The beginning stages of Zero Waste are hard. I think at this point it is a matter of developing habits and breaking the old ones.
Habits I’m struggling with currently:
- Remembering to bring my bottle for water and coffee every day has been an issue. It’s hard to remember yet another thing when I’m trying to get out the door in the morning.
- Not using paper towels has been an adjustment. In my first Zero Waste article, I said I was going to keep a roll for an emergency. Well, I didn’t – and the emergency occurred. My sweet standard poodle, Gunther, puked big time on the floor. I had to wipe it up with a hand towel and shake the puke off of it outside. Kind of disgusting. Then, I had to wash the pukey towel in my washing machine. But you know what, a little bleach and that towel was as good as new.
- Fast food. I try my best to eat healthy but unfortunately, I am on the road a lot and cheap food is my downfall. I know to combat this I should pack my own lunch but I am kind of a lazy person and food preparation is not my favorite past time.
- Buying second hand – I have had good success with thrifting but I won’t lie – I succumbed to a couple department store sales this past week.
- Refusing plastic bags is easy when I am only purchasing a few items but I frequently forget my reusable bags in the car until it’s too late.
- Being mindful of waste when I am in a hurry or on the road. I have found that I generate a lot of trash when I’m driving. I eat fast food, I grab coffee, and I can see the wastefulness piling up on the floorboard.
Things I have been successful at:
- Composting is easy! Just do not do what I did with fish carcasses. Bury your fish carcass in the garden. If you have a small sized compost like I do, it will stink like nothing else you have ever smelled.
- Recycling is easy! Divide your glass, plastic, paper, and metal into bins or bags and you’re all done.
I’m not stressing about the process of becoming zero waste or making myself feel guilty. I am more mindful every day of the waste I am creating and how I can change. A quote that is helpful to me when I feel like what I’m doing is too hard to not making a difference:
“Few will have the greatness to bend history itself, but each of us can work to change a small portion of events. It is from numberless diverse acts of courage and belief that human history is shaped. Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring those ripples build a current which can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.”
― Robert F. Kennedy