I can’t sleep. Nothing new, really. There have been many changes since I last wrote. For example, I don’t have my own home anymore. I’m sort of sleeping in between two places with most of my belongings stored in one. I feel like I’m sort in limbo and I need to feel okay with that. I’ve also purchased a minibus to convert into a home/adventure bus in the next year… I still strive for veganism and minimalism and it’s becoming cold and wintery now so truthfully I just want to do less.
I wanted to write honestly about some thoughts on zero waste that I’ve been having and because it’s 4am, I’m going to get right into it. This blog post is meant for those who are striving for zero waste or maybe you’re like me and can’t sleep and just need something to do – ps. thank you to everyone who still reads my blog… I kind of cringe at the thought of my words being left out there during my journey.
I’ve kind of become tired with maintaining this blog, partially because I have a lot of work to do and I want to also focus on writing for myself – and so it will probably sit here and slowly die out over time, but for those that wonder where I am these days and feel an itch to still read my words – I’m easy to find on Instagram so feel free to find and add me there: @dream_love_grow
If this is the last post you ever read, then so be it. Nothing lasts forever and that’s ok. In fact, that’s what makes Life so beautiful. So back to zero waste and my final thoughts on it.
It isn’t just about the 5 R’s (Refusing, Reducing, Reusing, Recycling and Rotting), it’s about designing, producing and consuming carefully and intentionally.
Choosing to support businesses that have waste reduction in mind from the very beginning. In other words, what they are creating for us has gone through a planning process, taking into consideration everything, from the environment to minimizing what will end up in the landfill to figuring out ways to take back their product and reusing it. It’s also about choosing products that are made of quality or purchasing with the plan that you’ll have x object, product etc. for years and years to come. It matters more what you choose to buy than how much garbage you can fit in a mason jar.
Don’t get freaked out by the trend.
Maybe you’ll get interested in zero waste. You’ll look up what it means. You probably won’t understand it at first and then you’ll follow some blogs and eventually you’ll start seeing everyone’s mason jars and perfect little, plastic free bags and whatever other images people post on social media and hashtag with #plasticfree #zerowaste etc. (hey, I’ve done this) and then freak out because it seems impossible. Or you may end up hating those people. I don’t know.
Look, half of those images up there are just people competing with each other and trying to look cool. It doesn’t mean that you have to be like them. You don’t have to hop on this band wagon of documenting everything, blogging about it all and showing the world how perfect you are with all your clean, white images with mason jars that were made in China. Because you’re not perfect. No one is. And if anyone ever tells you they are perfectly zero waste, they are lying. Just do what you can with what you have and where you are. Fuck what everyone else is doing, but also surround yourself with supportive people.
You will question yourself and the world many times.
You will go through a roller coaster of reading too much information, looking at your cupboards and having a mental break down because of all the things you have. At least that’s what happened to me. At first I did not enjoy trying to go zero waste. It made me judge myself. I probably acted irrationally and I really didn’t understand what zero waste was because I didn’t understand my first point that I mentioned above. I just thought it was about not throwing things in the garbage and trying to be plastic free. There is so much more to it than that. It’s a conscious act that you choose daily. I have been living zero waste for almost two years but I still wonder if what I’m doing is making any difference. I often have to check back in with myself and forgive myself for any “slip ups” I’ve had along the way.
Don’t take yourself too seriously.
As much as I hate the argument that the world is going to end one day and seriously, what is the point? – the truth is, it is kind of true. Of course I believe in taking care of the home, our Earth, that we have right now but to think that our species will go on forever is a little naive. The world will be fine without us. It has been for the last couple of billions of years. At any point in time, this Universe can just decide to get rid of all of us. Like, tomorrow. We aren’t in control of anything, which is why the present moment matters the most. I do believe in taking care of this world. I wouldn’t live this way if I didn’t. But I also believe in participating in this beautiful thing called Life and giving it all that we have, because Life is really short to be in a constant state of worry and fear. And if going zero waste for you means that you have to give up what truly makes you happy, then spare yourself some slack and allow yourself the freedom to do it.
When I first started zero waste, I was really strict on myself. Partially because I didn’t understand the first point (again) but because I was also really trying to challenge who I am as a person. Sometimes doing the same thing day in and day out is just not enough for me. I strive to grow as an individual and although I still live zero waste now, I am definitely not as hard on myself as I was before. The challenge is over for me, I already know how to live “zero waste” and I want to be happy, not just feel guilty and bothered all the time if I buy something that may have packaging or order food that comes with trash once in a while. Yes, we are in charge of our actions and it is up to us to teach our young ones how to be accountable for our actions and feelings but we can’t always take ourselves (and others) so seriously.
The internet is a vast, open source of knowledge awaiting you. You can find so much zero waste information out there. But the real guide to knowing whether you are doing the right thing is you – your little inner voice. Follow that.