It’s been almost 1.5 months since I officially started my waste jar. To call myself a zero waster I had to be transparent and accountable. Having the annual waste in a mason jar seemed the best practice up to date. So I said Yes, let’s do it!
It was a relatively easy start as I had already developed some of the habits and strategies to avoid unnecessary waste in my life. I had my daily zero waste essentials; my favourite eco shops and retailers; and continuous decluttering of my wardrobe and household.
So I got a tiny mason jar and here is what I got in my first month:
- Six boarding passes – most of the space! As I plan to travel more this year, a mobile solution has to be found soon.
- Easter bunnies, chocolate wrappers, kimchi jar cover and a few glittery items – yes, it was very hard to say no to gifts and I didn’t really resist.
- Museum/ national park entrances from Mexico – Hola, Frida! At least, it’s a good way to keep the memories.
- Price tags and bank receipts – I bought a new jacket and couldn’t go completely cashless. Some ATMs give you an option to not print the receipt, I should choose them.
What’s not in the jar (but could have been?):
- External SPA materials – I went to a few SPA treatments and never really checked the materials they used. Technically, it’s their choice to use them but I’m a consumer. So it’s a big personal dilemma if I shall bring my reusable cotton pads or not.
- A couple of plastic straws – I always ask to bring me a drink without no straw in it. But sometimes my request is disregarded. The final solution was to avoid the beverages that might include the straws or choose restaurants/bars that don’t offer plastic ones.
- Textile waste – I’ve got a few items that weren’t good enough to be donated/sold/given away. So I took them to the municipality bin that accepts clothes (almost every park in Hong Kong has one). I don’t know where they take all that stuff but it was literally the only destination for me.
- Condoms – OK, I wasn’t sure if I had to include this part. But I’m here to be fully transparent, right? This is one big dilemma for me as I don’t want to rely on the apps and I don’t like taking the pills. The temporary ‘solution’ is that it’s my partner’s waste but it’s definitely not the permanent solution.
I had no food waste as I rarely cooked in March – was either out of town or changing the apartments. I didn’t buy new clothes, except for the blue jacket from Zara. I recycled a lot of paper and aluminium cans (cokes and beers). I was lucky to be part of many sustainable events where being waste free was easy.
- I need a bigger jar as I’m anticipating more waste coming from some of my medicines (painkillers and old pills brought from home).
- Food waste and composting will be essential as I’m planning to cook more food.
- I need to plan more in advance and avoid hard choices (like eating packaged food vs staying hungry).
- Relax and see the content of my jar as a memories’ jar too 🙂