When I tried going 'Zero Waste' for the first time I made the rookie mistake of minimising almost everything I owned only to find a few weeks or months later that my storage spaces had gradually shrunk behind my back. Either that, or 'stuff' was still finding its way into my house. After graciously learning and accepting that Zero Waste is not something that can be forced upon other family members (the four) I had to reluctantly accept that I was simply still conditioned to accept gifts and buy stuff I didn't really need.
I personally always try to follow Bea Johnson’s ( LINK HERE) first ‘R’ which is ‘refuse.’ Easier said than done of course. Having said that, as a relatively seasoned ‘Zero Waster’ I can confidently assert that there is nothing more empowering than being able to say ‘no thank you’ to something or someone and really feel in your gut that you are being true to your conviction. There are very few things more uplifting than being able to align your actions to your values.
So for those of you just starting out, I have compiled a list of 5 things that are relatively easy for you to say no to:
1. Refuse to buy things that you can make your own of.
Ready made meals, chemical laden cleaning products and frozen pizzas. The supermarkets are full of stuff that is cheaper, cleaner and healthier to make at home.
2. Say no to 'freebies'. Pens, foam fingers, stickers, magnets, keyrings. Don't fall into the trap of: 'I'm taking it cos its free!'
Do you NEED it? No. End of subject.
3. Ditch plastic bags. Why oh why are they still around? Just stop already. Take your own reusable bags. Have them always in your bag , your desk your car. Easy peasy.
4. Don't buy single use plastic water bottles. Get into the habit of refilling your own every morning. Just as important is not to forget to take it with you of course!
5. Plastic wrap. Unnecessary. Put food in a Mason jar or stainless steel tupperware and cover with a lid.There!