Monday, February 13, 2017

Zero Waste - How and Why

I find myself becoming more hippie every day. It was never a goal of mine, partially because there are aspects of the hippie lifestyle that I don't condone, but the granola, tree-hugging, natural-living life appeals to me greatly. This is true for several reasons. First, I am a steward of the earth, and I feel that responsibility strongly. Secondly, I love the art of keeping home, and that involves living more slowly, simply, and naturally - at least it does for me. Lastly, I believe it to be healthier and more beneficial for my family. First I adopted the practice of using natural cleaners and hygiene products, then minimalism, then my family went paper free. It seemed natural that a zero waste lifestyle would follow.

What is a zero waste lifestyle? Put simply, it is the practice of eliminating single-use products from your life and trying to limit your waste to infinitely recyclable or compostable items. For us, this meant getting a compost bin for our home, buying local products we can put in our own containers, and limiting the other things we buy to things in glass, metal, or paper packaging. I find it to be a fun process, and we're getting to know our area better as a result.

Because we're doing a no-spend, right now, we've decided to only purchase on a replacement basis, which is what most zero-wasters do anyway. We did make an exception for the composting bin. We've found a local place to get meat and dairy, another to get grains, and we're still looking for options for produce. I'm working through my list of things to replace items like shampoo and tinfoil. I'm deciding what we'll give up instead of finding an alternative or trying to make ourselves.

To me it's an exciting process. I think my husband finds it stressful, right now, though that will hopefully become less as we become used to the new routines. We've been doing it for a couple weeks, and in the past week have only take out one bag of trash. That's pretty good, considering we don't have our compost bin, yet, and are still getting through single-use products we had before this new venture started. I look forward to seeing how it simplifies and betters our home.

If you're interested in more information, you can check out this website. It includes links to videos, if you would prefer that kind of information.

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