I want to share with you how going zero waste has been the biggest blessing and curse in my life, I know that sounds cliche but I need to share with you how reducing my waste has changed my mentality, how I do things in general, how I view the world and how I shop.
I want to start by telling you that reducing your waste is not an overnight project, this will take you months if not years, this is something that needs to be done little by little. It has a lot of ups and downs, but the most important thing is to leave the guilt behind. This is a process where you will find alternatives to plastic, eat real food and appreciate going on adventures way more than collecting stuff.
I don't think I have to go very deep on why reducing our waste is important, but I'm just going to state some facts here:
- The US produces 1.4 billion pounds of trash per day, and 40% of it is packaging.
- The US throws away enough paper or plastic cups and utensils to circle the equator 300 times.
- Plastic, styrofoam, polyvinyl chlorine are common ingredients in plastic packaging, and they leach chemicals into the environment, contaminate ground and water, and affect plant and animal life.
- The Great Pacific Garbage Patch. It is a 270,000 miles patch of plastic that floats like an island in the Pacific Ocean, leaching chemicals into our oceans.
I think those are enough, but lowering your waste can be applied to everyday life, and the reasons for it can be as big as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, or as little as not wanting to spend money on disposable plates.
For myself, this is what I've experimented by going zero waste.
My life just got a whole lot simpler: I always spent too much time cleaning, doing groceries, cooking, and wished I spent more time with my family and just relaxing. Going zero waste taught me how to repurpose ingredients and use them to clean around the house. Let me tell you, baking soda and lemon juice will clean EVERYTHING.
I spend less money and I'm happier with my purchases: When I started paying attention to my purchases, I realized I was buying a lot of things I wanted but didn’t need. Going zero waste means becoming much more conscientious about my purchases and looking for items that I can use in a number of ways and will last longer.
I eat healthier: And if you pair that with some good exercise, you’ll lose weight and feel better. Cutting out garbage means eating more whole foods that don’t come overpackaged in plastic. I shop the periphery of the grocery store and frequent local farmers’ markets.
I'm doing my part to preserve the planet for future generations: Landfills are overflowing, our water systems are becoming polluted, animal species are becoming endangered and going extinct at an alarming rate, and we are finding toxic chemicals in our food and beauty products. Every time I choose sustainable over disposable I'm doing my part to eliminate these problems.
My help will beautify natural areas and decrease littering: Have you ever been outside without seeing trash in your way for more than 5 minutes? The less garbage we make collectively, the less litter there will be to spoil nature’s beauty.
I reduced my exposure to toxic chemicals and artificial colors and sweeteners: A garbage-free life means I choose healthier options than the prepackaged, processed foods that line the grocery store shelves; avoiding the garbage is just one more reason to look for healthier alternatives.
I became more self-sufficient: One of the most enjoyable parts of a garbage-free life is learning some skills our culture has all but forgotten. Pretty much anything store-bought can be made at home if you have the time and interest.
If you want to learn more about my journey into lowering my waste and want to start yours, I've put together a 10 courses program that will guide you through the process, give you tricks and tips and basically be everything I wish I had when I decided to lower my waste.