An (almost) zero waste home
A family of four living in suburban New Zealand with day jobs and a fast-paced life – we are what I’d consider to be a pretty typical household, living in a pretty typical way.
What’s blown my mind is by simply being more mindful of our consumption, and making small changes to our behaviour, we’ve managed to significantly reduce our rubbish waste down to less than one wheelie bin a year.
The best thing about it is we haven’t had to compromise our lifestyle. Reducing our waste hasn't made life harder or more time consuming (I’m not spending my weekends toiling in the garden, preserving lemons or milking our house cow!)
Reducing our waste has saved us time and money, and life just feels a whole lot simpler. This is why I’m passionate about helping others make change!
So, in this upcoming series of blogs I’ll take you on a room-by-room tour of what we do at our place. By no means are we perfect, or is it the only way, but I hope it gives you some ideas to kick off or further your own journey.
Before we get into the how-to of the series, I’ll share a few my golden rules – the principles I use to avoid making waste reduction feel like a big deal.
- Be conscious: Start by being more mindful of what and how you’re consuming. Before you buy something, take a micro-pause and ask yourself… Do I really need this, or want this? If you do, is there another way of sourcing it that is a better choice? Can you get it with no or less packaging, buy second-hand, borrow it, repair what you already have, or buy quality that will last?
- One small change: Commit to making just one change and start with an easy one. It will be way more likely to happen. Achieving it will feel good and you’ll be motivated to make further change. Something as simple as switching to double length toilet paper will halve the amount of plastic packaging – easy!
- Do it your way: Any changes I make need to take the same amount of time and money, or less, otherwise I know they’re not going to stick. For example, I tried making my own dishwashing liquid but I really didn't enjoy the process or the time it took. I now buy ecostore products in bulk and refill my containers. I’m saving time, money, and packaging waste as well reducing our toxic load – overall it’s a better choice that suits our family.
“If change doesn't feel good, we’re not doing it right.” Alexx Stuart
This is part 1 in our 6-part monthly series by behaviour changer Nic Turner of Mainstream Green. Stay tuned for the next post where Nic shares simple ideas for reducing packaging waste in the kitchen, which can also save you time and money!