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Sarah Lockwood's avatar

Sarah Lockwood

"I'm excited to learn more during this challenge and continue my journey of eco-friendly living!"

Points Total

  • 0 Today
  • 0 This Week
  • 869 Total

Participant Impact

  • up to
    15
    pounds
    food waste prevented
  • up to
    15
    pounds
    packaging waste avoided
  • up to
    1
    waste audits
    conducted
  • up to
    4
    pounds
    waste avoided
  • up to
    19
    pounds
    waste recycled

Sarah's Actions

At Home

No More Wish-cycling

I will recycle the right materials by educating myself on what goes in the bin and keep other things out. 

COMPLETED 20
DAILY ACTIONS

Community

Contact Manufacturers

I will contact product manufacturers to ask that they make products more repairable and keep waste reduction in mind.

Completed
One-Time Action

Food

Be Smart About Food Labels

I will learn about food labels and not throw food out just based on date on the package, but instead check the smell and color to see if it has gone bad.

Completed
One-Time Action

At Home

Ditch Disposable Cleaning Products

I will replace my disposable cleaning wipes with a reusable brush or cloth.

Completed
One-Time Action

At Home

Switch to Reusable Napkins and Towels

My household of 2 will use reusable napkins and towels instead of disposable options.

Completed
One-Time Action

At Home

Recycle Plastic Caps

I will recycle 2 plastic caps by placing them back on the (plastic) bottles before placing them in my recycling bin.

COMPLETED 19
DAILY ACTIONS

Belongings

Have a Zero-Waste Day

I will refuse all items associated with packaging for the entire day.

COMPLETED 2
DAILY ACTIONS

Belongings

Needs vs. Wants

I will adopt a "Needs vs. Wants" approach and only buy things I need.

COMPLETED 17
DAILY ACTIONS

Food

Eat Food Before it Spoils

My household of 2 will prioritize eating foods that may spoil soon.

COMPLETED 23
DAILY ACTIONS

At Home

Complete a Waste Audit

I will conduct a waste audit - including recyclables and compostables - to understand how much waste I create and where I can reduce the most.

Completed
One-Time Action

Feed


  • Sarah Lockwood's avatar
    Sarah Lockwood 6/26/2020 2:32 PM
    Wild that tomorrow is the last day of this challenge! Excited to continue my "zero waste" journey and take part in my next challenge - Plastic Free July. If you're interested, you can find more at plasticfreejuly.com . 

    • Kim Jucha's avatar
      Kim Jucha 6/27/2020 5:37 AM
      Hi Sarah. Thank you for the Teracycle tip. I didn't even think to do that which is odd because I used to ship old sneakers back to Nike for their 'reuse a shoe' program. Thanks again!
  • Reflection Question
    Belongings Have a Zero-Waste Day
    Were there any moments that surprised you when you refused packaging items? What were the hardest items to avoid?

    Sarah Lockwood's avatar
    Sarah Lockwood 6/23/2020 3:21 PM
    Ya'll....this was HARD. I did give myself some leeway as far as packaged products that I already have in my home that I am using up before switching to package free alternatives. My main goal was not creating any new waste. SO MUCH stuff has associated packaging. Food/Beverages were definitely the hardest items. I have been looking into where to buy more bulk/package free items but they are still so inaccessible in our society. I did recently learn about Tare Market in South Minneapolis and am looking forward to shopping there soon for package free dry goods. However, that does mean an extra "grocery" trip and is completely out of my way so while this store is great, I am extremely privileged to shop there and have access to waste-free items. I also want to acknowledge that I am still working from home and staying home as much as possible so I was not tempted by the coffee shop or going out for lunch as are the normal struggles with trying to be "zero waste." For these moments you really have to plan ahead and have your own beverage/food containers, utensils, cloth napkin, etc... but it is possible! Today really put into perspective HOW much packaging we have that is so unnecessary. Also, how we need to focus on making package-free goods more accessible and normal (not just a trend).

    • Dan Rubenstein's avatar
      Dan Rubenstein 6/24/2020 11:55 AM
      The Shampoo Project seems like a great idea!

    • Kim Jucha's avatar
      Kim Jucha 6/24/2020 5:39 AM
      I completely agree with what you wrote Sarah. Years ago, I started a 'shampoo project' at my house where I gathered all my shampoo, conditioner, soap, body wash, moisturizer, face cream, talc, etc and put it all in one box. I had SO MANY bottles I was shocked. I told myself I was not going to buy any more of those items until I used everything up. It took years! (But like you, I don't see the point of throwing more plastic out and switching to zero packaging until the item has been used.) 
      I am now at the point where I have one bottle (which I refill at our co-op) of shampoo (my husband won't use bar shampoo) a few bars of soap, one face cream etc. 

      This may sound strange but I get so excited when I am down to my last bar of soap and I can buy a new one. I never felt that way when I had stores of that in the house. 

      Anyway, best of luck to you in your zero waste journey
  • Reflection Question
    Food Be Smart About Food Labels
    Did you know that not all food labeling means the same thing? How have you changed your habits to decide if food is still safe to eat?

    Sarah Lockwood's avatar
    Sarah Lockwood 6/22/2020 9:14 AM
    I always ALWAYS do a smell check. Especially with milk which can last a few days past its expiration date. I have also tested the egg trick when we've had eggs that have a past expiration date. In general, expiration dates and "best by" or "use by" dates are all confusing so always do a few tests because the food is most likely still edible (as long as you don't actively see mold or smell something bad.)
  • Reflection Question
    At Home Switch to Reusable Napkins and Towels
    Is there anything you like more about using cloth and towels napkins than paper napkins and towels? If not, how do you stick to the habit?

