We always thought we were eco minded. We recycled, didn't eat meat, gladly used second hand items, preferred organic, drove cars with good fuel efficiency, etc. That resulted in one full tall kitchen garbage bag every week (13 gallon bag) for many years. About three years ago we decided to get serious about it. No more dabbling in low waste when convenient and cheap. We would try to bring that to the center of our decision making. We went from a tall kitchen can of waste and a full recycling bin every week to a short wastepaper basket of waste and a bunch of cat food tins every week.
A trash can analysis showed us that the biggest and most persistent source of waste was food bits.Two weeks ago we decided to get serious about composting. In just this first two week cycle we went from filling up the little can every week to taking two weeks to fill it! This immediate and significant improvement is encouraging. Our goal for the next two week cycle is to remember to bring home compostables when we eat away from home.
Foot note: We are VERY fortunate. We are surrounded by shops with bulk bins, farms that are local and willing to take back their rubber bands and twist ties, and restaurants who are very cognizant of the need to produce less waste. We live in a city that is trying to get serious about sustainability and putting money and brainpower behind that long term goal. We have a comprehensive recycling facility near by. We have parents who have plenty of "stuff" and will gladly off load it on us if we want or need it. We have affluent neighbors with too much high quality "stuff" that they are constantly purging on the local on line yard sale to make room for better, newer "stuff". But perhaps most importantly, we can afford to choose the lower impact option even if it costs more. Not everyone has this level of access to packageless or second hand goods. We certainly didn't when we lived in a smaller, less progressive town, made less money, and didn't have social media to help us with zero wasting where and how-tos.
It should be further pointed out that I don't include cat litter in my assessment of our ZW progress. The cats have their own priorities.