The other night, I saw a Kraft mayonnaise commercial, reminding the world that it exists. Obviously, they consider themselves better than “that other guy” (Hellman’s), but that didn’t seem to be the point; it was more like a big hand waving, “Hey guys, just because you’ve always bought that thing before doesn’t mean it’s the best thing to buy!”
From what I’ve read, we’re creatures of habit. We have inherent tastes, we know the comfort level of our price point and needs and, once we find something that works, we’re more likely to just keep buying that thing than to branch out into any new thing, even if it might be eons better / cheaper / more sustainable.
This last Year, I’ve shaken up so many of my home staples, from my clothes to makeup to my toothpaste and almond milk. Some have come after assessing my general spending during the No Shopping Challenge; others during my study of Zero Waste. It’s been a beautifully fascinating, uplifting, soul-filling journey, as I discover more about my values and how I want to spend my resources and fill my space.
Even looking around my bedroom now, from where I type: I have the joy of a gorgeous rug I inherited from my mother under my feet; a pair of heavy circa-1970s double-backed drapes I got for a shocking $10 and adore beyond compare hand bright on my windows; my vanity is rather minimalistic in nature now; and my bookshelves cluster with gifted new books or faded ones resurrected from a cleaned up basement stash or purchased used, plus a few treasures from the library.
But while my pantry and closet and toiletries have progressively been given serious goings-over, a few departments of my home have remained unscathed.
I live with a roommate. A wonderful woman, but one whose views on sustainability are a bit on the other side of the spectrum as mine. This means there is a place for compromise and understanding and patience. And a mantra of “choose your battles” I’m sure she deals with as much as I. Our paper and cleaning products were not up for debate in my successive cleanouts. I didn’t fight that. I no longer use paper towels or tissues, so have no more say in what those are. I use a spray and sponge where she uses disposables. And I have my own set of certain things to clean with a little more muscle whereas she prefers the ease of cleansers with more power. We’re all good, and quite happy together.
She’s in Europe right now.
So, to finally get to the point: We needed new trash bags. We now have trash bags made 65% of recycled materials. At least while she’s gone, our loo paper is made of recycled tissue, too. The towels I use to clean the cat’s vomit? Yep, I can get away with fewer sheets. Dish soap, floor soap, fewer plastic bags and garbage overall…
It might not be a huge shift in my habit for this study, but it was immensely satisfying to shift something up for a short bit.