2 Year Zero Waste Check-In

As the second year of my “zero waste” journey ends, I thought it would be appropriate to check in.  Let me be clear and say that I am no longer the same person that I was when I began. Meaning I’ve definitely loosened the reins a little, especially since cutting meat and dairy out of my life completely.

As part of my two year celebration, I wanted to post something fun. While I avoided ever reading any of the comments on the video about me living zero waste, I finally took a moment to scroll quickly through them and pick out some of my favs.

But before we get to the questions and comments posted on the Exploring Alternatives video, I thought I’d quickly establish 5 Truths.

Truth #1) Since moving in with my partner, I can safely admit I have created about a large garbage bag full of garbage. We don’t keep separate garbages or anything, nor do I stuff all of my items in a mason jar, but I do monitor my waste still and over the past six months, I approximate about one full garbage bag. Part of which is also because I volunteer to rescue food now. Not too bad, I’d say.

Truth #2) Take out has been a culprit. UberEats and Just Eat make it easy. On the days I don’t feel like cooking or I haven’t had any time to go to the grocery store or out anywhere, then I order for delivery. I admit to having about 7 instances in the last year where I ordered in and has contributed to my waste. And it has been from the same place. Open Rice.

Truth #3) Make-up. That natural, DIY stuff, other than my activated charcoal eyeliner, I hate. I still use eyeshadow make-up that I’ve had for years when he and I have date night (I know make-up junkies will tell me it’s probably gone bad, but I can’t waste it), and I bought fresh mineral bronzer once when I had a photo shoot. Although, I will post a DIY recipe for vegan mascara, it’s really only good for people with light lashes. My lashes are black as black can be. When I put it on, you can’t even tell the difference, so why bother? I still barely wear make-up except for the activated charcoal eyeliner and I don’t need to justify why either.

Truth #4) I still screw up on saying no to straws, especially when travelling.

Truth #5) I was feeling depressed once and I bought 2 shirts that weren’t thrift. They were on clearance. Did you know clothes get thrown out that are on clearance if no one buys them? Basically anything that is on clearance, food, furniture or anything damaged even slightly. Right in the trash. I had a friend work at a home decor place once and she told me that slightly scratched furniture needed to go in the dumpster, but FIRST it had to be beaten up with a hammer and mutilated so that no one would ever want to take it away from the dumpster. Ever. Sigh.

And that’s it. Have fun reading YouTube comments.

Yes, I believe I should too. Still part of the dream. 


Linda, you are right. I was not aware that every thing I do has an impact. Thank you. I definitely feel way smarter after reading this comment, but I think you also do not understand what striving for “zero waste” really means. I understand that we can not be perfect in today’s standards. It would mean not owning modern technology, like this computer (or smart phone) you’re writing me on. We would need to grow our own food and save seeds. Compost our own waste. The list goes on. I don’t claim to be perfect and I’m sure most zero wasters understand that they can’t be perfect either. 


Don’t pity single mothers. I have met many Mommies who are single by choice because they wanted a child but didn’t want to look for a suitable partner or waste time. Also, my boy has a great relationship with his Father. 


Bulk buying is purchasing larger quantities, yes. When you can afford it. A few times I’d buy bulk and there would be about 3 or 4 of us pitching in on the order. At Mountain Path the minimum order was $300. 


I still Art. I am an Art Educator and run a nonprofit that provides free workshops to at-risk youth in Nunavut and Ottawa so I have to purchase supplies when I run workshops. Outside of that, on my own, I still upcycle, use garbage and I’m actually STILL using my inventory from before zero waste. I seriously had A LOT. 


Nope. It’s a Classic Samurai. I still haven’t had to purchase new blades since I got it. 


There are many articles that would beg to differ. And my son hasn’t made a single complaint once about not having many toys. He has a lot of fun playing with his current small box of toys, or legos that were from 25 years ago, or with sticks, or with spoons, or with the tiles on the floor of the kitchen. He makes art. He uses something called his imagination. He is definitely very much a child that plays, is creative and has fun. 


