For about five years, I have been dithering on the subject of going zero waste. I discovered the movement through the No Trash Project blog, which I followed faithfully. This lifestyle fascinated me – it was so much more considered than mine. I thought “This is incredible. I could never pull it off.” I was in my second year of undergrad in Glasgow, Scotland, another country than mine, and had no time to dedicate to researching bulk options, washing my hair with bicarbonate of soda, carrying around millions of tubs and bottles and investing hundreds of pounds in fancy jars that I would have to give away when I went back home. I also lived in a flat share and couldn’t fathom how I could lead a zero waste lifestyle in such an environment.
I was changing certain things already. I was starting to think about my buying habits: was I spending wisely when spending on certain clothes, kitchenware, gadgets, presents? I started thinking about money in terms of time: is this pair of earrings worth two hours of my labour? Does going shopping make me happy or are all those movies and adverts lying to me?
Naturally, I started thinking this way about food. What is better: buying small amounts of locally sourced produce, or for the same price, buying larger amounts of lesser quality, flown-in produce? For years, I decided to go with the latter option. It was cheaper, easier, mainstream, and wouldn’t brand me as an uppity outsider.
In recent months, as I have been out of university for a couple of years, and have started to think about my choices and how they can have an impact on the people around me and the environment, my interest in the zero waste movement has resurfaced, never forgotten. I started reading more in depth and with a greater sense of possibility about Béa Johnson from Zero Waste Home, Lauren Singer from Trashis4Tossers, and more recently, exploring the web platforms of Waste Land Rebel, Litterless and Paris-To-Go.
I decided I would undertake this journey after watching Lauren Singer’s TED talk and hearing this sentence: “I lead a zero waste lifestyle because to me, it’s the best way I know how to live a life that aligns with everything I believe in”. I suddenly realised the full extent of what that could mean. What a relief it would be. How amazing it would feel. What a difference it could make in my life.
So, here goes!