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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Western chapter.


There’s this cute little video circulating around about this incredible woman who managed to fit two years of her trash into a jar. This got me thinking about how much waste I produce and how much of it was unnecessary.

WATCH IT HERE: https://www.facebook.com/Upworthy/videos/1161010843939772/?pnref=story&_…

“I feel like it’s really important to live your values,” Lauren Singer explains when she is discussing why she decided to go trash free.

This struck a chord with me because like I talk a big game about being environmental and conscious of my surroundings. I consider environmentalism as one of my key values and yet here I am, making all this trash and not even recycling everything that can be recycled. So, in the spirit of (late) new years resolutions, I have decided to start making some changes in my life to help eliminate my carbon footprint and be a little kinder to this beautiful planet that is our home.

When I really think about it, there is so much waste that I can be avoiding. Through recycling, buying products with little to no packaging, and being mindful of what garbage I produce I can make serious changes! And if more people join in, then the impact will be even more substantial.

First off, let me make it clear: I am totally not going to fit two years of trash into a jar. Not even a month’s worth. But there are some little things that I can start to change as a gradual introduction to a waste-free way of life.

On Lauren Singer’s website, trashisfortossers.com, she highlights many of the ways that we can reduce waste and product alternatives, like the ones found on this list (http://www.trashisfortossers.com/2013/08/zero-waste-alternatives-ultimate-list.html), that we can integrate into our lives.

So here is my own little list of things I am going to start with:


Lush Cosmetics:


Okay, maybe I am already in love with Lush and I am breaking my bank because of it. But Lush is a great store that’s products are all vegan and cruelty free. Not only are the products made of quality ingredients that will do wonders for your body and peace of mind, but the company makes as many of its products as it can with no packaging. For example, their shampoo bars and solid conditioners are great ways you can start moving to better, healthier hair while doing a little good to the environment. The products that come in packaging are in little black pots that you can bring back to the store for the company to reuse (if you bring in 5 black pots, you get a free fresh face mask!) So not only will you smell great, but your conscious will be clear.


Handkerchiefs and Cloth Napkins:


I love the idea of having handkerchiefs but no one really uses them anymore. When I looked in my trash after watching the video it was overflowing with two boxes worth of tissues… while it is gross and it was because I was sick I thought about all the damage I was doing and what sort of chemicals I was exposing my poor little nose to by running through that many Kleenex. So I’m branching out and looking for some handkerchiefs that I can wash and reuse and feel stylish and retro while doing so.

Also, cloth napkins can be used for a wide variety of things. They can replace paper towels, plastic bags, dish rags, etc. And again, let me emphasize, they are cute and retro.


The Lunette Cup:





I’ll admit, I’m SUPER nervous about this one. I’m not entirely sure how well I’ll handle it. But not only are tampons and pads wasteful, they contain a lot of chemicals that, to be frank, I don’t want in my body. So I’m willing to make an investment in a product that not only will save the environment, but will save me a ton of money and, most importantly, my body.



Purchasing Locally:


London is a hub of great small business, many run by students, and there are so many locations around our city that produce local, handmade products. From going to farmer’s markets (which vendors often don’t package their goods), to Purdy Natural (a store focused on all things natural http://www.purdynatural.ca) to Soul Stitcher (products like scrunchies, bow ties, and throw pillows handmade by the two cutest sisters http://soulstitcherhandmade.bigcartel.com) the benefits of purchasing locally are endless. It helps avoid a lot of the chemicals, packaging, and impersonal feel of products produced by big companies — not to mention you get to avoid the corruption and sweat shop guilt!


Plastic Alternatives:



Plastic contains a lot of harsh chemicals that we are constantly exposing ourselves to, either externally or internally through our food. It also doesn’t last as long as I want it too and it always somehow ends up melting when I’m in the kitchen. So I’m going to embrace the mason jar and glass containers for my food store (and my beverage needs) and am slowly going to replace my plastic home items (like dish scrubbies and tooth brushes) with bamboo alternatives.


These are just a few small steps that I’m going to be taking to help eliminate my waste and, well, I’m excited and terrified that I won’t be able to do it. So wish me luck and consider making some of these changes alongside me (that way neither of us are alone!)

Becca Serena wrote for Her Campus Western (Ontario) from 2015-2018. Beginning as a general writer, she made her way to Social Media Manager in 2016 and became a Chapter Advisor of five chapters from January to April of 2017. She serves as Editor-in-Chief and Co-Campus Correspondent for the 2017-2018 term. This venue saw Serena’s passion for writing brave and controversial pieces grow as her dedication to feminism strengthened.
Kellie Anderson is incredibly proud and excited to be Western Ontario's Campus Correspondent for the 2015-2016 year. She is currently in her fourth year of Media Information & Technoculture, and has an overflowing passion for creative writing. While Kellie loves to get wildly creative while writing fictional short stories, she has found that her true passion is in shedding light towards hard-hitting topics like Mental Illness - she believes that writing is the best healer. Kellie has some pretty BIG plans for her future and can't wait to graduate as a Her Campus Alumni! You can contact her at kellieanderson@hercampus.com.