Mr. Man and I took an amazing trip last week to the Ouachita National Park in Oklahoma. There are plenty of cabins to choose from in Broken Bow, OK, and we wanted to make sure we selected a spot with exactly what we needed: access to off-grid living which aligns with our zero-waste lifestyle. We hit the jackpot!
The first thing we noticed (aside from the amazing views) were 3 giant trash containers. Two in the kitchen, one on the deck, and a small wastebasket in the bathroom. "Is this how people live for a week?" we thought, forgetting that we once filled a city trash bin to the brim every week. We had a new goal: proving to ourselves that we can not only live without WI-Fi, phone access, television, or internet, but that we also couldn't fill even one container halfway with a week's worth of trash!
(The three strategically placed trash receptacles.)
The tools we brought with us to accomplish this feat were the same ones we use at home, only packed and minimal. Our own flour sack cloths used as dish towels for dishes and cleanup, cotton hankies instead of tissues, our own toilet tissue, cooking utensils, and food stored in reusable containers for all of our meals. No paper plates or plastic utensils, and proper portions on food to ensure we didn't have any leftovers we couldn't take with us rounded out our planning.
Did we hit our goal perfectly? Absolutely not! We filled one can over 1/2 of the way with glass bottles, as no recycling was available, plus a few other items including a pizza box from the great place we found in town. Some of our learnings from this trip included bringing a recycling bin with us to bring items back home with us, bringing more towels, and more reusable storage for the little leftovers we had. (Composting in the woods with all of the wildlife can be risky, so we save that activity for the urban farm. If you're into it during trips, investigate your natural surroundings first to determine if it's safe or what critters you'll attract.)
Zero waste living isn't about achieving perfection or being the most competitive. Zero waste living is about being mindful of what we throw out, where it goes, and the impact our trash has on our resources. If we don't preserve what we have, where will views like these go?:
Till next time,
Dallas Farmer Gal