A few months ago, as I was throwing another non-recyclable object into our small general waste bin I suddenly became very frustrated and discouraged.
At that point I was recycling and using cloth diapers (mostly), but it all suddenly felt like I was not really making such a big difference after all. I always felt so good about myself when dropping my recyling off at Pikitup, or when paying Open Sky Recyling to pick my recycling up from our curb when we were still living in Rietondale, Pretoria. But I was still sending bin after bin to the landfill, week after week, in a plastic bag, filled with plastic bags.
“I guess you can’t win” I said to my husband.
Then about a month later I was discussing my interest in having a capsule closet with my sister in law, she shared a Tedtalk by Bea Johnson about her Zero Waste Home with me. In the video Bea mentions her capsule closet of 15 items, BUT, she mainly discusses ZERO WASTE. Here I would like to shout and if I could add a sound clip I would.
ZERO WASTE. ZERO WASTE. ZERO WASTE.
I immediately bought her e-book: Zero Waste Home, and read it cover to cover. I hadn’t felt so inspired in years. I now had answers to all these questions that had been plagueing me: Is it actually possible to not have a bin? To not send anything to the landfill? To recycle less instead of more? Is it actually possible to make a real difference, easily? The answer to all these questions: YES! The answer is ZERO WASTE.
I then discoverd that people all over the world are already doing it. “They must be bored housewives” you are thinking. Actually, no. Most of them are professional people with real jobs. They are not hippies, or gypsies with dirty cluttered homes. (No offence Hippies and Gypsies). Their homes are clutter free, easy to clean homes. They only have what they need, not what they want. They buy experiences instead of things. Their lives are simple, instead of complicated. And they don’t send trash to landfills.
I am lucky to have a husband who is as passionate about the earth as I am. So it didn’t take much convincing to get him onto the band wagon. Our 2 year old doesn’t have a choice.
We have now litteraly plunged into ZERO WASTE. We are simplifying our life, and living with what we need, not what we want. Or at least we are trying to.
How very liberating.
Now all that remains is to start changing all those nasty little waste habits… BRING IT ON!