29 January 2016

Is it possible to have no waste?


And so, I begin 2016 on a quest. I'm trying to become more minimal this year. So far it has begun with a simple paring down of my wardrobe. I've done a Project 333 capsule wardrobe for the last 6 months (so 2 cycles now) and I probably could still cut it down even more! I'm sorting out all of my clothes that are outside of my capsule periodically and getting rid of all of the ones I feel I no longer need - all of which are either going to charity or recycling the textiles.

Still, I don't feel as though this was enough. Yes, I was becoming more minimalist in my own life. I have a very small wardrobe at university and everything now fits in comfortably… yes, I'm donating any clothes to be reused. Even so, there are so many more things we can do to make both our lives easier and to be more environmentally friendly. I feel as though the two go hand-in-hand quite nicely.

This is where Lauren Singer of Trash Is For Tossers enters. Lauren lives a "zero-waste" lifestyle, meaning that in the last 3 years she's only accumulated a mason jar of actual waste. Every other piece of waste can be reused, recycled or composted.

When I first watched a video of Lauren and her lifestyle… I thought it would be impossible. I made excuses. She's an independent woman, living on her own in New York. I am a University student in a house-share in Nottingham. We don't have a bulk food store that does not have any packaging…

Then I realised that I need to take this in baby steps. I watched more videos. I then got rid of all my plastic bags and replaced them all with reusables. I started looking at the containers I am using - all plastic! So am gradually switching across to glass.

I looked at my eating habits and started analysing what my rubbish actually contained. Most of my rubbish was food waste anyway - which could be composted! A lot of my packaging I'm able to recycle anyway, so that wasn't as much of an issue. I buy most of my fruit and veg loose or at the farmers market on campus so that wasn't going too badly.

I evaluated the situation I'm at now, and what originally seemed like an impossible task, turned out that with a few very minor changes… I can almost get there! The part I'm struggling with now is actually pasta packaging! I can't find anywhere near me that has bulk pasta…

There are so many easy fixes that we can swap out, I have extremely sensitive skin and so making my own products sounded like a great way for me to regulate what actually goes in my body! Bamboo toothbrushes and stainless steel straws? Well, they're far more aesthetically pleasing anyway!

So at the moment I'm using up all the products I have at the moment. Using up my supplies of toothbrushes, cleansers, body washes… in order to start fresh.
I shall be purchasing a menstrual cup soon - once I finally choose a brand - and then all of my backup supplies will be going to a cause at my University.

My job seemed easier than I thought once I tackled it in stages. Once we break-up a seemingly huge task into manageable steps, the begin to seem reasonable. In doing so, in about a month I've become a lot closer to zero-waste than I ever had thought!

The point of this post? Just to show you how easy these things can be once we set our mind to it. I believe minimalists make the best green/zero-waste lifestylers because they're already making a lot of these changes in other aspects of life.

I hope you all have a great day, please check out Lauren Singer if you're interested in making the change and I'll be back with some more related posts explaining the stages and exactly what the lifestyle involves!

No comments

Post a Comment

© Katie L Clark
Maira Gall