus, so fortunately there are recycling bins for plastic, cans, and paper all over the place. Sometimes I see recyclable trash lying around, and I’ll pick it up and put it in the appropriate bins. And it’s embarrassing, but sometimes my students have seen me reach into the regular trash can, pull out plastic bottles, and put them in the recycling bins.

  • Reply Nathalie May 2, 2018 at 6:48 am

    Very interesting post! I am very inspired by some great IG accounts at the moment, from women with small children that live pretty much zero waste etc. I think this looks wonderful and I try to implement their ideas but as I working mom I find I often lack the time to be that mindful and often feel bad about it. Anyway, I just wanted to note how things are different in different countries: I am Swiss and live in Norway, two countries where recycling is a must, and take-outs a rarity (although I guess it is increasing, but still quite expensive) so we (like most people) cook mostly from scratch. However, I still have to find a place that sell things in bulk! In grocery shops, everything is packaged in tiny portions, like nuts for example. And the worse for me: all organic fruits and vegetables are wrapped in even more plastic than non-organic 🙁 I hope this will change.

  • Reply Kate May 3, 2018 at 2:45 pm

    I love this post! Especially the point of explaining to your babysitters what you’re trying to accomplish. I nannied for several years and the family I worked for used cloth diapers. The experience took any question of “how” away and now 8 years later and 2 babies of my own we are using the same cloth diapers. They hold up so well and I love to think of how many uses they have seen!

    • Reply ERIN BOYLE May 3, 2018 at 2:50 pm

      So awesome! I always feel a little bit apologetic when it’s a babysitter’s first time with cloth, but I think the learning phase is pretty swift! So lovely to hear your story!

  • Reply Mrs Z May 5, 2018 at 12:57 am

    Hello, we live in a rental, 11-unite sort of historic converted into live/work lofts house. Our city provides recycling & compostables services. There are separate containers in our building garbage enclosures.
    The problem is tenants many of whom totally ignore how they should separate garbage-recyclables-compostables. In fact, we are the only family or business that separate compost (Starbucks that’s there don’t).
    The property owning company doesn’t seem to care.
    Is there some free visuals or posters you can recommend to shame people into caring about that? It’s not really that people don’t know, it’s just they don’t care ;(

  • Reply Joanna May 5, 2018 at 7:31 am

    This is super helpful with some easy “habit shifts”. Do you have tips on how to start composting? I really want to do this but dont know how to begin. Im overwhelmed by what’s on the web.

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