As I dive into the zero waste community I notice some trends, trends that aren’t so zero waste. People get wrapped up in the excitement of a new lifestyle they believe in but sometimes stray from the main concept.
Straying is normal in any part of life, as long as you hope back on track you can use it as a learning experience. I am not close to being where I want to be but, I have learned a lot – Mostly from my own mistakes.
One thing I love about the zero waste community is everyone is open to sharing. Sharing their tricks, tips and ideas and that’s exactly what I aim to do along my journey. So here’s the top 3 lessons I’ve learned.
- Don’t buy the Pintrest and Instagram worthy eco-friendly products. Weird tip considering I sell them. They look cute, they are eco-friendly and zero waste though so why shouldn’t you buy it? It’s not really zero waste if you don’t need it. Don’t feel like you have to convert everything in the first week. If you don’t want to be wasteful take it slow and think it out. Do you need it now, do you already have something you can use instead, can you make it yourself, can you buy it used or locally? Use what you have and concentrate on other products/habits you can change now. I promise there will be a plethora of coconut bowls left when you’re in need of new kitchen bowls.
- Don’t get overwhelmed. Honestly, most of us can’t really be zero waste. Unless we live off the land with no running water or electricity, we are creating waste. Don’t be discouraged and think because you’ve failed in one area the areas you did really well on this week don’t matter. Every change and choice matters especially over a period of time. I started by making a list of things I use most often and then went through each room (mentally and physically) adding things I would want to convert. I am almost 5 months into this and not half way through this master list plus still adding things.
- Don’t be afraid of change. You’re doing this great endeavor for the environment and your health but there maybe a lot of weird changes. Don’t be afraid to try new vegetables, fruits and beans as you consume a more plant based. Don’t be afraid to try new products like different menstrual options or bamboo materials. Give up the buying whatever you want brand new just because it looks nice and its a good deal. Change can be good. In this case it’s great.
Whatever small change you make do it and be proud. You care enough to try. You are still hopeful that we can all start making changes that will make a difference. You are out there doing something that matters.