I won’t try to tell you that I am “zero waste” because I am far from that – but, I will tell you that I am mindfully reducing my waste, every day.
I want to share how I got inspired and just a few of the changes I’ve made and then some that I plan to make.
*disk scratch* Let’s rewind for a minute.
There’s always been a joke in my family about how many paper towels I used after I washed my hands. Not one or two. I’d mindlessly grab like 5.
One day Jake and I just had this huge realization. We were going through a pack of 12 paper towel rolls in a week. First of all, that’s expensive as hell, but also it was incredibly wasteful. Not to mention, we were taking the trash out once per day.
I was like, HOLY. SHIT. I have to make some changes.
This was absolutely not a conclusion I came to on my own.
Last year I watched Minimalism on Netflix and it totally mind-fucked me. You can ask Jake, I was really REALLY upset about it all, but I wasn’t ready or knowledgeable enough to make the changes.
So ultimately, this idea came from following some zero waste Instagram accounts, and simply being really inspired. I loved what they preached, their attitudes, and the accessibility. *Something for your reading pleasure, is this article on Zero Waste and Privilege.*
Lifestyle shifts (key term imo) often feel as if they’re a drastic change. A “do or die” sort of thing. Yet, I have found the zero-waste community to be open, accepting, and encouraging – no matter what stage you’re at in the process. This is honestly what attracted me more than anything else. Anyone I have ever messaged with questions has been so open and excited to answer me, which I am so grateful for. There’s definitely no stupid questions when it comes to this process.
The first thing Jake and I did was sketch out a “WHY” for making these daily shifts. We then created this list – it was important to take some time to see where we were already succeeding, and where we had room to grow.
This is actually my first time reviewing this list since I wrote it, and I’ll be damned if I didn’t make almost every change I set out to and then some.
Since then, these are just a few updates, changes that we’ve made, places we need to improve, places I’m okay with not changing (for now), and a few products that work for us, in regards to the list:
Thinking about all of this every day, with every action, has been such a gift. I find myself being so aware.
It doesn’t mean that when I’m out, I don’t mindlessly grab a straw or use a plastic bag. I’m breaking 20 years of habits, and a societal norm (though, I usually have an “oh shit” moment within 10 seconds of doing so). But it does mean that I (usually!!) remember my water bottle, opt for fresh fruit rather than the pre-cut stuff in plastic, am constantly looking for new ways to reduce, and purchasing mindfully.
Whether you’re inspired to reduce your waste or not, there’s 3 tips I can offer to you that are applicable to everyone:
Remember that this process is slow and it is forgiving. If you’re choosing to change just one thing, you’re already doing something better for the world.
Calee Shea is a Holistic Health Practioner based in Atlanta, Georgia. She is your go-to gal for all things periods, vaginal health, and sex.