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Is anyone here into the zero waste movement?
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newbie









  


Post  Sun, Dec 02 2018, 4:09 pm
Hello,

I was wondering if there are others here who are interested in the subject. Broadly speaking it means trying to reduce your consumption by making more food yourself, making your own cosmetics if possible ( peelings for example) and trying to reduce plastic use. The idea behind it js that too much shopping and consumption is both bad for our health and the planet. Anyone into this as well?
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Maya









  


Post  Sun, Dec 02 2018, 4:15 pm
The only thing we do is avoid buying plastic and paper goods because of environmental and waste concerns. But nothing beyond that.
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Mommy1:)









  


Post  Sun, Dec 02 2018, 4:17 pm
I'm a big fan of anything that reduces the expense and mess of garbage bags... I recycle a lot, sorting through it, talking about how many garbage bags it would fill, what kind of things it can be recycled into is a family activity the day before recycling pickup.

I also have just talked my husband into a compost bin (that'll be perfect for fruit/veggie peels, egg shells, coffee grounds and more), and will be perfect for the veggies we plan to grow outside in the spring and summer.

I think that zero waste is not so realistic for most families, but increasing recycling is.
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icebreaker









  


Post  Sun, Dec 02 2018, 4:42 pm
I’m really trying to reduce to my family’s plastic consumption/use. I’ve been seeing so many stories of sea animals found dead with plastic and other harmful garbage in their stomachs. Blue Planet on BBC America really opened my eyes

Haven’t heard of making my own cosmetics. I have heard of people making their own soaps. Maybe I’ll try with the kiddos my next vacation Smile
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FranticFrummie









  


Post  Sun, Dec 02 2018, 4:48 pm
Zero waste is not doable for me at this time, but I've always been committed to "Reduce, recuse, recycle." I'm always looking for ways I can do better, like remembering to bring my own bags to the grocery store, and bringing reusable produce bags as well.
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ectomorph









  


Post  Sun, Dec 02 2018, 8:41 pm
I believe that environmentalism is avoda zara and people sacrifice things to it, like comfort.

Otoh I do support preventing bal tashchis.
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amother




Rose


Post  Sun, Dec 02 2018, 9:44 pm
I wish! But I don’t live on a farm and don’t even have a balcony whereI can grow tomatoes in a pot or compost kitchen scraps. So I do what I can. I write my shopping and to-do lists on the backs of envelopes. I reuse aluminum foil and ziplock bags till they fall apart. . I cut old towels into washcloths, and by the time I throw them out they are screaming for mercy. I cut old shirts into rags and use the unusable scraps like collars and cuffs to mop up grody things instead of paper towels. I draw the line, however, at using reusable cloths for feminine hygiene or instead of TP. Sorry, no, nope, huh-uh, no way. There’s a very good reason why disposables were invented for these purposes.

Tried the make your own cosmetics route. strawberry juice blush and blueberry peel eye shadow doesn’t cut it. Homemade hand cream doesn’t do it either, though I made a dandy eyebrow wax from beeswax and olive oil. Corn starch bath powder works but I’m not about to make my own corn starch or potato starch. Like I said, I don’t live on a farm.

Would love to try composting one day but only outdoors. So long as I live in an urban apt with zero outdoor space, it’s not gonna happen. Anyway you can’t normally compost things like animal bones and fat unless you have special equipment. I once had the idea of making soap from chicken fat, but supermarkets no longer carry lye and I don’t have a fireplace to generate wood ashes to make my own. Anyway, the process of soapmaking is fraught with danger and it makes no sense to risk debilitating chemical burns just to be able to brag that you don’t waste the chicken fat you skim off your soup.
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Frumwithallergies









  


Post  Sun, Dec 02 2018, 10:13 pm
Great thread, IMHO! We have neighbourhood compost and recycling pick-up weekly.
I don't do disposables except to send out food for Chai lifeline or other meal-trains. I try to avoid plastic toys and dollar store products as much as possible. I don't really do cosmetics or masks etc.

