Reflections on going zero waste

I had originally planned to post a review about my new safety razor today, but being home for the holidays has gotten me into the sentimental spirit and so instead I thought I’d reflect a bit on the last few months.

When I started living a zero waste life and writing this blog, I expected that my life would be more difficult. I expected things to take more work, that I would be giving up things that I loved, and that going zero waste would feel like a chore (albeit a worthwhile chore). I didn’t expect that living a zero waste life would bring me so much joy and radically change my views of consumerism and make it easy for me to give up things I once held dear. I certainly didn’t expect to connect with a community of thoughtful and passionate people online nor did I think my own community would be as supportive of my new lifestyle. The fact that friends go out of their way to tell me that they read my blog or have made changes in their own life means more to me than I think any of them realize. Growing up, I wanted to be an author – to change people’s lives the way writers changed mine by telling fantastical stories that would leave people in awe. Now, my dreams of writing the next big novel have gone away, but I am thankful to have found an outlet that allows me to use my voice in a meaningful way.

It’s Christmas Eve today, the day my family exchanges presents. Looking at the presents under the tree, I am grateful to my parents who are encouraging my zero waste life by wrapping my presents in reusable tote bags and boxes so that I don’t have to generate waste. My family has always indulged my interests (from the time I started a Fair Trade club in high school to when I briefly considered becoming a midwife), but it is particularly exciting to have a passion that they can be included in and can embrace as well.

I didn’t really know what I was getting into when I started my zero waste lifestyle. But looking back on these few short months, I am amazed by how much it has changed me. I no longer feel a rush when I step into Target or the mall to look for material goods that will bring me happiness. Every day is an opportunity to live with intention and think of how my actions can impact the world around me. And by being a little (or a lot) self-indulgent by writing about my experiences, I get to share this journey with friends and people I’ve never met. I hope that all of you have something that gives you these same feelings and that you are able to share that same passion and joy with the people around you. Thank you for being on this journey with me, it’s pretty much the best Christmas present ever.

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