For a lot of people, when I tell them about my zero waste goals, their first reaction is to say ‘that must be difficult! I don’t think I could do that’. To be honest, I didn’t know it was possible either until I saw it done by others. But what you learn once you begin to change the way you live, is that there are unique rewards to living waste-free (or as close to that as you can manage).
Initially, the excitement of seeing your bin gradually become less and less full as you find waste-less alternatives is enough to keep you going, but eventually as you settle into it and there is not a lot left to modify, there has to be something else to motivate you. If it meant nothing more than choosing a (sometimes) harder and certainly non-conventional route, the Zero Waste movement would not have caught on like it has. The reason I have remained committed to it is because my life is simpler now, and although certain things require more effort, most aspects of my life are easier and more natural now. One of the great things about Zero Waste for me is that it is beautiful.
Shopping in bulk is exciting for me, because unlike 6 months ago when I shopped at the supermarket for everything, I now frequent the local farmers’ market and a local organic cooperative shop for my groceries. I am so much healthier and I have developed an interest in experimenting with new foods and learning about the properties of fruit and veg. Today I passed a bulk container of quinoa and some purple potatoes in the shop, and I can’t wait to find a way to introduce them into my diet! My dinner plates are colourful and fresh and I bombard my family with pictures of them almost daily, (poor things!) because I can’t keep to myself how nice they look!
I store all my dried foods in glass jars and bottles rather than the plastic and tins I used to buy from the supermarket. It’s such a nice feeling to empty my bulk bags into the jars and display them in my kitchen. Also, two cashiers complimented me on my home-made mesh produce bags today, and one of them said I’d inspired her to make some of her own- this is what it’s all about!
Good quality items that serve a purpose mixed with fresh, healthy food. No plastic packaging or brands to spoil the view. It is a simple pleasure, and one that I wouldn’t have appreciated a year ago. But I can safely say it brings me enough satisfaction to want to continue to live this way wherever I go.