You’re right!  This is so fucking stupid! Actually to be fair, if you killed yourself it would make for one less person creating waste, encouraging consumption and contributing to stupid global warming, but please don’t do that. There are probably people that love you and would miss you. 


My name is not Bea, but if you took the time to read any of my first posts, you’ll see I used her as a resource and source of inspiration when I first started.


I Amazoned it. Not the best choice, but when I went straight to the company website, they don’t sell it there. Classic Samurai. 


When I lived closer to a natural food store that sold it in bulk, I would buy it there. Now I just try to buy the largest jug of it possible when and where I can.


Aw, thank you. I feel calm. Most of the time. And no I am not Indonesian. Are they calm with gentle soothing aura’s? I am from Southeast Asia from a tiny country with over 7,000 islands called the Philippines. I am Filipina. 


Here, here Kristina! I second her about Stefan Thompson. He’s a beautiful soul and a talented artist. 


Yes. I am Vegan. I don’t think it should ever be about comparing though. People do what they can when they are moved to.


Thank you.


So the Internet says. I have also read on My Plastic Free Life aka Beth Terry, that they are not. And that you shouldn’t put them in your compost. Whether they are “edible” or not, I don’t want that in my body. Maybe you can tell me if they are. Eat a lot of them and poop and then tell me if they show up in your poop or not. 


I took my one year of hardcore zero wasteness seriously. Almost too seriously. You are correct that buying fruit out of season and not local is not that sustainable. Trying to be zero waste does not mean you are perfect, as I have admitted to many times in this post and many others. The larger quantities you buy, yes the more sustainable that can be, but also the more you waste, should it go bad. I buy what I need now.


You caught me. I do drive a car. So I am a horrible zero waster. Both my cars I have purchased have been old. My first lasted me 3 years. I have a car because I work for myself and have to travel to many locations with camera equipment or art supplies in order to survive and feed my child. I can not be perfect. At least I have not purchased a brand new car, ever. Buying new, unless possibly a hybrid or electric, is worse for the environment. 


I use my entire face to wipe my butt. My whole entire face. Actually, I use these


Everything that has happened now is a result of someone copying someone else. In fact, you’ve actually just copied a previous comment. Artists do it all the time. So do Writers. Monkeys copy. So if we must copy something, I agree with Lainey Marie.


I do not make shaving soap, though my friend has made some for men. I just use bar soap that my friend makes and water.


The only juice I have bought was 100% not from concentrate cranberry juice to relieve a bladder infection and it was in a glass bottle. Otherwise, I make my own juice using a blender or just drink water. . 


I would never refuse any medicine that I needed in order to live a happy life. I have definitely bought Advil once and once I was prescribed something to help me breath due to asthma. Being perfectly zero waste is impossible, I agree. 


I just shouldn’t be pooping… interesting. I think if I never pooped, I would definitely be famous. As it stands right now, I am not. And that is because I poop.

Published by Mailyne

Owner of DLG Media. Founder of A.R.T. in Action. Philanthropist. Environmentalist. Activist. Photographer. Video Producer. Writer. Artist. Mama.

21 thoughts on “2 Year Zero Waste Check-In

  1. Your doing great!! Your Just fine. Don’t let those
    stupid inconsiderate remarks ever get to you. Those people are jealous because they are doing a whole lot of nothing, and obviously their mothers didn’t teach them the old adage “if you don’t have anything nice to say, keep your mouth shut” or something like that!! keep up the great work, and keep posting about it. You help others by being imperfect and just like you are! Cheers!!

