Better late than never!
The holiday season came and went, and before I knew it, my Master's program application deadlines had me in a stranglehold. Coupling these other priorities with launching Trashless in Toronto on January 9th, this post about the garbage I created during December fell further down the priority list. But fear not! I know that deep down, you've been waiting for the spine-tingling excitement of what ended up in my trash jar this past December. And pssst! I think I improved since November!
Biggest wins? Used SO much less lint roller paper compared to November and managed to keep the holidays essentially trash-free!
Biggest lessons? Lint and vacuum guts are not compostable in the City of Toronto.
This month's trash inventory is summarized by only one (!!!) jar content photo and a photo of the dryer lint and vacuum guts my boyfriend and I produced while tidying up during the holidays. I realized that lint and vacuum guts (which essentially means cat and human hair in our household) are not accepted by the City of Toronto's composting system and I have yet to have a moment to look into whether these materials can be put in a vermicompost (I manage the worm bins at the lovely Karma Co-Op!). I will update as soon as I know more! So without further adieu:
(1) Double-sided clothing tape
With the holiday season came holiday parties and my favourite party outfit does require some double sided tape in order to keep everything in place. This year I was really strategic with the tape I used in order to not generate too much waste, but still get the look and comfort that I needed.
(2) Bulk Barn and Qi receipts
I am big on keeping the receipts that are printed automatically by the machine. While you can argue that they could be considered the establishment's responsibility and thus their trash, I believe that because I choose to shop there I end up creating that waste and therefore it belongs in my jar. I also believe that keeping track of where these receipts tend to be printed gives me a sense of where to advocate for the use of more sustainable options, such as emailed receipts.
(3) Broken belt
I'm not even sure I can talk about this piece of trash - that's how disappointed I was that it broke. It was my only belt and I wore it with everything, although I did manage to find a replacement when my Mom found a similar one hiding at the back of her closet.
(4) Wax paper safety razor wrapper
Another month, another wax paper safety razor wrapper. My razors have ended up in a small mason jar until I figure out how to dispose of sharps properly (research in progress!).
(5) Plastic Maraca from New Years
While the New Year's Eve crackers my family purchased were for the most part recyclable, this plastic maraca is not and now remains as an annoying plastic reminder of the trash that can be created unknowingly during the holiday season.
(6) Bottle sealers
One of these bottle sealers came from the new tamari bottle I bought that I talk about under number 11, while the other is from a glass bottle of hot sauce, as I have yet to start making hot sauce or sriracha from scratch.
(7) Produce stickers
While I did my best to avoid these this month, I ended up taking a few home on my produce as sometimes the store will notice when you start putting the stickers from the
produce you are taking home on produce that is still on the shelves...
(10) Toronto Christmas Market cup
In our first holiday season living downtown, a visit to the Distillery District for my boyfriend and I was a must this year. While there we got mulled wine and when I asked to have it put in the mason jar I brought they said that they were unable to due to alcohol regulations in outside spaces. I ended up getting flustered and acqueised, using the disposable cup instead. However, on our way out of the market, the security guard stopped me because I had carried my empty disposable cup with me so that I could put it in my trash jar. When he found out why I was keeping it, he laughed and said that "it was cool" and let me go with it. I am fairly convinced that if I had been a little more confident, and gone to talk to the security guard to ask if it was okay for me to put my mulled wine in my jar, that there may have been potential for a more zero waste option. But - now I know the situation for next year!
(11) Plastic tamari bottle wrapper
While Karma Co-Op offers tamari in bulk, the only container I had to fill with tamari tended to spill and leak everywhere when I cooked with it. So I decided to buy some tamari packaged in glass, which has the easy pour lid that minimizes the mess when I'm cooking, and will be refilling it with bulk tamari in the future. Eventually, to eliminate the plastic, I hope to maybe find some clear swing top bottles second hand for tamari, maple syrup, vinegars, and oils, and then put in a pour spout like this when I wish to use it for cooking.
(12) Toothpaste tube
This tube is the last toothpaste tube we had remaining to use up. From now on, my boyfriend and I have been using a mixture of coconut oil and mint extract - an easy, non-abrasive recipe that will be posted soon!
(13) Birth control pill pack
Another month, another non-recyclable pill pack. As I mentioned in my November trash jar post, it is always important when it comes to your health to do what works for you - my utilization of birth control pills does contribute to some of my waste, but it is the best option for me and my health right now.
(14) Lint roller paper
I am so proud of how much less lint roller paper I used in December! While it did require some forethought in the mornings in order to buffer in the extra couple minutes to utilize the plastic free and less wasteful lint remover, it was worth it because I cut down on my trash from lint rolling by about half.
The final part of my trash this month are the dryer lint and vacuum guts accumulated over the month. We have cut down significantly on our dryer usage, and dry all our laundry on a drying rack. However, we do tend to spin our laundry for 10 minutes when it is essentially dry in order to collect the cat hair that seemingly magnetizes itself to our clothing. With regards to vacuuming, we tend to do a quick vacuum once a week with our bag-less Dyson vacuum. Since the majority of our lint and vacuum guts are human and cat hair, it is not accepted by the City of Toronto's composting program.
AND THAT'S IT!
Stay tuned for January's trash jar post coming soon.