Thursday, January 7, 2016

Zero Waste | GOALS

As I was journaling for the new year a lot of imagery that came up was what I wanted my home, my life, and my year to look like.  A new year is always a fresh start, but you can start fresh any time just by living in the now and being aware that whatever changes you make now will impact your life as they come and go.  When thinking of the impact my life has on this earth I imagine how humans have created an island of plastic in the ocean, how we have fields of grass where nothing can grow over sealed boxes of our ancestors, how sea turtles get plastic forks stuck in their noses, how we are so dependent on plastic, which is a byproduct of oil, this insane industrial machine.

I know, things get deep real fast with me.

From this, I made a goal to try to live a zero waste lifestyle to the best of my abilities.

Zero Waste is a philosophy that encourages the redesign of resource life cycles so that all products are reused. No trash is sent to landfills and incinerators. The process recommended is one similar to the way that resources are reused in nature.
So I began to do some research.  The biggest names out there are Zero Waste Home (who even has a book!), and Trash is for Tossers (which is my personal favorite, and was featured on MindBodyGreen).  

How did I go from zero plastic to zero waste? 
First, I stopped buying packaged products and began bringing my own bags and jars to fill with bulk products at the supermarket. I stopped buying new clothing, and shopped only secondhand. I continued making all of my own personal care and cleaning products. I downsized significantly by selling, donating, or giving away superfluous things in my life, such as all but one of my six identical spatulas, 10 pairs of jeans that I hadn't worn since high school, and a trillion decorative items that had no significance to me at all. 
Most importantly, I started planning potentially wasteful situations; I began saying "NO" to things like straws in my cocktails at a bars, to plastic or paper bags at stores, and to receipts.
Personally,  my first steps are going to be eliminating the plastics I use and buy.  Lunches and drinks can be packaged in mason jars, glass or stainless steel water bottles, beauty products can be made at home, and most food can be bought in bulk and carried in jars or organic cotton bags.  Cold brew coffee and beer can also be bought using refillable growlers from the company or origin.  I have recently transitioned to using cloth rags instead of paper towels at home, so I just have to maintain that habit.  I've even thought of a way to reuse old clothing for fun gift wrap!

There are a few more tips for zero waste living that will save you money at this link.

Baby steps are key, but a lot of these baby steps are going to be big lifestyle changes.  I have a few more goals for life and this year that I'll be going over in the coming weeks.

Here's to now!