some final thoughts on zero waste

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.

In short,

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.

everyday-the-world

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10 thoughts on “some final thoughts on zero waste

  1. Hi Mailyne,

    Again, thank you for your words. It’s true what you said in the paragraph about don’t getting freaked out by the trend, I see photots of Lauren singer and Bea Johnson and it all looks so white and shiny and perfect, it do seems they are doing a great job and enjoying life and there’s a lot to learn from them, but people are different and everyone should go in their own path. I do try my best, and I know I can try harder, but it’s not always easy because I don’t live alone and isolated, I have a husband and a family and friends and some are consious about environmental issues and some are don’t and some don’t care, and I can’t expect everyone to act like me, and sometimes I need to act like them, for example when a group of friend go eating out or ordering in it’s not gonna be zero waste.
    I wanna say some words in case you won’t be back on this blog, last winter I discovered the term zero waste when I encountered Lauren Singer’s blog, and then I started looking for more information. I saw a video on youtube about you and you said you have a blog so I looked it up. I dscovered a differenet blog then what I have anticipated. You’ve shared some real deep thoughts that I could identify with, not only about zero waste but other issues too, I was going through a hard period at the time. So I wish you luck in whatever you do, and continue with the great work you are doing.
    Love, Anna from far away Israel.

    1. Oh Anna, thank you for taking the time to write this. I’m really happy to have been able to have been a different kind of blog than anticipated and I thank you for reading it. Much love to you in Israel ❤

  2. Hey Mailyne – I’m sad to hear that you might be stopping the blog because I’ve found so much inspiration from your posts but I also understand that you’ve done what you needed to do, you’ve shared what you needed to share, and now it’s time for you to try something new. There’s nothing wrong with that!

    Also, I am a fellow self-torturer and worrier about whether I am doing enough and beating myself up about everything I do that might be “bad” and you’re right: We need to give ourselves some slack and just do our best.

    You are the best! Keep following your heart ❤

  3. Hello Mailyne – I just wanted to write and thank you for your blog – it is so well written and inspired me to do more to make my life zero waste. I must say I totally agree that we need to be gentle with ourselves, and even have a sense of humor about our efforts, sincere as they might be, to save this beloved planet. We can do our best, and also embrace every moment and find joy wherever we can. I thank you and I wish you all the best on your life journey.

    1. Hi Pam, thank you for taking the time to read my blog and to write me. I’m happy I could be some inspiration to you on your journey and wish you well on your path too ❤

  4. It’s sad to hear this might be your final post. When I first heard the term zero waste I didn’t really know what it was. I think it takes a long time for one to feel the desire to lead a zero waste lifestyle. Earlier this year when I saw your video it really had a profound impact on me. I started reducing my waste because of it. I do believe the most important aspects of zero waste are the conscious decisions we make behind our actions. These choices show our immense care for the one true home we have here on Earth and our desire to protect it. I really think the concept needs to be presented in a transitional way, because it is very overwhelming. Until the broken system is fixed, nothing will ever be zero waste. But as long as we continue to share solutions, we will create a better future. I have never been inspired by the little jars of trash, but I have found strength from the truth and the realness in the personal struggles that come from this lifestyle. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

    From Gloria, – recently moved to Ottawa 🙂

  5. Hi Mailyne,
    I’m sorry to hear this might be your last post. You are the only person I “know” in Ottawa who is also working towards a more sustainable, conscious lifestyle. When I began my zero waste journey your list of stores and what they carry in bulk was immensely helpful (it’s actually stuck on my fridge). Thank you for what you’ve been able to give and good luck on your journey.

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