I started attempting to live a Zero Waste lifestyle in early 2015. I was inspired by Bea Johnson of Zero Waste Home, and I dove straight into the deep end. I made a vast amount of changes in our home and our routines in a very short space of time, which has many pros and cons! I think we all go through it though, you almost need to go overboard to then find your balance. I feel we are getting there now as I have discovered which things are worth sacrificing and which things are worth making from scratch.
I love our new lifestyle. Initially it started as wanting to do my bit for the environment, which naturally I still do. But it soon became apparent that the lifestyle was about so much more than that. It was a complete mind shift, as we stated re evaluating not just our trash can and our (reusable) shopping bags, but all aspects of our lives; work, home, play, relationships. What actually matters? What are we teaching ourselves and our kids and friends through our daily choices?
At first it might sound all tire some and time consuming, but it really is not! When we allow ourselves to throw edible food in the bin or even into the compost heap, what are we saying? Food does not matter, there is loads more where that came from. Really? When something repairable breaks and we just throw it away because it was cheap, what are we saying? Oh it does not matter, it wasn’t worth anything, we can get another one. Really? Who produced that food, how much resource did it take from the ground, the farmers time, the transporters costs, the fuel emissions, the disposable packaging …? Who produced that cheap item, how old was the factory worker, under what conditions, the resources used in production and where are you “throwing it away” exactly? I am guilty of so many bad choices every day, but I have minimised so many of these bad choices by asking myself these simple questions.
It really is easy to make simple changes, and you don’t have to make all the changes! Just pick one. Such as refusing single use shopping bags. Take your own coffee cup, and if you do forget your own, just don’t use the plastic lid.
Just do what you can with what you have. I can guarantee it will just start to snowball, because those choices will have such a positive impact on yourself, your kids, your environment and our future generations.