I look forward to reading other tips from Imas.
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levlongnprosper









  


Post  Sun, Dec 02 2018, 10:19 pm
Yes! We're in a city right now, so we do the best we can. Compost gets dropped off weekly, recycling goes out through our building, take soft plastics to a special drop off, buy as much food as we can through community supported agriculture and farmers markets, buy as much as we can from grass fed/ethically raised meats and fish to promote sustainability, reuse or donate what we can and shop second hand when we can, I make a lot of our cleaning products, and we try to take little steps to avoid unnecessary waste!
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amother




Wheat


Post  Sun, Dec 02 2018, 10:22 pm
amother wrote:
I wish! But I don’t live on a farm and don’t even have a balcony whereI can grow tomatoes in a pot or compost kitchen scraps. So I do what I can. I write my shopping and to-do lists on the backs of envelopes. I reuse aluminum foil and ziplock bags till they fall apart. . I cut old towels into washcloths, and by the time I throw them out they are screaming for mercy. I cut old shirts into rags and use the unusable scraps like collars and cuffs to mop up grody things instead of paper towels. I draw the line, however, at using reusable cloths for feminine hygiene or instead of TP. Sorry, no, nope, huh-uh, no way. There’s a very good reason why disposables were invented for these purposes.

Tried the make your own cosmetics route. strawberry juice blush and blueberry peel eye shadow doesn’t cut it. Homemade hand cream doesn’t do it either, though I made a dandy eyebrow wax from beeswax and olive oil. Corn starch bath powder works but I’m not about to make my own corn starch or potato starch. Like I said, I don’t live on a farm.

Would love to try composting one day but only outdoors. So long as I live in an urban apt with zero outdoor space, it’s not gonna happen. Anyway you can’t normally compost things like animal bones and fat unless you have special equipment. I once had the idea of making soap from chicken fat, but supermarkets no longer carry lye and I don’t have a fireplace to generate wood ashes to make my own. Anyway, the process of soapmaking is fraught with danger and it makes no sense to risk debilitating chemical burns just to be able to brag that you don’t waste the chicken fat you skim off your soup.

LOL I don't do most of the things that you do, but I LOVE reusable feminine hygiene products. I find the disposables absolutely disgusting. So glad I discovered them, though I wish I had known about them as a teen - I was miserable.
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nchr









  


Post  Sun, Dec 02 2018, 10:49 pm
Yes. I've spent a lot of time reading about it, but we dont practice it in its entirety. We do composting though.
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A_Mother_First









  


Post  Mon, Dec 03 2018, 12:08 am
ectomorph wrote:
I believe that environmentalism is avoda zara and people sacrifice things to it, like comfort.

Otoh I do support preventing bal tashchis.


Avoda Zara? What do you base this on?

Hashem created a perfect world for us to enjoy but we are ruining it in every possible way because we are too lazy to conserve, and because we are selfish and do not care about other beings, and about future generations.

Last time I checked, using plastic plates and spoons was not a mitzvah in the Torah.
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dee's mommy









  


Post  Mon, Dec 03 2018, 12:16 am
Oh, yes! I have been doing the best I could for nearly two years. I was afraid to mention it here, because I was afraid of the reception I would get.

I call it "reduced waste" because I can't realistically call what I do "zero."

The truth is, I have been somewhat "environmental" for many years: using reusable shopping bags, recycling, and using my city wide green bin program (composting that is collected from the curb), cloth diapering, using cloth menstrual pads, and reusable produce bags.

Recently, I have added some more things, like handkerchiefs, toilet paper that is wrapped in paper instead of plastic, bulk cleaning products (I refill my container) and even some bulk foods that does not require a hesher (under guidance from a local rabbi who is an expert in the food and kosher industry.) This last is probably the most controversial, because I find the hard part of this is combining kosher with "zero waste." It isn't always compatible, but I do try. There is a local "Zero Waste" grocery store that opened about a year and a half ago, and we have a great relationship. They are very understanding to my needs, and are always very helpful.

When I can't buy in bulk I try as much as possible to avoid buying things in plastic, and instead opt for metal, plastic or cardboard/ paper containers.

