First I thought of making my own juice for Eli, but it seems the only affordable option for us would be to make orange juice, and he just doesn't care for orange juice. Besides that, I don't own a juicer and money is tight. I became very excited at the option of frozen juice in a paper container, but as I dismantled the container, I found the horrible plastic lining inside the paper container! Yuck! Now my attempts at better options for juice are limited to recyclable cartons.
While we live across form a dairy, it seems impossible to purchase a gallon of milk around here in anything other than a plastic jug. And while I may be able to run one hour to the nearest town with bulk shopping, I cannot do this on a weekly basis as we need milk. So, our recycling continues but decreases.
Still, we are making progress. We are using cloth napkins and towels, reusable glass and stainless cups for traveling. I'm making our toothpaste and will make my next batch of lotion and lip balm from some of the same ingredients to ultimately cut down on waste. Not a perfect solution, but then I haven't found one yet.
We are very proud of our efforts toward zero waste. It seems, however, that we are somewhat limited, as we do not have the luxury of a variety of bulk stores to shop. We live in rural NC, in the middle of farm country. The only bulk store sells pre-weighed and prepackaged items. Our only option is to leave their bag with them for them to discard. And while this surely keeps the trash out of my can, it doesn't keep it out of my county landfill. Without driving an hour to do so, I have yet to find a bulk store for food, dog food, etc, milk in a glass bottle, or a meat counter that will sell me things in my own container. I have found eggs, a deli counter and pinto beans. Of the five grocery stores within 25 minutes of me, only one carries white vinegar in a glass bottle. The Whole Foods an hour away does not sell shampoo in bulk.
While others say there are no excuses, I challenge them to attempt a zero waste home from here. And though we will no doubt have plastic or paper juice and milk cartons in our recycling bins--and shampoo bottles-- we will be proud of our many accomplishments in these two and a half weeks. Seriously, we are rockin' this attempt at zero waste!
So I encourage you to do what you can. Every bit helps, does it not? And if someone tries to blast your attempts, ignore them and continue with your efforts.