Confessions of a Not Zero Waste Mum



OK, so I often write about zero waste, up-cycling and various environmental issues, so it may seem that I live a very sustainable and even a zero-waste lifestyle. The fact is, I don’t but I try to and a lot of the posts that I share here are my findings, in the search for more knowledge and inspiration to try my best and to do better.

I try my best in recycling everything that can be recycled.

I try my best in choosing the most environmental options and only buy what i need.

I try my best at growing our own fruits and vegetables

and I try my best at reducing the waste created in our household through either upcycling  and/or consuming less but it is TOUGH !

It is tough because there are 4 of us in the house (not including the pets) and we consume large amounts of “stuff”and a lot of these “stuff” come with a lot of packaging.

It is tough because it is my choice to live sustainably but I can’t force others to do the same.

It is tough because sometimes I am just not organised enough and end up having to go to our nearest supermarket, buying pre-packaged food items in plastic bags.

It is tough because my pets are all on raw food diets and their food ALWAYS come in plastic packaging ( for hygiene and practical reasons).

It is also tough because there just isn’t enough time in a day to make everything from scratch, using bulk material products, toothpaste etc.

But in my opinion, it doesn’t matter how much (or little) that you are doing. The main thing is that you do what works for you and your household. There is no point doing too much, because in the long run, you won’t be able to sustain it.

It is better to do what you find acceptable to your lifestyle and just take little steps at a time to do more. Eventually (may take years), you may be able to transition fully to a zero-waste and perhaps even off-the-grid lifestyle …. if you want to.

Here are some simple things that we can all do, to reduce our waste:

  • Bring a re-usable shopping bag, instead of buying plastic bags at check-out ( which more often than I like, I forget)
  • Buy a water-filter instead of buying bottled water and if you insists on buying water, buy in glass bottles. (my husband hates the taste of tap water)
  • Buy unpackaged food and leave them loose in the basket.
  • Buy local produce.
  • Recycle and/or reuse.
  • Re-use glass jars for storing left-over snacks and foods
  • Buy bulk of things that you use often, to reduce unnecessary packaging. Just put into smaller re-usable containers.
  • Borrow instead of buy or buy used. It is worth checking Freecycle out.
  • Always choose glass or tins instead of plastic packaging. It is much easier to recycle.
  • Cook food using fresh local produce.
  • Store and save left-over herbs and salad heads in a jar of water in the fridge.
  • Print only what is absolutely necessary and use old print-outs as scrap-paper for kids drawings and/or notes and doodles.
  • Invest in experiences, rather than things.
  • Get a composter if your local council doesn’t have a food recycling bin service. ( We don’t have much food waste as most veggie scraps get chopped up and given to our dog).
  • And lastly, chop up and freeze vegetables and fruits and even herbs that are just about to go old. It will keep in the freezer for months.
  • oh, and one more. Mend instead of throw away. There are great mending cafés in a lot of places now, when you can take your broken item and get fixed of learn how to fix yourself.

These are just the simplest little things that we can do to reduce our waste and the list can go on and on and on but I think the main key is to just be mindful of what we consume, think before we buy and make sure that we maximise the use of everything we buy and/or already have.

Perhaps a good way to get going, is to set yourself little weekly or monthly challenges toward a more sustainable lifestyle.

My challenge to myself this week is to NOT buy a single plastic bag for a month.

What do you struggle with doing that you would like to do for the environment ?

Set yourself a “towards zero waste” or “toward a more sustainable lifestyle” challenge !

Leave a comment below or a post on our Facebook wall to let us know what your “towards zero waste” or “towards a more sustainable lifestyle” challenge to yourself is and we will help supporting you.


4 thoughts

  1. This is an important topic in our house too, and I recognise all of the issues you have noted. Composting, recycling and reusing are activities the whole family helps out with. The amount of plastic bottles we use is my biggest bugbear at the moment and I am desperately trying to find a decent reusable drinks bottle that the kids can use at home or for packed lunches at school, and for me to use at the gym. They all seem to break or end up leaking and it drives me potty. That will be my challenge for this month – find a reusable drinks bottle….. Hey, any recommendations greatly received!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you for sharing your experience. My family and I live in the U.S. at the moment and over-consumption and waste are just driving me nuts. So, each year I try to get slower toward zero waste. I agree with you — it is not an easy task and requires lots of discipline and planning. We have started with taking cotton bags with us whenever we are leaving the house; drinking filtered water instead of getting bottled one; and cooking and eating at home, even making our own cappuccinos and lattes. I am also on the board of social entrepreneurship startup Zero Percent which is focused on eliminating food waste in Chicago, while connecting restaurants and grocery stores with nonprofits that are in need of edible food. This year I am trying to focus on growing slow and cultivating what matters. Moving toward zero waste can be slow but intentional.

    Liked by 2 people

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