You guys remember when I was just posting about products that you could buy to start your zero waste journey? Good times, naive times, but good times. I guess somewhere in my research I forgot to read the first step to zero waste (I always did read the last paragraph first in textbooks… the intro is always a waste of time and I’m trying to cut out waste!): USE WHAT YOU HAVE!!
I didn’t go to my make-up bag and toss everything in the trash. I used it. And as I started to run low on mascara, I fiddled around with some homemade recipes.
I didn’t go to my closet and throw out clothes that weren’t made with sustainable practices (that would be practically everything for me up until this point…). I fixed my clothes; if they had holes in them I sewed patches and if a hem was loose I would mend it.
When my zero waste month started, I had bags of chips still on my pantry shelves. And heck, I ate them like there was no tomorrow. I caught myself trying not to finish a bag of chips because I didn’t want to be responsible for the trash. Literal crumbs were all that remained, yet I put it back on that shelf fastened with a chip clip falsely implying there were more salty morsels to be had. There were not.
I’m sharing this with you because for some people, they need a kick in the pants to get started. They need a group of people they love and respect to hold them accountable. Some people need to scratch off the days on a calendar, arbitrarily marking a day that they will spend the rest of their lives working to achieve. Those people, are my people. People like me, who do best when baptized by fire. But I want to draw attention to the silent waste warriors. The ones who need no platform or calendar to document their journey. These people are aware already that their environmental, social and individual journey is never-ending. To the people who craft and share and collaborate, they are the silent waste warriors. The people who find value in the storied items in a second-hand donation box, the people who see the past everyday and are reminded of our future, they are the silent waste warriors.
You don’t need to have a trash jar. You don’t need to own a hemp-filled closet. You don’t have to build a garden or learn how to sew. You need to do what you can to find value and meaning in your life. You need to use the support system of the community around you- you can’t sew? go to a local seamstress. you can’t grow? go to a local farmer’s market. you just don’t know? lean into the resources around you, ask a neighbor, hop on a zero waste blog, reach out to the people around you.
In the same way that each of us learn, feel and think differently from each other, we will each tackle our zero waste journeys differently as well. WHICH IS SO DOPE. Cause that means that if I can’t figure out an efficient or cost effective solution to a problem, one of my zero waste friends will have solved it differently and can impart their wisdom on me. Isn’t life grand?