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Learning from My "Zero-Waste" Fails (and Small Successes)

Last week another dire report came out about how we are overheating the planet with our incessant burning of fossil fuels. Policy change does not seem politically feasible, and the only way I seem to feel any better about all of this is to do something about it (in any small way) — I know my actions have little impact. It just seems better to do something. Not purchasing disposable items in the first place eliminates the energy to make new items, reduces trash and pollution.

I've been convinced by Hum of the City and Trash Is For Tossers (and many others) that the Zero Waste lifestyle is possible — I want to live at least a "low waste" lifestyle, so I decided to try out a few things. It's been harder than I expected to change our habits, my family is not always amenable to these changes, and some of the waste-free options are not great. We are still throwing out a large kitchen-size trash bag full of landfill waste per week, plus recycling.

But I've had some suc…

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