I’ve recently decided to make a change. I have decided to take on the challenge to live a more eco-friendly, low-waste lifestyle.
It’s no secret that we are not in good shape. We continue to over-use our planet’s natural resources, pollute our air, water, and land, cut down and clear forests, and endanger species – including ourselves. The convenience factor from cheap, single-use, disposable materials and products is having extremely detrimental effects on our planet’s health, and our own. The world is already overpopulated, so if you are one of the humans currently occupying space here, this movement is for you.
Unfortunately, we are far beyond the days of simple changes like switching your light bulbs and taking shorter showers (although those are still great things to adopt). To really make a difference, we need to make more drastic changes, in our own lives and as a society at large.
What does a low waste lifestyle mean? Well, the real goal is zero waste, but that won’t happen overnight. “Zero Waste is a 21st century movement that aims to shift our economic system from a linear economy (our current global system) to a circular economy. It guide[s] people in changing their lifestyles and practices to emulate sustainable natural cycles, where all discarded materials are designed to become resources for others to use.” (Zero Waste International Alliance)
Therefore, step one on this journey is to transition to a low waste lifestyle, and begin to eliminate as much unnecessary waste from your life as possible. Many of us are so disassociated from the things we throw away and live in this bubble of “ignorance is bliss.” Until it is directly in front of us, we hardly realize the extent to which this problem reaches. Even those of us with good intentions, who recycle and compost and refuse plastic bags, often don’t realize how much more we can and should be doing.
Over the last century we have developed so many great things, but a lot of those things are now sitting in landfills, or on our streets and coastlines. It may not be possible to fully reverse the effects of the generations before us, but we can certainly try. It won’t be easy, but if we all start now we may have a chance. There is no bandwagon for this, everyone is welcome and encouraged to join. And the good news is that it seems like a lot of people are quickly realizing this, and wanting to make their own changes.
So follow along as I take on my own challenge, and hopefully have some tips and tricks to share with you. Let’s leave something intact for future generations to stand on. This is our collective legacy.