“Official” definition of zero waste: a philosophy that encourages the redesign of resource life cycles so that all products are reused. The goal is for no trash to be sent to landfills or incinerators.
My personal definition of zero waste: learning that spending time to go the extra mile and reduce/reuse/recycle is more important than spending a few more minutes watching Netflix.
To me, reducing your waste output is a commitment. People say, “oh it’s so easy to cut things out” or “making your own lotion takes no time at all!” but I am here to say
no. It is difficult, and you guys, it takes A LOT of work to make decent lotion!
But if you’re willing to make a commitment, and you’re willing to make adjustments, it’s worth it.
I first decided to start reducing my trash before Christmas last year. My roommates and I produced like, 5 bags of trash in a good week and up to 2 bags of trash a day in a bad week. I mean I know we’re in college, but it seems a little ridiculous, right?
In addition to waking up about our trash amount, I also realized that the amount of plastic grocery bags we have under our sink is ridiculous. I feel like every family/household has a hidden place for all the plastic grocery bags they collect that they excuse by saying they’ll reuse them, but 43 bags? Do we really need 43 extra bags for doggy poo pick-up or wet paper towels? That’s a resounding no.
So, after thinking about all the grocery bags I use in a year (240 if you’re curious) I decided to make the commitment to intentionally reduce my trash amount.
I could say here that this decision was made because mother Earth needs our help restoring balance or…
humans are the bane of the Earth’s existence and we need drastic change before it’s too late and the Earth turns on us…
but I won’t say that. Because that’s dramatic.
Instead, I’ll just say this.
God gave us a beautiful, living planet to enjoy, and from basically the moment of The Fall we’ve been slowly changing its natural beauty into something we can understand and control. But God didn’t give us Earth to manipulate, he gave it to us so that we could further reflect on His magnificence through the beauty of his creation. Every aspect of this Earth was made to glorify Him.
I don’t want to change the Earth’s purpose from glorifying God to glorifying me. By daily choosing to limit my waste, I force myself to slow down and only take what the Earth naturally offers. Everything else, I learn to make or reuse or recycle, so that by respecting the Earth, I glorify God by physically showing that I know the planet is here to worship Him, not me.
Sorry if I got too granola (AKA hippy) just then, but I wanted to be open and honest about my decision to start producing less trash, in hopes that I can open a conversation for others! Anyhoo, buy a reusable bottle, use fabric grocery bags, eat fresh fruit and all that jazz. Or don’t, and that’s okay too! We all have our convictions.
I really should stop procrastinating, so that’s the end of this post, but I’ll be back soon! Ta ta for now,