  2. Love your blog, Mailyne. Your response to the comments made about your video were wonderful. I especially enjoyed your answers to Donut Sauce about wiping your backside with your face and to Obey Huq about poop. What is it with people and the obsession about poop? When Colin Beavan of No Impact Man was interviewed the most asked question was always about what he used to wipe his backside! On another note…thank you for mentioning Stefan Thompson. My daughter is currently a junior in college majoring in Art Education and is trying to make a smaller Eco footprint. I’ll pass his website along to her.
    Keep up the great imperfect work of making this world a better place. 🙂

    1. Aw Cherri! Thank you. I bet your daughter will produce lovely works of art and find alternatives to it. I also loved No Impact Man too! What a strange world we live in when people spend time wondering what we use to wipe. Thank you for the message Cherri, and for taking the time to read. Have a great day!

  3. Dear Mailyne, so sorry you had to put up with some very ignorant comments. It is clear that some people have no clue, no context, and don’t even care that they are ignorant as hell. Thank you for dedicating these last two years to caring for our planet by reducing your foot print, and sharing it with the world. I know how difficult it can be as I am also aspiring to minimize my own consumption and production of garbage. Blessings to you and yours.

    1. That’s so wonderful that you are trying! Thank you for the words of encouragement and for taking the time to write me.

  4. Hi, mailyne! I’m a fan from the Philippines. Thank you for sharing your truths re zero waste. You inspire me to strive to be better even if we screw up sometimes along the way. And, btw, love your video! It led me here to your blog and since then i’ve become a fan. Good day to you!

    1. Thank you for your kind message and for taking the time to read my blog. I hope you are having a great day, please say hello to the Philippines for me ❤

  5. I have a ton to say about this whole subject. But I’ll just state this technical fact for now:

    Your comment on buying old cars being more green than buying new cars is incorrect. After much research I chose to buy a new car and bought a 2010 Jetta TDI because of its gas efficiency and ability to consume 20% biodiesel. In 5.5 years and 76 000 Km I consumed 4300 Liters, a 2003 Toyota Corolla would have consumed 6000 Liters, a 1998 Toyota Corolla would have consumed 6900 Liters. That’s 4.7 and 7.2 more of these very large garbage bins of burnt gas (https://www.renodepot.com/en/360-l-wheeled-bin-4411001), or 39.5% and 60.5% more respectively. This is against a gas efficient car like the Corolla and people drive more than that. They drive 20k a year on average. That would be 3.2 bins for the 2010 Jetta, 4.5 bins for the 2003, and 5.2 bins for the 1998. Times that by 20 to find the lifetime gas consumption (64, 90, and 104 bins!), although the lifetime of a car differs a lot. Diesel engines actually last longer than gas ones which is why I bought it too.

    In other words, scraping an old car for a new car is not necessarily bad for the environment. Often keeping an old car is worse. Let’s say you had an untouched 1998 Toyota Corolla, it would actually be better for you to scrap it for parts and build a new 2010 Jetta TDI to save 40 bins of gas, that’s 14,400 liters! It takes 1.4 million liters of water to make Gas efficiency by far surpasses the amount of waste produced by building a new better car. And I’m not even mentioning the other factor which is that new cars burn the gas better and filter their exhaust far better than the old ones. So less gas burnt and less pollution released. Economically though, an old car is a way better choice that’s for sure.

    Here this guy explains it better than me: http://www.greencarreports.com/news/1093657_buying-a-new-car-is-greener-than-driving-an-old-one-really

    1. Don’t quote me on those numbers BTW. It was just a rough estimation with little research. You really have to look at each vehicle case per case. Like the 2016 Corolla uses only 10% less gas than a 1998 because it’s bigger, heavier for safety and emissions sake, and has more horse power than a 1998. People don’t care about fuel efficiency so Toyota used the better engine technology to make a car more people want unfortunately. The 2016 Camry on the other hand uses 35% less gas than a 1998 even though it’s also bigger, and heavier for safety and emissions sake, but has less horse power which was pretty high in 1998.
      It also depends how and when you drive. Cars now have a sixth gear which makes them even more efficient on the highway. But since most people do city driving, that doesn’t help the average person as much. And automatics used to use more gas than well driven manuals, but now it is the opposite. Automatics use less gas than manuals now.

