Why you should go Zero Waste NOW
Last night I went to the first Zero Waste Expo in Wellington and words can’t describe how happy that made me feel. After my Zero Waste crisis a while ago, this get-together was exactly what I needed. Seeing so many likeminded people all in the same room and meeting fabulous humans coming up with smashing ideas to save the planet left me incredibly inspired. By the end of the night I had forgotten all my struggles and frustrations and I was ready to get my motivation back. It made me feel like I am not the only one believing in this cause and sometimes that’s all you need, to have a community of supportive and understanding people that you can relate to and keep you going.
So now that you are familiar with the bumps and difficulties of living without a rubbish bin, it's time to talk about all the amazing things that a Zero Waste lifestyle can do to you (oh yeah).
1. Saving money
Let’s start with what most people want to know: is buying in bulk cheaper? Well, not always, but the point is that ideally you will stop buying a whole bunch of other stuff, so that you will be able to afford buying food in bulk and still save money even when refilling your own container is not the cheapest option.
I always tell people about all the money I’m saving by not buying shampoo and conditioner and a million different face and body products the way I used to. I now either make my own or just don’t use any, and it doesn’t take a genius to understand how sustainable this has been on my wallet.
2. New skills
Delaying the time you throw something away means you might have to fix stuff. In spite of all the effort my mum made trying to teach me how to knit (I was a lost cause), since becoming a Zero Waster I have taught myself how to sew (fixing a button is much easier than making a whole jumper, trust me on this). I’ve also become better at cooking - ok wait, let me rephrase this: I have also been cooking more. When you ditch the plastic-wrapped pre-made meals, you’ll need to start cooking from scratch. Who knew making crackers and hummus would be so freaking easy
This also bring me to my next point:
3. Better food
Going waste free means ditching processed food in favour of unprocessed, whole foods. My body loves it. Your body probably will, too.
Consequently you’ll be:
4. Feeling grateful
When you shop at the farmers market (another reason why Zero Waste will save you money) you only get whatever produce is in season. This will make you feel more connected to the food you’re eating, as well as more appreciative of when tomatoes are finally back in stock.
5. Buying cute stuff
Although Zero Waste is all about reusing, there are things you will have to buy at some point, and for someone with a reusable water bottle obsession like me this is extremely thrilling. This is most likely a marketing strategy, but everything Zero Waste related is crazy cute. Have you seen these beeswax wraps? Personally, the fact that I have to wait before I buy something makes it even a more enjoyable experience when the time comes. I would have never though I would get excited about getting a new dish brush.
6. Incredible people
Living this lifestyle has connected me with some of the most amazing people I’ve ever met in my life. As I mentioned earlier, finding a community is incredibly empowering. You can share ideas and successes as well as fails and frustrations and you’ll always find someone who understand you.
7. Converting people
Nothing feels as good as someone telling you that you’ve inspired them to change their lifestyle. People that once made fun of me are now asking me for advice on how to go plastic-free. It basically means I'm right. HA!
8. Seeing the change
I’ve only started living this way about two years ago, but I’ve seen SO MUCH happening. Supermarkets are ditching plastic bags, bulk stores are appearing everywhere, small businesses are constantly popping up offering to fix your appliances and/or teaching you how to do it. In general the Refuse/Reduce/Reuse philosophy is spreading like oil in the ocean (sorry for the unfortunate metaphor here). It’s so great to see that things are moving in the direction you are going.
Bottom line, it's all about being aware of what's going on. If you embrace this lifestyle it's very likely that you'll start small but will soon expand and the need to do all the research will soon take over your life. This can be tricky (not being able to unknow things is what stresses me out the most), but at the same time you'll learn so much!
10. Feeling awesome
Now I can't guarantee this will happen to you, but jumping on the Zero Waste wagon was one of he best decisions I’ve ever made. It's SO GOOD to know that you're doing your best to not harm the planet, and it's so rewarding to see that more and more people are going the same direction. I love it when I get to the end of the day and I realise I had such a low impact on the planet without having to sacrifice my own happiness or convenience. In spite of being inevitably shitty at times, I wouldn't change this lifestyle for the world.
It's safe to say at this point that the disposable way of living that has become conventional and normal for most people is not sustainable. But we can still make a change. Even if it's a small change, it's still a change. Every step towards Zero Waste is a step in the right direction.
PS. Sorry I’ve missed two weeks on here, life got busy. Hopefully this won’t happen again (until I go on holidays, biatches!).