When I really started hitting this "produce as little waste as possible and make environmentally friendly choices" journey, I got a lot of strange looks. Since I was young I was "weird" about the earth, as my mother would say. I would make minor environmentally friendly choices, such as recycling when I could and not using plastic bags, but I was so young I thought I couldn't do much more. This thought stuck with me for a while.
I can't make a difference by myself.
I met more and more people who were making environmentally friendly choices. I began following Amelia on Instagram. I can't exactly recall how I stumbled upon her, but I am so happy I did. Amelia lives a zero waste lifestyle all while raising a beautiful daughter, Lily. She posts so many yoga videos, pictures of her zero waste home, and videos of the DELICIOUS meals she cooks, all while producing zero waste. Seriously, this woman makes her own makeup. She is incredible. She is my number one inspiration.
This was when I took my plunge.
Maybe I can't change the world by myself, but I can make a difference. I can do my part and inspire and educate others to do the same.
Altering your life has to be something that you want to do. If you are not committed to this, you won't enjoy it, and this lifestyle will seem like a chore to you, and that's not what I want. I want you to join Amelia and I on this journey because this is something you truly believe in and something you truly want to do.
So, where did I even start? I didn't start throwing away my toothbrushes and spatulas and yell at anyone who tried to bag my groceries. I had to educate myself to make the best decisions for myself. I started out slow.
If you read my last post, you can get a decent idea on how I started.
I started with my toothbrush. I read an article on Facebook about the benefits of bamboo. I was disgusted. I immediately purchased my bamboo toothbrush along with my Bamboo dish scrubber.
If I had not known the effects that those two plastic utensils had on me and my body, switching to bamboo would have seemed mundane to me.
Then I began to see the posts about the UK banning plastic straws (Go UK!) and I thought, whats the problem? I know these straws ended up in our oceans. God bless that sea turtle, but I thought it was our own carelessness in where we put our trash. That is a huge problem, but we must take into consideration why that straw remained intact like it did. It's because it will never break down. From that day on, I vowed to never let another disposable plastic straw touch my lips again.
These are just a couple examples of the process I am in. If I don't know the why, I won't have the passion. I know doing all this will help the environment, but why will it help? How will it help?
I want to put something else in your mind:
This change will not happen overnight. You will not know it all in one day.
Seriously, that is what scared me so much about beginning my journey. Take Amelia, for example. She is at zero waste. Though she is my inspiration, in this moment, that is not my goal. Zero waste is my long term goal, but right now, I am just producing as little waste as possible while I learn all of this. Rome wasn't built in a day.
I have given up one of life's greatest pleasures: convenience.
This is what this entire lifetime was built off of. Convenience.
Why do you eat take out? Because it's quick, it's convenient. Cooking at home with fresh, organic, or non GMO food is so much better for your body and can produce no waste if you collect your groceries in reusable containers.
It's quick. What's the rush? We all rush to where we have to go next, rather than where we are now. We are constantly in a scramble to get to point B we often forget that we are here.
People will deconstruct you. They will test you. They will tell you "do you really think you're making a difference?" "Why are you making your life more complicated?" Don't get defensive towards these people, educate them.
My favorite is when they say ,"thats not eco-friendly."
Do not get discouraged. Please do not get discouraged. This is a learning journey. Switching your entire mindset takes time. You cannot put pressure on yourself to quit your conveniences cold turkey.
The best thing you can do for yourself is to find your village. Find Facebook groups of people who are embarking on this journey as well. They will give you feedback without making you feel bad of the choices you make because they may not always be right. You will not always have all the knowledge. I shared my last article with a Facebook group and one woman informed me the cleaning products I use aren't QUITE as "eco-friendly" as I had thought. You need feedback to progress. Seriously, find your village. You can email me for more resources. I would be delighted to direct you to some awesome resources.
I still am not where I want to be. I still get takeout sometimes. I can tell you it's A LOT less than what it used to be. It's a gradual shift. Be patient with yourself. Nurture yourself. Keep learning.