The realities of reducing your waste.
Reducing your waste isn't all, pretty productive gardens, herbs drying in the sun, and beautifully arranged glass jars in a food cupboard.
Sometimes its random dinners because you are trying to use up the last of whats in the fridge.
It is mended clothes with weird lumpy stitching because you forgot to pay attention in sewing class.
Reducing your waste means having your car boot full of reusable bags, soft plastics and containers, just in case you need to get takeaway sushi.
Check out my car boot reality below, filled with soft plastics, reusable bags and containers!
The realities of reducing your waste means still using your plastic pegs and dish brushes until they die a terrible death in your house. Because reducing your waste doesn't mean that you throw away all your plastic items and replace them with eco-friendly zero-waste eco-friendly options, it means using them until you NEED to replace them.
Then replace them with more sustainable alternatives.
You may become a bit of a hoarder.
Trying to reduce your waste means that you start to keep the glass jars to reuse as containers, you put broken things aside to fix rather than putting them in the landfill.
Just remember that taking the time to think about re-purposing something is amazing, but sometimes a broken moldy Barbie doll leg just needs to be thrown away lol.
You have 50 million reusable bags.
I have about 25 I think, all in different sizes. some are kept in both our cars, some are kept in the garage and I keep a couple of small ones in my handbag.
You join random Facebook groups.
You start joining all of the 'Pay it Forward Facebook Groups' where you can give away items that you no longer need rather than throwing them in the landfill.
You join lots of zero waste groups and share random things you do to reduce your waste so you can be among the other people who think the same way as you.
You try lots of different things.
You try weird recipes for toothpaste and moisturizer and face cleanser. You might try soap shampoo and a menstrual cup (if you have a vagina that bleeds).
Some things work... some things... not so much.
But you may end up finding great natural alternatives that work.
You learn that recycling is important but composting is life.
Committing more time and effort to these two things has reduced our landfill waste from a full bin a week to a full bin every 6 to 8 weeks or so, which now also includes the waste from 3 different businesses.
It's the one thing that can change your outgoing waste the most.
You will find yourself a bit overwhelmed.
Zero waste is a hell of a hard journey. I understand that some people might find it easy and it might be an enjoyable challenge.
For some, it may not be so easy. Time and money might be a factor and ultimately if you have things in your life going on that are of a higher priority then reducing your waste may perhaps be bumped down the list of priorities.
I have been trying super hard to reduce our household waste, but it has been hard.
I'm not totally sure how other people seem to do it so easily if I'm being honest.
You get "Waste shamed".
You get comments in many groups and by well-meaning people such as... "Why do you still use this product if you are going Zero Waste?", "You aren't trying hard enough to save the planet", "You can't be reducing your waste if you still eat meat".
Even though you are trying and you are slowly reducing your outgoing waste by making changes, people will still be dicks.
PEOPLE WILL STILL BE DICKS!
Don't take it to heart x.
You might even start pointing out the failures of others.
You might just think it, or you might actually tell someone outright that what they are doing is bad.
It doesn't help.
I have seen a few times people pointing out the failures of others. Taking pictures even and posting them on social media.
If you can approach a person with an open heart and be constructive in opening a dialogue with them, go for it.
If all you are going to do is berate them with a sea of judgement and make them dislike your lifestyle, then that is pointless.
When I see judgmental comments on the zero waste groups I actually just think "I don't want to be a part of this crazy ass group, I'm out!"
Don't BE a dick!
You will learn that making small changes that stick is the way to go.
I think that any changes in your life need to be done with a measured approach.
Like exercise or making changes to your diet, you want to make changes in your life that are a lifestyle change, not just a quick fix diet where you go nuts for a month and then just go back to the way you were living before.
You start to buy more mindfully.
Toys for example are now bought with the thought that they will last or have a second life, so we are trying to buy wooden, or second hand and although we still buy some plastic items here and there, the reduction of incoming plastic into the house has been huge.
What I have learned from this whole journey...
*Small changes add up to big results.
*Make changes that you can stick to.
*Praise yourself for the things you are already doing.
*Look at the overall picture.
*Look at the things you are doing, then change the things you can, and work on the things you can't change right now.
*Don't beat yourself up about stuff you can't change right now.
*Always remember that the realities of your life/ family dynamic/ body/ work/ diet are different to everyone else's, so your journey is going to be different.
*DON'T BE A JUDGMENTAL DICK ABOUT IT.
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