Day 179 / 365
Tomorrow marks the first day of a two-week zero waste challenge I’ve committed to alongside some of my blogger buddies from Ethical Writer’s Coalition. Our plan is to share our blunders and breakthroughs as we recount with honesty, the challenges we face and solutions we find.
As most of you know, I’ve been transitioning myself from a semi-green lifestyle to a genuinely green lifestyle by adjusting my daily doings to align with the discoveries this series has unveiled to me. my daily learnings have gently guided me to become more mindful overall as I’ve discovered the circular story behind each product I use and habit I hold.
I’ve long since accepted it takes some time to stop committing daily hypocrisies, and like any change, accept it is an ongoing process which takes a proper journey before resembling anything close to perfection. It requires personal scrutiny, societal scrutiny, and often times, awkward social interaction, which depending on my mood and those around me, I can confidently face or adamantly avoid.
As I continue to educate myself on this journey towards a better state of eco understanding and ethical awareness, I discover less judgemental ways to deal with the issues I find. Most often, this means discovering a solution and putting it to use, then sharing that solution with other people in full acceptance that my solution may be wrong, incomplete, or could use some improvements.
Through this process I have become more mindful, as I’ve come to know circular story behind each product I use and habit I have, making any excuses I used to make to myself less convincing, forcing me to change through the power of common sense.
Because I’ve learnt that each product we produce, however green and well intended, has an impact on the planet and its inhabitants, I’ve had no choice but to consider that a zero waste lifestyle is my ultimate goal. Over the past nine months I’ve begun purchasing the bits and pieces I need to commit to more easily follow Zero Waste guru Bea Johnson’s guidelines for embracing the lifestyle: refuse, reduce, reuse, recycle, rot.
Everything we use comes at a price. Resources are extracted, harvested, used and wasted in the production of products before they reach our hands. Then we use them, hopefully reusing them for as long as possible before disposing of them. Once we do, they are either recycled or sent to the landfill. If recycled, they take more energy and resources to process, causing pollution on its way to a new lease of life. If we dispose of them, they more often than not cause damage to our ecosystem, leaching into soil and water and harming or killing wildlife in their demise, prolonging their lifespan into a zombie-like status of the undying, killing or maiming everything in its path.
For our challenge, I’ve chosen a rather inconvenient few weeks to participate:
[October 1st – 5th]
I’m in Paris, with my in-law’s visiting, meaning days wandering around on the town and a very good chance of slip ups outside the controlled environment of my regular routines and home space. In order to keep my sanity, and my loved ones, I’ve chosen not to judge those who are not on the same path as me (as best I can) and thus will be taking a back seat, like a planet earth documentary maker, in controlling the actions of those around me, or ruining other people’s experiences with unwanted antidotes of eco-education.
[October 5th – 12th]
I’m in London and Kent, which means lots of unplanned on-the-go food consumption, travel days, and meetings in places which might not be of my choosing. I will have to be on the ball at all times to ensure my eco-impact is null.
[October 12th – 14th] (when the challenge ends)
I’m in Barcelona, without my Spanish speaking husfriend, I don’t speak the language, nor am I used to their habits in terms of dressing to-go food, explaining things I don’t want (ie// straws, plastic bags, to-go cups, napkins, wrappers ect … )
[Our Goals During These Two Weeks]
1. Don’t send anything to the landfill
2. Refuse, reduce, reuse, recycle, or rot (compost) all else
3. Share how much waste we produced and why (inside and outside our homes)