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Why I am giving up a Zero Waste Lifestyle

Updated: Jan 6, 2022

Ok, so I’m not giving up entirely, I am composing it in a broader view. When I first started my zero waste journey I believed I had to be exactly what it meant, creating no waste, using zero plastic and shopping for items in glass, cardboard or naked (bulk & loose fruits/veggies). I was on top of the world learning all these new ways to reduce my waste and becoming more aware of my environmental footprint.

I stumbled on to the movement 3 years ago while moving from Perth to Gold Coast. This is where I realised Aaron and I had accumulated to much stuff. It was like Facebook was listening to me whine about my consumption when a popup video appeared and about Lauren Signer from Trash is for Tossers the “zero waste it girl” talking about how she lives completely zero waste. I was so inspired, I dug a little deeper and found Bea Johnson from Zero Waste Home these amazing women had been living these environmentally conscious lifestyles and I wanted in. 

Once we moved to the Gold Coast I had an abundance of eco choices.  I have 3 bulk food stores located near me, farmers markets and health food stores I am spoiled for choice.

I learnt to make my own cleaning and beauty products, I became a jar collector because every good zero waster needs a decent jar collection. 

I started to be more aware of the quality of the clothes and furniture I bought and I fell in love with shopping second hand. I already knew how to sew but was more willing to repair my clothes instead of just throwing them away. Aaron and I started a compost (truth be told I still haven’t got the hang of it yet). 

It wasn’t until last year, some plastics started to return, like medicines and food I just couldn’t quite recreate yet. I had environmental guilt. For the longest time, I wanted to colour my hair but worried about what people would think If I did. I felt guilty for these small choices instead of rewarding myself for all the positive habits that I had changed. 

Now like I said earlier I’m not entirely giving up zero waste but more dropping the tag. Like the square peg trying to fit into a circle, no one is completely zero waste. I am learning to not succumb to my environmental guilt and this year focusing on self-love. It’s about doing our best with what we have around us. 

I still will be keeping up many of my low waste habits but I want to focus on encouraging people to find their way into living more consciously and not just reducing their waste. Sometimes you can’t buy something in bulk and that’s ok. Comparing yourself to others will only hold you back. 

It’s not a race or a competition on who can reduce the most waste, its about learning how we can all make positive changes and be more mindful not only for ourselves but for the survival of our planet. Little changes at your own pace can make a huge impact.

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