My Journey In Zero-Waste

-Alex-

One Earth Day when I was in elementary I learned about carbon footprints and how we all had one that was determined by how much power we used, how much water we used, and how much pollution we made (garbage, gas, etc.). Immediately I started bugging my parents about turning the lights off when they left the room because it was a waste of electricity and even though their LED lights that doesn't mean you can just leave them on all the time. Little 8 year old me parenting my parents on how to use electricity must've been a nightmare(sorry mum). Since then a lot of new information has come out about humans' impact on the environment and it can all feel frightening and overwhelming. There were more and more things I was trying to do at home to do my part, sacrificing a lot of luxuries for my family to do so. We stopped buying Keurig cups -to the dissatisfaction of my parents, started using reusable produce and grocery bags, got a bamboo toothbrush, everything I could think of.  At some point though I started getting frustrated. I believe that we're all in this together and everyone should do what they can, but it felt like no matter what I did there was always waste that I couldn't prevent. There were things that I had to buy that came in plastic packaging whether I wanted it or not. The companies providing me with my essentials weren't doing their part and so it all fell to me as a consumer which made me angry. Some people said that there was nothing I could do about it and it just is the way it is, which I of course couldn't accept, so instead I stopped buying the products. I didn't want to support a company that I didn't feel was doing enough. I found ways around the waste and supported small businesses at the same time. Being zero-waste is hard and impractical, and honestly unrealistic for a lot of lifestyles, but reducing your waste is not an all or nothing gambit. By simply making small tweaks where we can can manage really make a difference. So if you've made it this far I welcome you to look at some of the ways I try to attain almost zero-waste and hope you'll share with me your tips and tricks!