I’ve been wanting to write a series on my own journey to zero waste for about a year. Am I close to achieving the zero waste lifestyle? Absolutely not. Am I closer than I was one year ago? Hell yeah!
That’s the first and most important thing to know about working towards a zero-waste lifestyle. You need to leave judgment at the door and you need to cut yourself some serious slack because letting go of all the conveniences we’ve come accustomed to is HARD.
I’m the first to admit that I’m barely in the vicinity of zero waste living. In fact, as I write this post I’m drinking from a single-use bottle of sparkling water. 🤦♀️
Now before you commence with your boos and hisses, let’s talk a little about this whole endeavor because I’m a firm believer that this is a process. Very few of us can go from regular consumers to zero-wasters. It’s just not that easy. So let’s start with the basics.
What does zero-waste mean?
Let’s look to the Zero Waste International Alliance for that definition.
“Zero Waste: The conservation of all resources by means of responsible production, consumption, reuse, and recovery of products, packaging, and materials without burning and with no discharges to land, water, or air that threaten the environment or human health.”
-Zero Waste International Alliance
That’s a lot to take in, and once you really start thinking about it you can quickly find yourself falling down a shame spiral about every single decision you make on the daily. BUT I’m here to help you back away slowly from that spiral.
Just like we all have to start hiking and camping from somewhere, we need to remember that when it comes to going zero waste we have to start where we are.
Essentially that definition can be chopped up into four parts; responsible production, responsible consumption, reuse, and recovery. Over the next month or so I’m going to do a mini deep dive into each of those categories, I say mini because each one is super complex. BUT my main focus for this series is to make it approachable. Again, we all have to start this journey to zero waste where we are.
If that means you bring a reusable mug to your local coffee shop once a week, great. Maybe you’ll spend a little more time thinking about how your shirt was produced. Or just maybe you’ll do a little google search for a product refill store near you (go here for that one).
First Step to Starting Your Zero Waste Journey
For now, all I want you to do is think about your daily life. Think about the products you use. The apparel you buy. How many times you take out the trash each week.
Just spend some time thinking about your lifestyle, not in an “I’m terrible” way, but in a “huh, I never noticed that” kind of way. No shame. No judgment. Just a week of being mindful about your consumption.
If you’re rearing to get started I highly recommend listening to this episode of She Explores.
And if you want to make sure you don’t miss any posts on your journey to zero waste make sure to sign up for my email list. It’s where I get a little more personal, share my favorite things, and plenty of other nonsense. To join just click here (it’s always paperless).
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