Charlotte and Anna are the co-founders of A Zero Waste Life, a blog founded in September 2017 to document the successes and failures of a journey towards zero waste living.
Charlotte shares what she’s learnt in the time she’s lived a zero-waste life.
The term zero waste, for us, simply means living without the need for a bin. I refuse, reduce, repurpose, recycle and regenerate any waste that I come into contact with.
These are the top 5 things I’ve learnt about living a zero-waste life:
Sneaky plastic rears its ugly head in the most unlikely places
It’s in receipts, it lines our takeaway coffee cups and it’s even in our tin cans.
Single-use plastic is literally everywhere – and once I started to spot it, it was literally everywhere I looked. I try and avoid receiving this plastic waste altogether, by purchasing alternative products or making food from scratch. Receipts can be avoided by shopping at markets, or by simply asking cashiers not to print you one.
You’ve got to start small
My initial steps into zero waste living were minutely small. I had to take a slow, yet sustained approach to avoid being overwhelmed at the magnitude of zero waste living. Making one change a day, week or even month was a heck of a lot more than other people were doing and is way more manageable than changing a whole lifestyle overnight.
Simple wins are things like bringing a spare tote bag for shopping; remembering your water bottle, switching to reusable sanitary items or refusing to use plastic cutlery and straws.
And once you start, it’s easy to get addicted
Our dependency on plastic is hugely through habit. Once I’d made some key changes, I felt empowered as my choices were better for the planet and myself. Slowly my plastic addition switched to a low waste addiction
Your moral conscious will grow, not shrink
I started living a zero-waste life as I saw the magnitude of our plastic pollution problem and needed to do something to curb my impact.
What started with reducing plastic waste has grown and developed into my full-time career. I care about all sorts of environmental issues which aren’t intrinsically linked to zero waste living. What I thought would be a solution to the issue I saw has made me grow into a fully-fledged eco warrior and I’m pretty damn pleased about that!
Good company makes the journey way better
Anna and I began our zero waste journey at the same time as a new year’s resolution. We have always had each other to encourage, vent to and celebrate with about the little things which helps to make what could be a lonely journey, in this consumerist world, a lot more fun.
Surrounding myself with like minded people on our blog, internet forums and local community groups has made my journey to zero waste living a heck of a lot more fun and I’ve learnt way more than if I was to do this journey solo.
To tap into our supportive community, head over to A Zero Waste Life and get our best tips and tricks for living with less waste.