There is someone in this thread who called this "avoda zara," which I do object to. Why is taking care of the world Hashem gave us avoda zara? I don't feel that I'm sacrificing anything to it. It's just a matter of slowly finding different ways of doing things. It's not AZ if I use a reusable grocery or produce bag, use cloth instead of disposable diapers, or refill my shampoo bottle with shampoo from a tap at a specialized store. We are frum, but we are still citizens of the world. Why not do what we can do to take care of it?
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Rappel









  


Post  Mon, Dec 03 2018, 12:23 am
Yes. I feel it is my responsibility to do what I can to take care of Hashem's world. Since I've started trying, I've also discovered that there is a special, keen joy in having sustainable cycles in my home - when I know that even my waste has a purpose, it gives me an intense feeling of emunah.

(Edited because on second read, I realized the second paragraph I wrote earlier was utter nonsense, but I don't have time to rewrite it, so I just deleted it instead. Wink)


Last edited by Rappel on Mon, Dec 03 2018, 5:08 am; edited 2 times in total
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imasoftov









  


Post  Mon, Dec 03 2018, 3:33 am
ectomorph wrote:
I believe that environmentalism is avoda zara and people sacrifice things to it, like comfort.

I can't odd
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imasoftov









  


Post  Mon, Dec 03 2018, 3:41 am
A_Mother_First wrote:
Avoda Zara? What do you base this on?

Hashem created a perfect world for us to enjoy but we are ruining it in every possible way because we are too lazy to conserve, and because we are selfish and do not care about other beings, and about future generations.

Last time I checked, using plastic plates and spoons was not a mitzvah in the Torah.

Kohelet Rabba 7:13

When the Blessed Holy One created the first human, He took him and led him round all the trees of the Garden of Eden and said to him: “Look at My works, how beautiful and praiseworthy they are! And all that I have created, it was for you that I created it. Pay attention that you do not corrupt and destroy My world: if you corrupt it, there is no one to repair it after you.
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Raisin









  


Post  Mon, Dec 03 2018, 5:19 am
How can you call it avoda zara? Many of the ways people live their life nowadays is clearly baal tashchis and not taking care of Hashem's world.

I'm not very good at this but I do attempt to recycle, compost and not use too much paper goods. And I often get compostible paper goods. This is encouraged by my city - I pay for rubbish to be picked up but recycling is free and compost is much cheaper. Also shopping bags are not free in shops so I use reusable ones.

I walk a lot instead of driving and use a menstrual cup.
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newbie









  


Post  Mon, Dec 03 2018, 5:59 am
Thank you all, that is encouraging! So many interesting answers! No I also don’t thing „zero“ waste is possible for me or most of the people I know but I take it slowly and do what works for us and our family.
We now use bamboo toothbrushes and are very happy with them, even the kids like them. I still use normal toothpaste though ( I’m not THAT into it), I use recycled toilet paper and make as much food from scratch as I can. In the end we are commanded to take care of the world.
I can see ectomorphs point though - correct me if I’m wrong but you probably refer to people who put environmental issues over Torah or treat it as a religion. Then of course it can become avoda zara, like for example money or anything else.
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zaq









  


Post  Mon, Dec 03 2018, 6:13 am
Hmph. I grew up doing all this, minus the composting. We didn’t call it “environmental responsibility” . We called it “saving and making ends meet”. Waste not, want not. I’m not as good at it as my parents because my dad could fix anything and I can’t. Anything he threw out had lived nine very useful lives and deserved it’s final rest.
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newbie









  


Post  Mon, Dec 03 2018, 7:10 am
[quote="zaq"]Hmph. I grew up doing all this, minus the composting. We didn’t call it “environmental responsibility” . We called it “saving and making ends meet”. Waste not, want not. I’m not as good at it as my parents because my dad could fix anything and I can’t. Anything he threw out had lived nine very useful lives and deserved it’s final rest.[/quote

Times have changed. The globalisation and the Internet have made it cheaper to buy something new than to fix it- from hoovers to beds to clothing. The internet has made life faster - an email has to be answered the same day, a letter could take a week. So one could argue that this movement is a healthy reaction to an unhealthy world.
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