I woke one day to a very full recycling bin that was threatening to spill its content all over my kitchen floor. While my usual reaction to this is: 1) pat myself on the back for recycling and 2) nag my husband to bring it out, I couldn’t help but be appalled by the quantity of waste two human beings can generate, even if it was recyclable.
For the first time, I got curious about what was in my recycling bins. After some rummaging, I realized that most of the items in there had sustainable and reusable alternatives to them. While searching online to see what I could do to reduce my waste, I fell on some inspiring articles about the Zero-Waste movement and pretty much fell in love with the philosophy behind it. For those who don’t know about the Zero-Waste movement, here are the 5 principles on which it is based on:
- Refuse what you do not need.
- Reduce what you do need.
- Reuse by using reusable items.
- Recycle what you cannot refuse, reduce, or reuse.
- Rot (compost) the rest.
As I am already committed to reducing my exposure to pollutants in my food, cosmetics and household products, incorporating the Zero-Waste philosophy seems like a natural addition to my eco-friendly striving lifestyle. To reduce the pollution I come in contact with, I must of course reduce the pollution that I create. (Duh! moment)
Obviously, I don’t expect to become a glowing sustainable goddess living in her hippy chic Zero-Waste home overnight. Sustainability ain’t for weenies and it’s not realistic to exhaust myself by implementing a hundred new habits. For this reason, I going to approach this transformation with baby steps. Each month, I will focus on incorporating the principles of the Zero-Waste movement in one area of my life at the time. In some way this is my New Year’s resolution, however I am working on making it a life-long resolution.
For the month of January, I’ve started to reduce the waste in my kitchen by 1) switching the parchment baking sheets to these silicon mats and 2) replacing plastic produce bags with these awesome reusable ones I got on Amazon. Yes, the cashier gave me a confused look when I handed her the latter, but I knew the Earth was high-fiving me.
If you too are interested in the Zero-Waste movement, here are some great websites to build your knowledge and receive actionable tips on what you can do to create a eco-friendlier lifestyle.
Guides to Zero-Waste Living
I will keep you updated on my progress each month. I’m quite excited about this new journey! As for my husband, well, he’s excited about bringing out garbage and recycling bins out less often. See? Everyone can be a winner!
Much love and hugs,