It is the end of Plastic Free July and hopefully you have learnt loads about how to reduce your plastic consumption. However shifting to a more eco and conscious way of living is not just about physical objects, so below I am going to bullet point some things that I have learnt not to do whilst in my zero waste journey.
- I have learned to not buy into the aesthetics of the zero waste lifestyle, yes it is nice when your cupboard looks like it could be in a magazine BUT that is not the WHY of what made me get started on ZW/low impact living. For me the why, is to become more conscious of how our actions have an impact on our environment and evolving to shift from an egocentric way of living to an ecocentric. In other words changing how we live so as to positively impact our environment and those around us. So for me this means not falling into the trap that I need to buy this and that to attain the zero waste lifestyle I aspire to. The key here is to simplify.
- Don’t negatively compare. Sometimes being what other people are doing can be inspirational and help us in our journey. However sometimes it feels us with dread and can make us feel overwhelmed because we might feel like we are not doing enough, this is negative comparison and it won’t get us anywhere.
- Don’t get narrow sighted and stress that you can’t store your plastic waste in a jar. We don’t live in a zero waste society and other people might be privileged to live in areas with zero waste shops and have the time, money and accessibility to live a ZW lifestyle. But this is not the case for the average person so focus on what you can do and celebrate the little wins.
- Don’t forget about your own privileges. We often think about the rich being privileged, however you might have privileges that you didn’t realise. And its these privileges that make it easier for you to lead the ZW lifestyle in the way that you do and so it is important to realise that how we lead our life is not always possible for other to do so as well in the same way. Types of privilege that might apply to you : white privilege, socio-economic privilege, able bodied privilege, neurotypical privilege.
- Which leads me nicely on to… Don’t rain on other peoples parades. If you see someone on social media or in real life trying to make a difference but maybe you feel like they are doing more harm because for x y z reason, stop before instantly reacting and making a comment. Maybe they’ve got a reason for why they are doing x y z, so instead of reacting in a judgemental way, ask them nicely why they are solving that ZW problem in that particular way or if you feel like you can’t comment without sounding judgemental then maybe don’t comment anything. An example that I saw on instagram was someone that was using newspaper to line their waste paper bin and they got comments from people telling them that newspaper was wasteful and used up resources, however what these didn’t know was that newspapers got delivered to the neighbourhood whether you wanted to have them or not so for that person it made sense to give the newspaper a second life instead of using a plastic bag.
Back in February I did a blog about my own personal ZW lifestyle mistakes I encountered which you can read here.
Thank you for taking the time to read my blog and if you’ve got any bits of wisdom that you want to share please leave them in a comment below.
Have a lovely week,