There is a lot of talk about the big things you can do to save the environment. You only wish you could buy a Tesla, smother your home in solar panels, and poop in your garden. Well, maybe not that last one.
The problem is that some of these goals are unattainable, at least for the present moment. Teslas and Solar Panels cost a pretty penny and my husband would never touch another vegetable if I used alternative fertilizer.
It’s been over a year and a half since the last time I lived on my own. And, as I’m sure you know, keeping a green household is difficult when you are sharing it with people that don’t share your motives.
With my husband and I’s big move looming ever closer (less than two months, yay!), I’m taking the time to reevaluate what has and hasn’t worked for me this past year.
The big attempts:
Well, that did not go well. I lasted all of three days. This could be attainable if I lived on my own, but I don’t. Between my husband, 3 cats, and I, we cause a lot of damage. This does not mean that Zero Waste was, well, a waste.
I picked up some good tips and tricks that I still use today.
- I try to buy everything in bulk to reduce packaging waste. No more tiny yogurt packs, I get the monster sized container.
- No more produce bags, well almost. I very rarely use produce bags, opting instead to put it directly into my cart.
- I have been meaning to make some mesh/cloth bags to use for things like beans, tomatoes, and other tiny things.
- I have a fold up grocery bag in my purse and sometimes I remember to use it.
- I started composting everything I could and that actually went quite well, but now it’s on hiatus until we move.
- The majority of my junk mail is now junk email. This was the easiest thing to do.
Whether you consider it green or not, this was a huge success. I posted more about it here.
I ended up getting rid of about 70% of my possessions. As long as you don’t count my yarn or my books.
- My closet is now neater and I only have the clothes I actually like wearing.
- I’m considering another closet purge to get rid of even more of the unnecessary.
- My shelves are less cluttered. Now I can get more books!
- I know where my important documents are.
- I can breathe.
- I’ve lived in four different one room apartments over the past year. Minimalism is essential for me.
While I no longer ban myself from shopping, this had many lasting effects.
I was once a frequent impulse buyer. This resulted in too many shitty appliances or little plastic knick knacks from the dollar store.
Now I rarely buy anything and a lot of debate goes into it.
- Do I need this?
- How often would I use it?
- How long will this last? Should I buy a sturdier version?
- Check out Buy It For Life, a great subreddit.
- Can I make this?
These little questions have stopped me from buying so much useless crap. I strongly suggest taking a better look at your shopping habits.
Little things like quicker showers, mindful tooth brushing, and letting the mellow yellow can make an impact.
There have been other experiments that I have tested. But, this post is getting long and my coffee just as low.
The moral of my ramblings:
You don’t have to save the world in a day. Next week maybe, but not right now. It’s ok to not be a super green superhero. But don’t let it be all or nothing.
The little things you do make a difference. And I applaud you for doing them. Maybe you need to work your way up to certain practices. Maybe you can’t do something until you have more money, time, or know-how.
Don’t stop trying just because you can’t do it all.