Ten months today

Time flies when you’re reducing your trash output.

Today marks the Walker Four’s 10th month anniversary (month-iversary?) of our Simple Year project (you’re thinking of what you’d like to propose for Year 6, right?). It’s been a pleasant surprise, what’s been possible in our small town — we may not be at zero, but we have been able to make great progress, and that’s exciting.

Now, a few odds and ends that never seem to make it into “regular” posts to celebrate:


I can’t even remember when it occurred to me that instead of making bath products like lotion and and facial cream, I should be using up what I already own. Well, some if it was stuff I inherited from Abby (teenagers …), but still, it’s kind of amazing how many products a girl can amass over the years without even trying.

So I decanted like items together into glass jars. And hallelujah, I finally used up the last of the store bought lotion! It was actually pretty terrible, but that’s probably because I mixed a bunch of scents together (and I hate smells anyway). I’m still working on a small jar of face cream and another small jar of leave-on hair … conditioner? … and a tiny bit of hand cream, and I’m all done!

Be gone! Seriously.

Not quite so long ago, Eric suggested trying to find another brand of bath soap, as the unwrapped bars I had been getting, while smelling fantastic (even to me) don’t last long and are slightly expensive. I wasn’t having much luck at the supermarket. Then, when I wasn’t even looking, I found an unwrapped bar in a cardboard box at a variety store. Downside: It smells kind of gross.

Well, we tried.

On the upside, it was $1.79 for a 4.25 ounce bar, and it’s lasted weeks now. Figures, since I just want it to be gone. There were other scents, but I keep forgetting to go back and see what else is available. I’m not as happy with this option as I am with the unwrapped bar, but there’s something to be said for marital harmony. 😉

And recently I decided to try bulk bath gel, wisely going with just a sample size in my container to test it out. Turns out that was a good call on my part, because I really hate this stuff — the smell, the lather (read: there isn’t any), even that it’s gel. I don’t feel bad that I tried because how else would I know? But wow, failure.

I still need to get my act together and come to a conclusion on the makeup front regardless of how overwhelming I’m finding that particular goal. Soon!


As alluded to in my zero waste at the office post, I have removed the paper towel from my Ron Swanson mug and replaced it with a hankie from my late grandma. It looks nicer and still accomplishes the “no dust in my cup” goal.

Plus it makes Ron look dapper.

On the home office front, we finally used up the last of the plastic-wrapped printer paper a la The Store That Must Not Be Named. As you may or may not remember, I bought some paper-wrapped paper for our Walker Family Christmas Form Letter in December, and, now having a better alternative, am thrilled that this piece of trash will be my last on that score:

Don’t let the door hit you on the way out.


When I went shopping this weekend, I was struck how I don’t really think about “zero waste shopping” anymore. Um, because now it’s just “shopping.” That is a really great place to be.

One of the checkers told me a couple weeks ago that she loves seeing my jars, and that there are several others who do that too, but I’m the one who brings in the most, consistently. Well, shucks. Also: I love that there are more of us out there.

This week, another checker was telling me how jars are such a great idea because it’s easier when you get home — nothing to decant. Definitely true, and nothing to toss afterwards, either. (Or recycle.) Oh, geez, and then I handed her my container of ground beef — the girls requested stuffed meatball sandwiches for dinner on Sunday — and was like, careful, there’s meat kind of smeared on there, so I’d like it in a separate bag, and she was like, um, why is it smeared? You should have made them wash it off! and then I kind of told on Mr. Plastic. Everyone at the meat counter is awesome about taring my container and filling it, but there’s this one guy who just doesn’t like to do it, and I try not to aggravate him too much, I said. But he does put stuff in plastic and then put it in my container, which drives me nuts.

And she was like, that is not right! As a customer, you should be able to get your products any way you want them! And I was like, I love you. 

But I also don’t want to start any wars. I mean, intentionally. I feel like a passive-aggressive jerk with what I said anyway. I don’t know, maybe it will eventually make a difference in the saga of Mr. P. Or maybe he’ll try to fight me in the parking lot.

P.S. I’m really behind on answering comments, and I’m sorry about that. Life has been … well. We lost a dear friend of ours recently to congenital heart disease, plus we’ve just had a lot going on, and I’ve had to make some time management decisions. I will catch up. I appreciate you all so much.

Next up: Let’s talk more about groceries.