The Highs and Lows of a Zero-Waste Lifestyle
Living a zero-waste lifestyle is no walk in the park when you first start doing it.
You have to buy materials, be constantly aware, and make changes that might not make you very comfortable, to begin with. I’m looking at your menstrual cups.
That being said, once you get into the swing of things it’s quite a lot of fun and you feel healthier, happier, and more productive because of it.
Today I thought I would share some of my highs and lows of going zero-waste.
Let’s start with the Highs!
You eat healthier
Bulk food options are much healthier than you might imagine. With the variety of shops I have been to, the most common bulk buy ingredients are lentils, rice, pasta, granola, nuts, seeds, spices, teas, beans, pulses, fruits, and vegetables. When your choices are limited by what is on offer you tend to choose a healthier, varied diet.
You save money
After the initial purchase of cloth bags, tote bags, mason jars, and bottles you’ll find that you start spending a lot less on items from cleaning products (vinegar and water is a 55p alternative) to food (bulk buying has some major perks!)
You become more aware of what you’re buying and what you’re putting in your body
To avoid unnecessary plastic you’ll become more aware of what you’re purchasing and what you’re eating as well. I found that I stopped spending money on items that were not easily recycled or swapping plastic bottles for things like reusable bottles or beauty products for naked/organic varieties.
You’ll feel a sense of achievement
From stopping plastic straws from going into the ocean or reducing your waste this lifestyle will give you a strong sense of achievement if you can make it work.
The Lows of a zero-waste lifestyle
You have to do your research to find items that are zero-waste
From finding bulk buy stores to plastic-free beauty products, you have to do a lot of research when you move into this lifestyle. I found the best way to get the information I needed was to watch zero-waste videos on YouTube. Articles and tips are all well and good, but someone living the life and taking you on tours of your local area is a lot more helpful.
You may have to give up things you love
From branded chocolate or your favourite lipstick, to live a truly zero-waste lifestyle you’ll need to give up a few things that you’re used to. You don’t have to go cold-turkey, you can phase them out gradually if you wish – after all the way you live your life is up to you – but to live a truly zero-waste lifestyle you cannot be snacking on Cadbury’s and wearing MAC make-up.
Eating out just became a little harder
From getting a takeaway in a plastic container, to being offered plastic cutlery or plastic straws you will be forever turning down or accidentally using plastic items of some variety. You really have to be aware and keep notes and ask for alternatives where some might be given.
You have to be prepared
Whenever you go shopping you will need containers, totes and cloth bags. When you eat out you may want to bring your own metal straw or metal cutlery. When you’re at work you may want to bring your own lunch box or reusable bottle/flask. If you’re going to live zero-waste you need to be prepared at all times and this does mean filling your bag with heavy items and carrying them around with you from time to time.
This is just an example of some of my experiences. All in all, I’ve really enjoyed the experience of going zero-waste.
I’ve still got a lot of things I’ve got to cut out and work on but it is a work in progress.
I’d love to hear about your experiences!