https://www.terracycle.com/en-US/zero_waste_boxes/ - For enough money (IMHO, a lot of money in most cases) you can still have a normal consumer lifestyle, but pay to have your leavings recycled and thus be zero-waste. Tadaa!! While I'm being flip, I do this is kind of neat and might be a good start to reducing what normally goes in to our landfills.
I was a bit blown away when I visited that website. Wow. There are people out there who are actually willing to pay to mail their trash to a company who will recycle it for them. Wow. I guess I shouldn't be surprised because there are plenty of people out there paying good money for other services that they could do for themselves for free, cheap, or really don't need in the first place.
I don't want to criticize this system, but I find it puzzling.
It's never too late to start! I retired to homestead on the slopes of Mauna Loa, an active volcano. I relate snippets of my endeavor on my blog : www.kaufarmer.blogspot.com
Location: Carnation, WA (Western Washington State / Cascadia / Pacific NW)
Yes, the zero-waste boxes are quite amazing. And expensive!! You're correct, Su, a large part of what is offered in those zero-waste boxes can be done for free, or composted, etc. One example was the human hair box...which was an eyebrow raiser for me.
The free programs (their "brigades"), however, especially for items for which we don't have recycling available, now those are interesting to me! So currently, I'm thinking these three free programs look appealing:
snack or chip bags - https://www.terracycle.com/en-US/brigades/haincelestial
vitamin/supplement bottles via: https://www.terracycle.com/en-US/brigades/rb-health (Paul and I generate a lot of empty supplement/vitamin bottles! too many to use for seed sor other things!)
electronics: https://www.terracycle.com/en-US/brigades/electronics-recycling (we currently have some cell phones to dispose of...)
There is a fourth free one for Cliff bars and other energy bar wrappers, though we don't have so many of those here. Though some times some of our helpers have these.
Oh, I found the other thing I was thinking of! The Give Back Box.
The first major retailer to join Give Back Box was Newegg.com. The retailer placed Give Back Box fliers in all the boxes shipped to its customers. The flier recommended that customers re-use the boxes their purchases came in and fill them with clothes, accessories and household items, then ship them to local charities using pre-paid shipping labels. The local charities developed a system to track the packages, so when they received the boxes and scanned them in, tax receipts were generated for appropriate donors.