After a month of LEARNING about something new like zero waste in my one-month #LIVETRASHFREE challenge I have come to understand even more that it is not EASY to change our HABITS.
We like routine
We like comforts
We like what is easy
We like things being convenient
Our biggest challenge is not about waste it’s about understanding our own actions and how they can DEEPLY affect the world around us. As some of you may already know I have created a Happiness Is A Habit Workshop where I will talk more deeply about understanding our day to day habits but for me doing zero waste as a specific topic in my mind I was able to discover how much I could improve in just one category in my life by noticing the good habits I have with waste and where I could improve and I was truly amazed at the number of habits I needed to improve on throughout the 30 days. It all stemmed down to how much I wanted to change them. date coming soon
I watched a number of documentaries and read articles, blogs and books on zero waste and talked to a number of people and students about what they know and do about waste.
I noticed this attitude of “what can one person do about waste?” And when I hear that I get so upset because if we are all walking around thinking like “well my actions don’t matter and that one person can’t change the effects of the planet”… we are in big trouble… if all of us have that exact mentally we will never get out of the mess we have created.
Part of the issue is that we don’t know enough about the problem because once we put the trash in the bin it’s out of sight out of mind. We leave it to others to do the right thing…but that’s not what is happening.
We need to actually educate ourselves on the full life cycle of how the waste was created in the first place from manufacturing it to consuming it to then recycling or how it ends up in the landfill OR worst case the OCEAN!
So one person’s actions can inspire another person to take action and then another and it will be a flow on effect. Yesterday, I heard on the news that Virgin airline is swapping plastic straws for paper and using bamboo coffee stirrer for an airline to make a change like that it had to be inspired by all those individual actions that together it has become loud enough to inspire CHANGE. There are so many people wanting us to all change our habits on waste it is just not getting the media attention it deserves for us to be fully informed and it is only more recently that I have been hearing about it on the news since July plastic bags were banned in WA.
One person can’t change the world but they can influence the world around to change. We all love this earth… we have to…. it is OUR HOME… we just forget to care for it and clean it up because we are disconnected by this notion that it isn’t our responsibility. But ask yourself this question if it isn’t yours or mines than who is responsible for the planet?
But we all live here… on this earth… it doesn’t matter what country or town you come from… waste is a GLOBAL HUMAN issue that we created as mankind… we need to start taking actions and setting an example for our the youth of today so that we can alter the current effects that are happening right now. Small or large steps can always be taken.
Where I learnt more on Zero Waste and got inspired to do this challenge for myself. I watched a lot of YouTube videos and documentary’s last month to educate myself on all the issues we are facing with waste. I learnt how I can do things at home to help reduce my own impact on the planet. We all know that we need to bring our own bags, coffee mugs, water bottles, metal straws wherever we go now. But there is more we can do…the next simple steps bring your own cutlery so you don’t have to use plastic ones when you eat out at the cafe, your containers for takeaway food or to the deli counter, bring your own mesh bags for fruits/veggies.
“See you can get strawberries not in plastic containers if you just look elsewhere”
We managed to not put our recycling bin and trash bin out for the entire month and I forgot to take a photo of the bin to share what it looked like but we only filled our trash bin up 15% our recycling was at 75% full so we still need to work on reducing our recycling as well
We went to the local farmers market every Sunday for fruit and veggies
We pick up garbage on our walks home from the park
We are VERY aware now of all the waste that not just we create but also what our workplaces waste
Tony and I were pretty happy with our result after 30 days and aim to reduce it even further in the future months to come.
Stage 2 – Zero Waste Home
Our next stage is to continue swapping out our household products for more environmentally friendly ones. One month we have just learnt the basics of how to stop shopping with packaging and where to recycle but 30 days isn’t enough. It will take us time to get our home to a place where we have less stuff inside it and we a more minimalist with everything we own. We will tackle this slowly and know it might take months to a year to get to a place where we are happy.
Be part of our community
Opening up our home to the neighbourhood and community to help others reduce their waste. Since moving into our new home in January this year, we love walking around our neighbourhood and getting to know more locals. Volunteering our time to our community wherever we can.
BUY NOTHING Group on Facebook is a good way to source secondhand products from people in your local neighbourhood
Create a Sustainable Home
The other important part we learnt through zero waste is how we can also improve on creating a sustainable home no just waste but with water consumption and electricity and looking into alternative options.
We plan on installing rain barrels to collect rain to water our gardens
We are planting a garden of veggies and fruit
First look on Gumtree or Facebook Marketplace for secondhand items or Op Shops
Tony is looking into buying a bike
Using less water and electricity wherever we can
Collecting grey water in our home to use in the garden
Looking into solar panels
Shopping local (farmers market)
A few tips I tried out in the 30 days
Try swapping your beauty products for natural alternatives
coconut oil as body lotion, toothpaste, lip balm, deodorant
Soft plastics are on a lot of food products… you can return them to Coles and Woolworths vs putting them into recycling
Toothbrush (bamboo vs plastic)
Toothpaste try homemade recipes
Shampoo, Conditioner, body wash swap to buy at bulk food shop or just use shampoo bars or bars of soap
Beauty products packaging can be recycled via TerraCycle recycling program… I have a bin you can drop yours off to be upcycled but check your local area for where you can drop yours off
Wooden and metal cleaning utensils
DIY cleaning spray
Buy bulk soap at local Source shop
Source local honey
Trash – Cling, Foil Wrapping can be swapped with beeswax wraps
Return your egg cartons to the local farmers at the market they will reuse them
Go to the deli counter to purchase your meat and ask them to put it in your own containers
Started to clean out clothes to donate to the charity that I no longer use
Trash – I reused old t-shirts as dish drags vs paper towel
In conclusion, this has been a rewarding experience not just for me but for Tony as well. We have gotten a great response from the community to support our recycling location and hope that more people come to drop off their recycling and compost. It’s all about living a life you truly want to live that fits within your values. As a yogi, I have awakened my mind, body and spirit to myself through my practice to fundamentally bring happiness into my life every day and I believe going down the zero waste lifestyle shares that same values to live simple, make less impact on the planet, feel more happier as they saying goes…less is more. It is funny how trying to live more simply can feel like hard work at first but if you simply understand what you are doing is just changing your habits to new ones it doesn’t anymore. There are always new ways to improve our lifestyle we just have to figure out our own new software updates (new habits). It’s like on your iPhone you need to delete the old information to make room for the new software. We are just as much programmable as our smartphones the only difference is that we have to figure out when we need to update and delete the old software we are running on. We, unfortunately, don’t have a little notification sent to our minds to update.
If you have read all the way to the end of this blog post… THANKS for listening and I have so much more to share on the how you can improve yourself in my Happiness Is A Habit Workshop where I also use iPhone references in. Stay tuned in to the next workshop date.
Remember to BE THE CHANGE you want to see in the world!