Changing your lifestyle can be an overwhelming venture. I know that when I first seriously started thinking about going zero waste I had no clue how to go about it. Do I just buy those reusable coffee cups and call it a day?
After combing online for all the best information and resources I could find, I started to consider my action plan. Because I love to make lists, that’s where I began. It went well… at first. It then became a jumbled mess of uncertain ideas and an overfilled Amazon shopping cart (one that had a total amount WAY over my budget).
I took a step back and re-evaluated what I wanted to achieve at the end of this challenge.
I realized that I was overthinking it way too much, and trying to alter my life all in one fell swoop. As anyone who has tried implementing a new habit into their routine can tell you; going from 0 to 100 won’t help create a new way of living without it taking away from your happiness.
It was time to take the pressure off myself. By doing this, I could appreciate those curated Instagram photos for what they were – just photos. An enormous weight was lifted. I decided to take the gentle approach to making the low-impact living switch.
Here’s my beginners’ action plan
Take it one room at a time:
Break the process down and focus on one room at a time. Make note of what the greatest waste makers are and think of creative ways to repurpose and eventually replace them with environmentally friendly options. Once you feel that you’ve made the most change you possibly can (both practically and financially) then move on to the next section of the house.
Create a zero waste “Go Bag”
By taking note of the waste usually created when running errands or going out in general, find items that you can substitute for a more low-impact choice. The easiest way to achieve this is by having certain items packed and ready to go whenever you need to run out the house for a bit.
Establish low-impact habits in bite-size increments
One of the first purchases I made was a reusable coffee cup. I was super excited to bring it with me and save the planet one coffee cup at a time (yes, I had a superhero complex with that one) But here’s the thing – I could never remember to use it! I had all the good intentions, but it wasn’t a habit yet.
It’s an easily over-looked step, but one of the most important ones to remember when you want this to become a lifestyle rather than a temporary goal. It is worth being kind to yourself during this process and encourage rather than guilt yourself through the learning process. So break down your big zero waste goals and introduce them one at a time to your week. When you feel like you’re not actively thinking about implementing this change to your day, then introduce another goal. Lifestyle changes should be introduced slowly to become habitual.
This is the initial plan I’ve made for going zero waste
I’m curious to see how it changes along the way, and how I add to this experience as my lifestyle converts over to low-impact living.
As I’ve mentioned in my previous post, I really want to create an encouraging community where we can grow and share our journeys with each other. So on that note, let me know in the comments below if you have any advice to share for beginners joining the zero waste movement.