      Point is, for now the most important green factor in a car is still gas efficiency because most of the pollution is generated by burning gas, not in the production of the vehicle. In terms of being green, you should only worry about keeping a car running if it’s still comparatively efficient to other cars. If it’s an electric or a hybrid/diesel then you should definitely keep it running as long as you can.

  6. Absolutely brilliant! Thanks for sharing, love the sass and honest experience. Your response to the comments made my day!

  7. The first most important thing that I’d like to say is no one should be pitying single mothers. That’s like pitying someone with a disability or illness. I do not pity either, I admire their strength and resilience.
    I’ve said it to you before and I will gladly say it again, the job you did raising your son, in the circumstances that you did it in, is really incredible. The amount of love and care you gave him really shows. He is a very smart, engaged, and happy. I’ve seen people in much better circumstances do nowhere as well as you did. No one should pity you, they should look up to you in great admiration. The only thing that could have been better was your financial situation and we should all be ashamed of that, society as a whole but individually as well. That you were made to struggle because you brought such a beautiful boy life is a testament to how screwed up things are currently. Your choice of husband and your job security should never have been a determining factor in how much you could provide for yourself and your son.

    Now I’m going to say something that most likely will “drive you crazy”, but unfortunately it is simply the truth: It seems that vegans and zero wasters have something in common: A lack of the big picture.

    Here is the most important comment on that whole video:
    Fouz 。3 months ago
    The Compassionate Vegan actually the number one thing killing our earth is the burning of fossil fuels. It creates more carbon than animal agriculture.

    Being vegan is impossible. I don’t eat animals for health, ethical, and environmental reasons. But there is no way that you will not kill animals throughout your life and not using their products is complete fabrication. Everything is a product of animals. On top of it, vegans do not worry about their carbon footprint nor their gas usage. Oil is an animal product, it’s just animals that died millions of years ago. And the biggest threat to all animals is climate change by far. So no, not a single vegan I have heard of is saving animals. If one of them tells you that being vegan has the biggest impact on the world over everything, they are totally wrong. Climate change is about to wipe all life on earth out, eating animals would never do that.

    Being zero waste is possible. It is actually the way this world works. Nature does not waste, There is no such thing as waste in fact. It is a human invention. The problem with human waste is that it is not biodegradable and is often toxic. With enough of that kind of waste, you could potentially destroy the whole world. But even at the ridiculous waste levels we are now, we are nowhere near destroying the earth with waste.

    And here’s the biggest joke about the vegan and/or zero waste movement: Burning oil is much worse than waste and yet they do not even consider it. Burning oil is like taking plastic, melting it until you can put it in your gas tank, and then burning straight into the atmosphere. Waste at least settles and nature takes care of it. Canada for instance used to be way more polluted but we reduced waste a lot and it has settled at the bottom of our lakes with all sorts of life growing on top of it, sealing it away. Nature takes care of CO2 as well, so even the oil you burn into the atmosphere gets processed. But at the levels we are growing CO2, we are surpassing what the earth has seen in over 380 thousand years and we are doing it 10 times faster than it has ever happened before. The nature we have now will not survive this fast of a transition and will therefor not be able to process the CO2 which will build up even more. We are all going to die with this earth very soon and it has nothing to do with eating animals or waste. It is solely because of huge amounts of CO2 production mainly created by transportation (car and travel) electricity use, and cement making.

    In other words,Bea Johnson is not helping the world at all. She is destroying it. She flys all over the place: She is either wasting her time or just selling you a product: http://www.zerowastehome.com/2015/11/on-tour/
    This zerowaste couple is not helping the world at all, They are destroying it. Taking vacations in south easth asia to prepare for selling you products:
    You, despite making so much effort, which does make a difference don’t get me wrong, are not helping the world at all. You are destroying it.

