Mar 24, 2017

8 Things They Don't Tell You About Going Zero Waste

After your aha moment you are very motivated to do a trash audit and work toward reducing the amount of trash you create. Like all things it's shiny and new and great, but here are eight things that aren't usually advertised.

1. You will have plastic guilt.

I try to make good decisions and get the most environmentally friendly thing, but sometimes you just want to buy the hummus in the plastic container rather than make it. Hopefully you experience less guilt than I do, but it's there when I buy it and dispose of it.

2. People will look at you strangely.

You are doing something that most people don't so whether it is simply asking not to be served a straw or are bringing your own containers to the deli to have them filled, someone will give you a weird look or maybe even say a snarky comment.

3. There will be days you want to throw it all in.

We can't be perfect, so I say embrace those days or moments and then start over again the next day.

4. You will question everything.

I mean everything. I have stood looking at the dairy case trying to figure out the best way to buy milk. The tetrapak is paper, but we don't have recycling facilities around here so it will go to the landfill. Is that better than the plastic container? Cause the plastic container can be downcycled.

5. You will be disgusted by things that used to be normal.

All of a sudden you will start to see the amount of waste you used to create and it will make you sick to think about what you did and to see that people are still doing that today.

6. Your eating habits may change. 

To prevent packaging waste you will likely be seeking out other food options like buying from bulk food containers or farmer's markets. You will likely be eating less processed food because the more processed something is generally the more packaging it has.

7. You will realize that recycling is a help, but not the solution.

Recycling an item still uses resources and virgin materials, albeit maybe not as much as non-recycled products. However buying package free items will help to eliminate that altogether.

8. You will have an impact/influence on others.

That person standing next you in the grocery store may not have know that you can bring your own containers. Your co-workers may not have ever thought about not getting straws with their happy hour drinks. But you doing things and talking about them will help introduce people to the zero waste lifestyle.

What have you found out about going zero waste that you were surprised by?

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  1. HI Katy,
    Great article! I guess I wasn't surprised by any of your very valid points because I have been doing it so long. Pinning & tweeting. Happy Spring!

    1. I still struggle with plastic guilt all the time! Guess that means I need to be better about eliminating it's use in my life. Happy spring to you too! Thanks for sharing.