    Sarah Lockwood's avatar
    Sarah Lockwood 6/22/2020 9:11 AM
    I like that I can wash and reuse them. Often times we may use multiple paper napkins for one meal, but I can use one cloth napkin for that same meal. Also, it feels a little fancier. I think the biggest thing to remember when starting to use cloth napkins and towels is to keep them somewhere accessible and possibly where you can see them. I've had a set of cloth napkins for a few months, but they've been kept in a cabinet so I forget to get them out. Now I keep them out where I can easily grab them and remember to use them.
  • Reflection Question
    At Home Complete a Waste Audit
    What did you learn about the waste you create? Where can you reduce the most?

    Sarah Lockwood's avatar
    Sarah Lockwood 6/12/2020 1:47 PM
    To no surprise, I create the most waste in the kitchen. My apartment building doesn't have city trash services so I have been collecting organics and dropping them off at one of the community drop-off sites. However, after the stay-at-home order I stopped collecting them because I wasn't going out and the drop-off site wasn't very close to home. I've realized that it would be worth it to begin collecting organics again and make the trip to drop-off every week or two to save our overflowing garbage. Other waste comes from food packaging. We normally grocery shop at Cub which has some bulk foods, but I wish there were more options. My boyfriend is allergic to gluten and nuts which creates more of a barrier to find bulk foods safe for him. Now that I've done this audit I'm looking forward to researching solutions to various waste problems.

    • Sarah Lockwood's avatar
      Sarah Lockwood 6/13/2020 10:09 AM
      Hi Dorothy! Yeah, I had been collecting organics and dropping off at a community site up until the stay-at-home order. I just couldn't justify driving to drop them off since there aren't any locations near me. I've double-checked the Hennepin County page and written them asking for more drop-off locations (I live in the North Loop). The Minneapolis Parks don't offer anything, they just share the Hennepin County resources. I've also used the app ShareWaste which is a compost sharing app to connect those who collect compost with those who need it, but there doesn't seem to be much action in the Minneapolis area.

    • Dorthy Vitullo's avatar
      Dorthy Vitullo 6/13/2020 6:43 AM
      Hi Sarah!  Not sure what area you are in? but coops always have organic recycling and you can check with your parkboard too! You also may have some neighbors composting they may want your organics...you know one man trash another man's treasure!
  • Reflection Question
    Food Eat Food Before it Spoils
    What types of foods are on your "eat this first" space in the refrigerator?

    Sarah Lockwood's avatar
    Sarah Lockwood 6/08/2020 2:54 PM
    Any leftovers from dinner the previous night(s). I generally eat them for lunch, however, some days I will cook something or make a salad just to mix things up. My favorite leftover is taco meat. I almost always incorporate this into a taco salad the next day for lunch.
  • Reflection Question
    At Home Ditch Disposable Cleaning Products
    How have you modified your cleaning routine to make sure you aren't using disposable wipes? Are you satisfied with the results?

    Sarah Lockwood's avatar
    Sarah Lockwood 6/02/2020 2:50 PM
    A big change has been keeping rags/cloths in an obvious and accessible place in the kitchen. It is so easy while cooking to automatically reach for a paper towel to clean up messes. I now have a cleaning rag visible and ready to use so that I grab it first rather than wasting paper towels. To be honest, we do still have a container of clorox wipes, but they make compostable wipes now(!) and we only use them for on-the-go or disinfecting items like phones, keys, and such in this time of coronavirus. If you are interested in the compostable clorox wipes, only buy the Free & Clear version. The lemon-scented ones are not recommended for home compost systems.
  • Reflection Question
    Belongings Needs vs. Wants
    How is creativity necessary for practicing simplicity and adopting a needs vs. wants mindset?

    Sarah Lockwood's avatar
    Sarah Lockwood 5/26/2020 3:04 PM
    There are many things around your house that have multiple uses! Old t-shirts? Cleaning rags. Empty pasta sauce jars? Jars for bulk bin shopping and storage. It is also easy to get caught up in the Instagram "zero waste" look and do an overhaul of plastic products in your home. HOWEVER, your plastic toilet brush is still working just fine and probably will for a few more years if you are cleaning properly. You don't have to immediately buy a bamboo/wooden brush just because that is "the look" for zero waste. Use up what you have completely before replacing!

    • Laurel Bieschke's avatar
      Laurel Bieschke 5/27/2020 4:55 PM
      Yes!  I love this post because there is so much consumer culture still encouraging people to do zero waste "the right away"....whatever that means.  It shouldn't have to mean purchasing new items.  This way of living shouldn't be exclusive to those who have means to replace items deemed "unacceptable."  
  • Reflection Question
    Community Contact Manufacturers
    Which manufacturers did you contact? Was the conversation easy or hard?

    Sarah Lockwood's avatar
    Sarah Lockwood 5/24/2020 3:20 PM
    I have a Quip toothbrush and after a brush head delivery I emailed them about their packaging. They sent me back a general response, but when my most recent delivery came they had changed their packaging to be paper/cardboard based for easy recycling! They had also cut down on packaging in general. Who knows if they actually read my email, but it was cool to see that change! I also reached out to a local small business plant shop that had been wrapping plants in plastic to keep them safe as folks purchased them. I offered biodegradable or compostable alternatives but never heard back from them. It is awkward to reach out to a company, but SO worth it. We have to stand up for the planet.
  • Reflection Question
    At Home Recycle Plastic Caps
    What are some things you can do to avoid using plastic bottles and plastic caps in the first place?

    Sarah Lockwood's avatar
    Sarah Lockwood 5/24/2020 3:15 PM
    Never buy plastic water bottles (I already am largely against this.) Find drinks that are in glass which is much easier to recycle and more likely to actually be recycled. Cut down on any drinks that you are buying in plastic bottles and look for alternatives at bulk stores/diy recipes.