The rambling part

I’m what you’d call a concerned citizen. I volunteer a lot and I try to impact the world as positively as I can. That being said, there is room for improvement, like… A lot! So for the new year, I thought I’d give myself a real challenge in my personal life. I decided to try to live a zero waste lifestyle.

I’m not gonna lie, it’s trending. Videos like this one are popping up on social media and it is becoming a new popular concept for the eco-sensitive bunch. I was inspired by that and belonging to the previously mentioned group of hippies, I decided to make the jump.

Opening a small parenthese, I would just like to say how great it is that our societies evolve so quickly in accepting increasingly more extremist practices of eco-friendliness. Shops are popping up everywhere with organic, local products or with no packaging and their growth is exponential. A growing economy is bursting with activity to offer ever more alternatives to be eco-mindful for the average person and this gives me reasons to hope for a better future.

But enough of that, back to the main topic here. I can’t really say honestly that this is a jump, it’s more like a free fall into a black hole. First realisation on the road to zero waste is that you better think this through. It’s not as easy as switching shops. You will soon realise that a lot of your habits need to change, that your mindset needs to evolve. You will have to reeducate yourself, take up a challenge. Exciting, right? The first step towards enlightenment is to become aware of the waste you produce so you can develop a plan to change that. Study first, son, then act!

The first step towards enlightenment is to become aware of the waste you produce so you can develop a plan to change that.

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The challenge yourself part

I have been paying attention to what I consume for a while and I have been recycling for longer, all that to say that I was already somehow careful about the amount of waste I produced. Believe me though when I say that the moment you start focusing on producing zero waste, you start realising there are so much situations where you act in an eco-genocidal way. I swear, I blushed, but luckily nobody was watching, when I started to see all the moments I used disposable items and the easy steps I could do to change that.

I mean, take a minute now and try to think about the things you buy on a regular basis that DO NOT have packaging. If you are the efficient type and do most of your shopping in a supermarket, the answer will be: barely anything… Nowadays, even fruits and vegetables are packaged in cardboard and plastic films or boxes. Don’t even get me started on the plastic bags… I mean, dude, we’re in 2017, bring your own bags to do shopping!

Producing waste has become such an integral part of our lives that we don’t realise it anymore.

Producing waste has become such an integral part of our lives that we don’t realise it anymore. Bringing back that consciousness, being aware of where your waste comes from, what your trash is made of, is the first step in order to change your habits and find waste-free alternatives to your every day consumerist needs. So grab a pen and paper and start making a list of where you systematically produce waste. Take a moment to think what an alternative could be and choose one. Just like that, you would have also made a first step into the zero waste adventure.

Feel proud, feel joyful, if everyone started implementing just one step towards that goal, we would already be reducing waste production by several thousand tons a year. Companies might even get the memo and start reducing the overpackaging of their products and in no time, a shift in behaviours and attitudes will have possibly saved our grandchildren from never seeing a real fish, a proper forest… Tempting, right? All it takes is one first step.

We’ll be back for more insights into this journey soon,

Thanks for your attention,
Marty Jeeper