By Catherine Risling
Lately, Cyndi Prince has been thinking a lot about garbage.
It’s not that she’s idly passing time at home during this pandemic. After all, the owner of LooHoo Wool Dryer Balls has an 10-year-old distance learning, a business to run and a household to manage.
More specifically, Cyndi is wondering how much trash her family is generating and ways she can reduce that amount.
“Items that I purchase, how I carry things out of a store, whether I can use a reusable coffee mug at a café—all of these decisions make me pause and I try to make the best global decision,” Cyndi says.
Shifting to reusables has been an ongoing theme in Cyndi’s life for some time. Choosing sustainable, plastic-free and zero-waste options are essential in order for Cyndi and her family to do their part in protecting the earth.
“We take our trash to the dump every week and making that journey to the dump (let’s be honest, it’s my son and husband who go) really makes you want to reduce what you’re contributing to the pile of trash and containers of recycling,” says Cyndi, who spent a year in the Marshall Islands and witnessed first hand the devastating waves of trash that washed up on their beaches.
Cyndi had the drive to reduce. And her family? Well, they were reluctant at first.
“There was resistance to some things; my husband used to use paper towels a lot and he was partial to paper coffee filters,” Cyndi says. “My son, who doesn’t like change, can also be hesitant at first in trying reusable options.”
Family buy in? Check.
Next stop? Identifying which items to replace.
“Like me, I’ve met many business owners that have created incredible products to help all of us shift to reusables,” Cyndi says.
Paper coffee filters were replaced with a hemp version. Facial tissues, now in short supply due to COVID-19, are a fabric version than can be washed rather than tossed. In the kitchen, silicon sheets are used instead of parchment paper. Throughout the home, bar soap dissolves itself rather than disposing of liquid soap in a plastic container.
Cyndi says any progress in the right direction is success.
“I think starting small is always the key and also being consistent,” Cyndi says. “Do your research, ask others about their ideas and experiences and keep searching for those small U.S.-based businesses that are making amazing reusable products.”
Zero Waste Shops
Stainless steel straws, bamboo utensils, glass mason jars for lunches on the go, cloth napkins, safety razors
Casco Bay Soap Co.
Dental Lace Floss
Floss in refillable container
Book of “tissues”
Shampoo & conditioner bars
Silver Falls Sustainability Co.
Shower & shave bars
SoulShine Soap Co.
Dish soap bar, body bar soap, laundry soap, laundry stain stick