Carless ZW

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lofreq lofreq
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Carless ZW

I think getting around by bike and transit is very much part of what this lifestyle should be about, but unfortunately, about half of Bea's tips and advice just don't work if you don't have a car. Glass is very heavy, and carrying all your groceries on your back (or bike) means having to do with some compromise.

Personally, I've continued to use plastic containers since they're light, sturdy, and often leak-proof. (Leak-proof is more important than you'd think for doing ZW on foot-- I've had things spill in my bag while running for the train, for instance. Things also get jostled around pretty good sometimes if you're doing runs on a road bike without suspension!)

All in all, I've found that the rest is sound, though. I transfer dry goods to jars when I get home, and wash the others when I've consumed the contents and they're ready to be reused.

I've been interested in getting back into camping, bikepacking, and bike touring lately as well. An upcoming challenge for me is to figure out how to backpack with minimal waste generation, as a lot of goods used for that kind of travel/camping are disposable (freeze-dried meals, potable water tablets, stove fuel, etc) Though I guess when you think more about what ultralight camping is supposed to be, disposable is far from the ideal. All supplies and gear should last the entirety of the trip, and have more than one use also. If anyone else does this sort of sporting, I'd love to get a discussion going.
AllyCat AllyCat
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Re: Carless ZW

I don't agree with all of Bea's recommendations. For example some of her suggestions put a focus on visible waste (in your home) without considering the waste and resources used for manufacturing. In truth this is a complex issue and I applaud anyone who reduces their waste (and I don't think there is a universal solution). What works for her family may not work for mine or yours.

In regards to camping and backpacking - there are refillable fuel tanks and charcoal filters. You can also dry your own food for backpacking (I know people who do this), making your locally grown, package-free produce into very lightweight and nutritious fare. Don't accept the typical, but rethink how it might be done to achieve your goals and remains aligned with your objectives.
Ema Ema
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Re: Carless ZW

In reply to this post by lofreq
I always go to the market and supermarket with my bike (I'm carless). As i'm used to go camping by bike, i have four panniers and i can bring like this a lot of stuff (I use the brand ortlieb that is very strong).
I agree that plastic jars are lighter than the glass's one.
Jay Jay
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Re: Carless ZW

In reply to this post by lofreq
Another option to glass for dry goods are reusable bags, either cotton (which I find too heavy for shops that won't tare) or something like these nylon or silk bags that I've used for years with great success.
I agree glass is heavy, and a bit scary to cart around.
Love the idea of stainless steel containers for wet items, but so far, like you, I'm still using plastic -from preZW days. When those go, I'll start switching to stainless steel, using perhaps tiffins, canteens, and some of those great leak proof containers with silicone seals. I already use a SS canister for big items like a chicken (admittedly super awkward if walking, though). If we were vegetarian would be MUCH easier :/
The other thing I do is put all the *wet* containers into an old thickish nylon bag so even if they were to leak, it wouldn't hurt everything else.
On a bike, panniers seem like a great solution.
Camping: having gone many a place with signage stressing "you packed it in, you pack it out" -packaging/disposables clearly have no place. Food for camping -agree with AllyCat! And as you probably know, the resurgence in hiking was the inspiration for Trail Mix.
Jay Jay
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Re: Carless ZW

I just realized this forum is getting spammed a lot with phony web links, so just to be clear, the nylon/silk bags I referred to are from the Kootsac "storefront" @ Etsy.
Trish Trish
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Re: Carless ZW

You know, I am so thankful to the Johnson's for offering their lifestyle as a prototype for a zerowaste home.  We all need to make adaptations to fit our individual circumstances, though, and that's ok!  As long as you stick to the 5 R's you will be doing great things for this earth--

As for plastic- if you already own it, buy all means use it.  Especially in transit by bike.  You may want to transfer wet items to glass when you get home to avoid the plastic leaching chemicals into your food, but do what works for you.  

At our house, we still use a few plastic containers (my husband packs his sandwiches in one when he commutes by bicycle). Our pyrex lids are plastic, I use a plastic spatula for baking, the siding on our home is plastic, our fence is plastic-- these things were all purchased before we started ZW.  The most important step is to quit buying NEW plastic.  

If people are getting rid of all of their stuff only to buy the same things the Johnson's have, they are missing the point!