What does zero waste mean to you? Is zero waste attainable? Do you find yourself watching incredible videos of people going to the extremes of a less waste lifestyle, saving every last scrap and wondering if you’re failing?
How to succeed when we feel like we’re failing
If the answer to this last question is ‘yes’, then you’re in the right place. I have a theory about a zero waste lifestyle and it’s simply this, we’re all trying to do our best in whatever way we can. For some this will be a minimal waste lifestyle and for others it will be cutting down on waste in small ways. There isn’t one way that is right and one way that is wrong, it’s all ‘right’ as we’re all trying to do what we find manageable. There can be a sense of shame or failure if we’re not doing everything all of the time, but at Eco-Able, we’re realistic about the challenges of everyday life. Life is so full on at times and we’re all dealing with our own challenges, which will be different and personal to each of us. We all forget things and end up rushing around, this can lead to making less sustainable choices. This isn’t terrible, despite how it makes us feel, we simply need to dust ourselves off and try again when we feel able.
If you find yourself feeling frustrated and often asking ‘is zero waste attainable?’ there are positive things we can do to work towards this, on the understanding that it will look different for everyone. There are things we can do to make it a little easier to stick to our sustainable goals, and the main one is to plan. Planning out our weekly routines, from travel to meals, can help us to cut down on waste. It doesn’t mean that a zero waste lifestyle is always going to be possible and I think we all have to manage our expectations about what is achievable. Shopping in a supermarket isn’t ‘bad’ and if we’re busy, which lets face it, most of us are, it’s okay to do what’s easy. We can still make good choices, but know that we will be limited by what’s on offer in any one place. Obviously we’re a big supporter of shopping small when you can and when we have the time to go to our local shops we will find it easier to find eco friendly and plastic free choices, but we understand that this isn’t always possible. As well as planning, there are a couple of other things we can do to support our aims;
- Grab your reusables
- Reuse whatever you can
- Recycle as much as possible
- Keep going!
Do what you can when you can
Putting too much pressure on ourselves can have the opposite effect to the one that we’re aiming for. So the next time you start to feel disheartened about what you’re achieving, just remind yourself that you are doing what you can, when you can.