Day 1 of our series – Living a Waste Free Lifestyle from our guest blogger, Karena Wright

Three years ago, I just had my youngest son. In the hospital, I forgot to bring my reusable water bottle and relied on the Styrofoam cups the nurses would bring me. It was during that hospital stay the thought of all those cups ending up in a landfill got me thinking about a low waste lifestyle. First, let me say, I am now a mother of three little boys; three high energy, lots of trouble, lots of fun little boys. I am trying to make changes little by little. I don’t have all the answers, and it wouldn’t be possible to say that I do everything right. These are just some of the small things that I have attempted to reduce waste and do a small part of a big problem.

If there is something we’ve all come to realize, its that the world is always changing. During these challenging times, we have seen a global change. The canals in Venice are clearer than they’ve been in a long time. People in India can see the Himalayas for the first time in decades, and there are blue skies over China. I hope once society is re-opened, we can make small changes to let the Earth continue to heal itself. During this COVID-19 pandemic, we have time to reflect on what was normal and think about what the new normal will be. We can do our part to turn this into a positive experience.

So here a couple of things to get you started today to think about:

The first change I made was switching to Norwex microfiber rags for cleaning. If you haven’t tried them or something similar, I highly suggest it. There are no chemicals used. With three boys, a chemical-free home was critical to me. The rags are reusable, self-sanitizing, and eliminate or dramatically reduce the need for paper towels, Clorox wipes, and napkins.

Over the past year, I have personally made some changes to reduce mine and my family’s use of plastic dramatically. Plastic will be here long after we are. Nothing we use for a few minutes should last so long. If we buy something in plastic, clean it properly, and place it in the recycle bin, we have done our small part. Or have we? Plastic can only be recycled once, maybe twice. I feel our best option is to reduce our plastic use.

Since diving further into my quest of reducing plastic, I have found great ideas that I have been implementing in my own home.  I started looking to Instagram for a lot of these ideas.  Please don’t go out and buy all new things to be low waste that kind of defeats the purpose.  Over time once I ran out of or used the product left in plastic, then I switched to my low waste purchase.  Most items I’ve purchased on Amazon.  To be honest I do most of the shopping online.   With my 3 young boys getting time to myself at the store doesn’t exist.  When you buy from Amazon, did you know that you can select to NOT have your things packaged in plastic? In your Amazon App you can select CHAT with customer care and tell them to opt out of plastic packaging.

Bamboo Toothbrushes.  (These can be found in town at Chiropractic and Wellness on Pewaukee Lake)

Believe it or not toothbrushes are a fan favorite in my home. The boys have gotten them for Christmas, when there’s a parade and they throw out toothbrushes you better believe we are the first ones to grab them!!

If you had to keep every toothbrush you’ve ever had, that would add up quickly even though they are relatively small.  That’s why we made the switch to bamboo.

Bamboo is one of the fastest growing plants and it doesn’t require the whole plant to be harvested. Once done with the toothbrush pull out the bristles and then you can put in your composter. There are many brands and styles. Make sure to check that it does not come in plastic packaging when ordering or purchasing in store.