three zero wasted years later

Hello everyone! It’s been months since I’ve written anything and then all of a sudden, three posts in a row! It’s your lucky week. Just kidding. Or maybe it is…

Three years ago today, I embarked on a journey to reduce my waste. The first year, was this entire blog, posting about my extreme experiment to reduce my waste for one year, which led to a second and somewhat third.

Remember my jar? This entire jar was my garbage that my three year old and I produced in one year back in 2015. My son won’t even remember that year and while I’m really proud of that accomplishment, our lives don’t fit into a jar anymore.

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I’m going to try to keep this short because many of us have short attention spans and better things to do than read blogs about garbage. I’ll just summarize some points.

On Work:

Purchasing equipment is a must for me. I’ve mentioned this again and again. I work in the digital media sphere. I recently had to buy a new laptop as mine of seven years finally died. That’s part of the line of work I choose to be in and buying new is sometimes not just the only option, but the best option you have. In some instances depending on the equipment I need, I can rent it, which is the better option but I have all the tools required to do my job and the most important thing is that I take care of everything as best as I can.

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On Minimalism:

You can bet this is still a constant for me. Over the past few months, I’ve been slowly spring cleaning. Donating and even, *gulp* throwing away items that are no longer necessary and relevant. My son’s toys fit into two drawers. He didn’t have to give away anything, but he chose to and did so without any complaining or second guesses. My clothes still fit on two shelves and take up 1/18 of a closet, except somehow my shoe and jacket collection grew… The office junk has downsized drastically and the art supplies are close to low, except for the ones I keep for my son and a few personal projects.

On Purchases:

I still try really hard to replace when something is completely done. I still try not to spend on unnecessary items, but this year at Christmas – I spent more than I ever have in the last… I don’t know… since I was on my own at 14, so… 18 years. It’s almost like I was possessed. Giddy with happiness. I haven’t been this excited about Christmas since I was a kid. I have no idea what overcame me, but I won’t do that again this year. As I write this now, I realize that I sound like I bought tons of presents, but I actually only bought.. maybe 10?

Needless to say, I’ve actually been trying the NO BUY for a year. It’s where you only buy things you need like food – or in my case, if it’s related to work. You don’t spend money on anything else. For being two months in, I think I’m doing relatively ok.

On Love:

I’m as happy as a bird eating a worm, a bee collecting pollen, a plant soaking up rain … and on and on. From someone who has been in all the wrong kinds of relationships, been in all the horrible states of mind, in all the wrong places doing all the wrong things, this is by far a real, healthy, equal relationship based on friendship and unconditional love. I won’t go on and on, but he supports my “zero waste” life, my need to be chemical-free, my gluten-freeness, my love of veggies, my obsession with organizing, my strict composting rules.. and everything I choose in life, to the best of his ability. I don’t ask him to change or nag him, as he is his own person. We understand each other and respect each others choices, but he is so supportive of me.

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On Travel:

Pretty sure this is the area I won’t give up. Not yet. Trust me, when I’m older I won’t be able to move anywhere, and I likely won’t if my son and his future partner (if he decides to choose one) decide to choose to bring a garbage making machine – I mean a cute baby into their lives, whether adopted or blood. On a good note, I do drive a hybrid. Woohoo! But I try not to drive often, bringing me to my second point.

On Location:

Where you live matters when trying to reduce your waste. We like to think what we can do in the Western world, everywhere in the world can do the same. This is not true. It even matters where you live in our beautiful city. I moved pretty close to the edge of the city, it’s almost farmland. It’s not walking distance to any grocery stores and most definitely not ones that offer bulk. When I do have to drive somewhere, I still try to make it as efficient as possible. I do errands, groceries, work and friends/family visits on the same day. The closest stores to me that I go to all the time are:

  • Kardish
  • Farmboy
  • Bulk Barn

Sad to say, I have never been to NU Grocery yet, but I send people that live in that area there as much as I can. It’s just not in my area I frequent.

While my garbage isn’t fitting in a jar, my intentions are still the same. I’m just not beating myself up over a packaged item anymore. I was recently interviewed by a woman regarding my “zero waste” life and she asked me what my advice was for a parent or a person trying to reduce their waste. My answer was this:

“If you’re mad that you had to buy something in plastic, or that you “messed up” and forgot to bring your own container, bag or use a plastic fork, and that’s what you’re worried about, then you have an amazing life.”

The most important thing to worry about is how we treat each other. Everything else is irrelevant in the grand scheme of things.

And that’s all for now folks. Thank you again for reading and for supporting our store.
If you have any questions, feel free to ask away.

Lots of Love,
Mai

 

 

 

 

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