    This is something I don’t think you understand. The greenest thing you will ever do, which greatly surpasses everything you have done in the last 2 years, is to trash the short-bus you bought. It’s diesel but that thing burns 25 liters per 100km at least. Compared to the 66 bins a 2010 Jetta TDI burns for 400 000 km, that short-bus burns 277 bins or 100 000 liters of gas. Just to drive the short bus to California and back from Ottawa it would take 5.5 bins instead of 1 bin with the Jetta, and 2000$ instead of 360$ spent on gas BTW. It take 2 bins of gas to fly to California and back.

    Final comment: You mentioned that the person you are with does not have to be like you as they are their own person. Obviously this is incorrect. You have become that person in a mere 6 months. Hopefully it rubs off the other way as well. But the reality is your choice of partner is now making you waste and we aren’t even talking about the most dangerous waste which is CO2 production. You made the decision to fly to California and buy a bus because of who you are with. I am not zero waste nor vegan and will never be either but I would have told you the realities of such actions and would have refused to go with you just as I have refused to fly anywhere for the last 8 years.

    Do us all a favor and trash that short-bus and stop taking planes. certainly don’t glorify travelling by plane on Instagram because you are defeating your whole purpose. The Philippines is going to sink because of CO2 not trash.

    1. Wish there was a way to edit: It takes 2 bins of gas per person to fly to California and back. Forgot the per person which is very important. That means 3 people flying to California and back and burning 6 bins, more than driving the short bus there and back. The short bus won’t burn much more per person, because it’s already so heavy. If you put 3 people in the Jetta you might burn 10% more or so, so 1.1 bins.

      1. I got those numbers from West Jet themselves BTW.

        Bea Johnson is coming to Ottawa. After her tour of Europe. Her twitter page is essentially a travel blog.

      2. Why do I know the WestJet numbers? I made WestJet my biggest Canadian holding in Feb 2016. Also made EasyJet, which Bea probably uses, my Biggest UK holding after Brexit in 2016. I’ve also sold many Puts in American, Delta, and Southwestern Airlines.

        The growth of air travel is unwavering and seemingly unstoppable. Everyone is doing it and it is considered so cool. No one is willing to sacrifice it, in fact even “zero wasters” like you, zerowaste couple, and Bea Johnson aspire to it. I guess it’s because you can’t see the waste. I bet you would change your attitudes towards air travel if you could see the pollution it creates. It will likely become the biggest sources of Carbon emissions soon enough. This was written in 2013, I believe the numbers are now around 10%:

        “Though air travel emissions now account for only about 5 percent of warming, that fraction is projected to rise significantly, since the volume of air travel is increasing much faster than gains in flight fuel efficiency. (Also, emissions from most other sectors are falling.)”

        From wikipedia:
        “Comprehensive research shows that despite anticipated efficiency innovations to airframes, engines, aerodynamics and flight operations, there is no end in sight – even many decades out – to rapid growth in CO2 emissions from air travel and air freight,[6][7] due to projected continual growth in air travel.[8][9] ”

        I will be able to fly around the world many times over on the money I make off people traveling. I already made enough to do it once and I only just started investing in airlines. But instead I plan on giving all the profits away, especially to people who don’t travel and yet are being killed by air travel. Hopefully it doesn’t all go back into more air travel. Because even in developing countries, air travel is booming. Asia is adding airlines left and right.

  8. I am genuinely shocked at some of the comments people made on the video. I was initially wondering why you hadn’t read the comments earlier, but now I understand!
    Anyway, just wanted to chime in with all the rest using their mouths to encourage!
    I loved your videos and appreciate your sharing and tips. Thanks!
    By the way, your retorts were hilarious!

  9. You are amazing!! I just found out about this whole concept and ran across your video on YouTube. Such an inspiration!
    I love your responses to all of the wackos out there..!!
    (Can I also say that you’re totally stunning?!)

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