The Love & The Loathe: My Final Public Thoughts (and Rants) on Zero Waste 

My experience with zero waste has had its ups and downs from the beginning. And with my blog coming to an end, I thought a little reflection would be appropriate.


I love that I started this blog and that I got in touch with so many other like-minded bloggers in the process. Thank you, Inge, for finding me. I know I reached a much larger audience because of your connections.

I loathe that whenever I see obscene amounts of trash on city streets (or even a little bit of trash at the beach) I lose all hope that “zero waste” will ever make a difference in the scheme of things.


I love it when people see me loading my jars onto the belt at the grocery store and compliment my shopping style. And even if they don’t, I hope it sparks thought.

I loathe that if I veer from my shopping/meal plan, I can’t just pop into the store on a whim because I won’t have the necessary containers.


I love that the people in my life know about my preferences and accept them.

I loathe it when I say “No, thank you” to freebies and get looked at like I’m stuck-up, rude, and/or ungrateful.


I love bringing my own coffee mug and containers when I go out to eat and I always hope it inspires others to do the same.

I loathe that so many businesses across the country still use plastic utensils, boxes, and bags (not to mention styrofoam!).


I love that I rarely make trash and no matter what anyone else thinks, I’ll always be proud of that.

I loathe that I can’t go anywhere without someone trying to give my kids a trinket, sticker, piece of candy, or other item that is ultimately trash. (Of course my kids don’t mind receiving these things, but it seems inescapable and it drives me crazy sometimes.)


I love that our children are aware of zero waste and know how to look out for the earth, even if they occasionally taunt me with their trash or don’t carry on my crazy ways in the future.

And since there’s nothing else to loathe… I love that I will have more free time as a blog-less woman, although I know I will miss writing *very* much.


Many thanks to everyone who has read my blog. I know I’ve made a difference, even if it was a very small one.


Make less trash, minimize, simplify, and BE HAPPY!


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6 thoughts on “The Love & The Loathe: My Final Public Thoughts (and Rants) on Zero Waste 

  1. Natalie December 19, 2016 / 2:11 pm

    Thank you so much for inspiring me this past year, Andrea. I will remember your “one and done photo” and “unique music playlist for specific trip” ideas.

    Personally, I have come to learn that aiming to make “less waste” is far more practicable and sustainable than even “near zero waste.” Shrugging my shoulders and going with the flow sometimes, even if it results in plenty of trash, has brought more peace into my everyday life. It is my way of letting go of perfection and striving for progress instead. I pick my battles carefully nowadays and remind myself that what I am doing is already far less wasteful than what I used to do years ago, and that’s good progress.

    You truly deserve a good pat on the back for all that you did and continue to do, Andrea. 🙂

    Your boys’ sweet, cheeky smiles as your family endeavors along the zero waste lifestyle often leave me smiling and I will remeber that as well. Best wishes to you all and happy holidays!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Near-O Waste December 20, 2016 / 2:09 am

      Natalie, thank you *so much* for that very nice comment, and for reading. Hearing what you appreciate and will remember really means a lot to me. I agree that all of our improvements from past habits are positive, productive, and powerful steps! Happy holidays to you too!

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  2. Katelin December 20, 2016 / 12:52 am

    Great post!!! I got an eye roll today when refusing ribbon and packaging for my pie… Sigh…. I try to look at it humorously. Why do they care? Merry Christmas and keep up the good fight!

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    • Near-O Waste December 20, 2016 / 2:11 am

      Seriously, why *do* they care!? Thanks for sharing; it’s so nice to hear about others who see where I’m coming from! You keep up the good fight too! 🙂

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  3. Lou Larwood December 20, 2016 / 4:56 am

    Andrea, you have transformed my kitchen and thoughts when I shop. I too, refuse anything extra that will end up in the trash. Given how much time I have spent in hospitals and medical facilities for the past 3 years, I cringe at the enormous waste for items untouched, the waste of food, I could go on and on. I know it is all in the name of no spreading disease. I have loved reading your blogs and staying in touch with you and your family. Have you considered compiling all your blog pages into an e-book? There is a huge market for that right now. In closing, thank you, you woke up a part of me that was silently cringing at the same things you do. Happy Holidays!

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    • Near-O Waste December 21, 2016 / 1:58 am

      Thank you so much, Lou. Yes, I have considered an e-book… maybe some day 🙂 I hope you and Carrie are on the mend! Happy holidays to you as well.

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