I’ve been given a few food items recently and I’m not at Bea Johnson’s stage of refusing medals from mayors and refusing even the smallest of gifts is difficult. So I accept and guiltily eat away.
To anyone who has been living zero-waste for a long time, I’m sure it’s easy peasy to refuse things like the above. But for me, it is so counter-intuitive and against everything I have ever learnt – to refuse a gift (and especially a gift to me as a host) (and especially food).
I tell myself that I’m still a newbie and still transitioning relatively quietly i.e. not shouting about it on the rooftops, therefore it’s up to me to make the decision of when to alert people to my lifestyle.
The daughter has her own mug as well?? They are both awesome. 2 minutes in and still getting distracted but OKAY OKAY I’LL STOP
I don’t even know the name of this character yet but I know she’s bringing her own mug to the coffee shop.
Gilmore Girls Episode 1 (Yes. I know. I am late coming to the party. Also, I am an adult, yes.) There hasn’t even been dialogue yet, and I’m getting distracted.
While “past self’s decisions” was about stocking up on food and trying to recognise that habit, this post is also about the danger of “2 for 1” deals.
I have worn Elizabeth Arden’s Green Tea Lotus perfume for about 8 years now. The last time I re-stocked – a couple of years ago – I found myself buying two bottles for the price of one. I didn’t know at the time that
a) I would eventually want to change perfumes (but it’s okay – I still like it)
b) I would be transitioning into a zero-waste lifestyle.
Again, I have to deal with the consequences of my past self’s actions. I have to find out whether the packaging is recyclable, and if so, where.
I also have to start thinking about future plans, once this bottle runs out: should I simply not wear perfume? Fabricate my own? Buy from local perfume makers who could re-fill my bottle (do these shops even exist??)?
And lo and behold, there go another seven hours of internet trawling.
Since starting this blog nearly three months ago, I have undertaken several lifestyle changes. Most of them are private – in the sense that they don’t have an impact on my flatmates, friends and family. I have made all my changes discreetly and no one would have noticed, had I not told a few friends about it. The people I interact with in bakeries, supermarkets or local shops might think me a bit odd, but I don’t justify my actions or explain why I am behaving differently from other people (such as holding up a queue of frustrated customers at supermarket self-checkouts because I have to weigh 14 types of fruit and veg).
This reluctance to speak about my zero waste goal might come from wanting to fit in, or being reluctant to stand out (please read WaitButWhy’s post on Why We Should Stop Caring What Other People Think), from wanting to be everyone’s friend, from a slight feeling of doubt (am I doing this to be different? to be better? to be cool?) or shame (am I a brainless sheep following a trendy lifestyle? why did it take me so long to start this?).
But it also comes from not wanting to dictate how other people lead their lives. As I said previously, I don’t want to go into a house and start pointing out all the ways someone could change the way they consume. I have always hated that type of attitude and find it very un-constructive, invasive and aggressive.
Most of the time for the last three months, I’ve been privately leading this lifestyle without hiccups (or any hiccups are entirely mine), doing research, looking into alternatives, learning new ways of buying, eating, doing things and thinking.
A difficult part of the zero-waste lifestyle, therefore (apart from learning to be prepared 100% time), has been the good will of other people. I’ll be posting about this soon.
In the meantime, enjoy your day, wherever you are.
On Friday, I went to pick up my first veg box from Locavore. Veg boxes are seasonal produce grown from Locavore’s farms, as well as other local organic farms. Each week I will pay £5 and will receive something different.
I have been researching farmers markets in Glasgow for a while, but couldn’t find anything conclusive or satisfactory. Since I live close to Locavore, I decided to trust fate and subscribe to a veg box.
This means that I don’t get to choose what I am given; I simply have to make do with what I receive. This pleases me, as it will enable me to discover new vegetables, think up new recipes, and explore my culinar-adventurous side. Certainly in a few weeks, when my work load will have cranked up, I will be damning the kohlrabi or cabbage I’ll receive. But for now, I plan to have a great week of fun dinners.
And obviously, I like knowing my food doesn’t have any air miles; that I am supporting local farmers; that setting up a direct debit means I don’t produce receipts; that I can bring the plastic bag back next time; that I walk to Locavore and back…
This week, I received potatoes, carrots, a cabbage, onions, and sprouting broccoli.
In my last post, I mentioned that I crave M&Ms.
A part of me feels like I really shouldn’t even put such foodstuffs in my body anyway – and I could probably make them from scratch (Hello recipe. Nice to meet you.)
And then, I remember that I am transitioning, that I have already cut out kilos of food I would usually eat, and that I can’t expect myself to flip over like a pancake and be a new person.
I also remember that I am heading to London soon, and that I have always looked away in disgust at M&Ms world on Leicester Square, criticising that place for being the pinnacle of junk food, consumerism, and aimless eating.
But they have bulk bins.
Full of M&Ms. I could stock up for a year. Until I’ve weaned myself off them. Until I come back to my senses, as an adult. Until the sugar oozes out of my pores.
Funnily enough, I’m not trying to be super healthy – or not anymore than I used to. I eat loads of chocolate. I eat loads of brownies. I eat loads of snacks other people offer me. I eat. I like eating. I talk about food. Passionately.
So my transitioning and learning how to live differently will also include slip-ups (deliberate or not) which will continue to teach me what I am looking for, and what I am working towards.
These might be the last batch of M&Ms I get.