It’s been 13 days since I started the #zerowaste challenge.

And as much as I want to sit here and say that it’s been easy, and “I can’t believe I didn’t do it sooner”, it wouldn’t be the full truth.

I haven’t had 100% zero waste days, more like 80% zero waste days. I’ve been collecting my compost, and eating fresh produce, and taking my glass to-go containers and bamboo cutlery to places, and shopping with reusable bags.

photo by Cheyenne Arnold

But I’ve fallen short a few times reaching for a paper towel in the kitchen, or cooking with ingredients that I had previously that came in packaging, or reaching for samples on plastic spoons. It hasn’t been super easy because sometimes when I’m not thinking “zero waste zero waste zero waste” I do things mindlessly. I can’t say that is something I can shake completely, but I am trying to be more mindful.

I’m trying to be patient with myself because transitions are tough -especially lifestyle transitions. 

That being said, I’m not convinced that while still living “on the grid” I can be a completely zero waste lady. I’m just one person, trying to minimize my impact on the environment and whilst being a conscious consumer. I’m trying my absolute best.

Which brings me to why I was so afraid to start this challenge to begin with. Failure. Something so trivial and necessary in our lives, yet avoidance has been my approach to handling it. As of the last 3 months, I’ve been welcoming failure in as part of my process.

Life is trial and error. Without trial, there is no error. Without error, there is no growth.

Some of you have raised questions and concerns of whether or not this whole challenge is possible. I’ve gotten some questions regarding what I did to prepare for this challenge, and what I had to collect in order to start. My tactic was to make small changes here and there gradually.

It started with bringing my own water bottle everywhere I went. Then it came to buying a bamboo cutlery set and taking that with me everywhere in place of plastic forks and spoons. As time went on, these little things accumulated. My advice is:

Start small, and work your way up.

IKEA reusable glassware

To help ease that process, I’m creating a products page on my blog to help you purchase and invest the products to lessen your impact. I’m still learning how to create that page, but I promise it’s coming!

That’s the scoop.


West Coast Katie


#zerowaste #lifestyle #california #orangecounty #trashisfortossers #zeroimpact #westcoast #westcoastkatie #sustainability #gogreen





Zero waste. You might of heard of it, or you might be thinking “what the hell is Katie doing now?”

Since I was a kid, I’ve aspired to gather the gumption and gain the intelligence to protect the planet from its own demise. But…I’ve never known exactly about how to go about achieving just that. I’m not terribly great at math (I failed pre-college algebra so I can’t solve the world’s equations, I’m not a billionaire with buckets of money to spend on green investments, and I’m not a scientist with a alternative to single use materials.

On the flip, I am a designer with a never ending curiosity and fascination with learning about new things and exploring them, with a little bit of savings and time. I’m taking the skills and strengths I do possess to instead make a difference in my life with the hope to inspire changes big or small in the lives of all of you. My hope, is that in seeing me through the zero waste challenge, that this can at least influence or inspire some plastic free habits.

Zero waste is a lifestyle geared towards the 3 principles, “Reduce Reuse Recycle”. The slight plot twist is taking “Reduce” to the next level. In that, you try your damn hardest to not send anything to the landfills. Sounds…daunting, I know. But, it can be done, and I’ll show you through my triumphs and my struggles.

Over the course of the last few months, I’ve been taking notes of my lifestyle habits that not only collect the most trash, but also the most plastic. Here is the list I’ve compiled of items that I use that are single use materials that live a long life span in a landfill.

  1. Kitchen materials: hummus containers, convenient pre-packaged fruits and vegetables, plastic wrapping, plastic produce bags, foil, ziploc bags, freezer items, meat packaging, paper towels, food waste.
  2. Lifestyle: styrofoam take out containers, plastic cutlery, straws, plastic to-go containers, napkins, bags from stores
  3. Bathroom: shampoo and conditioner bottles, toothpaste container, toothbrush, cotton swabs for removing make-up and cleaning face, floss, soap dispensers, make up, hair products.

So, what does this mean for the course of the next month?

The guidelines (because I don’t like rules):

  • Groceries must be plastic free. Products packaged in glass or metal that can be re-used or refurbished are bueno because they follow the reuse principle. Hello bulk bins!
  • Switch products like soap, shampoo and conditioner to be on a “re-fillable” basis thanks to The Refill Shoppe.
  • If ordering take out, come prepared with reusable glassware. If going out to eat, same principles apply.
  • No plastic cutlery, thanks to the super handy and reusable TO-GO Bamboo Cutlery set.
  • No paper towels or napkins for messes. Shit. This one is going to be difficult. I’m the queen of spills and dribbles on myself. I’ll settle for always having a handkerchief on me instead.
  • Collect food waste for compost and use that for the fall vegetable garden.

Things I’m both excited and anxious about that I’ll openly talk about:

  • Making some new recipes and changing up my food routine, instead of always relying on plastic convenience.
  • Not ordering take out or indulging in things I love that come in plastic packaging, that currently being ice cream and popsicles. Guess that means, I’ll have to go seek those things out and enjoy them with friends instead.
  • Spending too much money (remember I’m not a millionaire, and California isn’t always the most inexpensive option).
  • To be mindful of what I do, what I consume, and what I buy. Less stuff, woohoo!
  • All the farmers markets to be had.
  • Wine and beer…I will reuse alllll the glass bottles I purchase.

That’s it for now.

– XOXO –

West Coast Katie




It’s been a while. Welcome back.

What is the month of January for if it’s not for new ventures, and beginnings?

I’ve set my ambitions high for 2018, and what I want to accomplish in this next week, month, and year.

To name a few:

1 | I’ve began the quest to live a plastic free life, with the hope it will then be a transition to #zerowaste life.

2 | I’m going to continue to work towards living a lifestyle that promotes my health, and wellness. From yoga, running, hiking, to cooking recipes that feed my soul.

3 | You guessed it. I’m going to Life gets hard, and gets you down. And instead of using my time to solely spend on social media daydreaming about living the lives of instagram and pinterest celebrities, I want to be living life (good or bad) and sharing with it with all of you here. Right here.

So there it is. I’m going to share my life with you, as I see it.

Get ready.

– XO –

West Coast Katie