Lets go Zero Waste

I’ve spoken before about my horror about our household waste since having Pippin, and post renovation I feel a little bit sick at the amount of things sent to landfill.

We did our best to keep things to a minimum by making sure we recycled what we could, but having contractors and less eco-aware family members involved, and frankly the shear volume of work we had done meant that we produced a lot of rubbish.

In addition to that whilst we were at my in-laws we were using disposable nappies, microwavable vegetables, weren’t recycling green waste: the list goes on. This isn’t a criticism by the way, people do things differently and I would always respect that. You can’t expect someone to feel happy about your daughter’s shitty nappies being washed in their machine basically!

It is important though to recognise that all this additional waste we produced has gone to landfill, and will sit there until it rots, which will probably not be in my lifetime. We threw it away, but really I don’t like to say that. There is no ‘away’, it isn’t some magical place where things just disappear to, its a pile of crap that gets bigger and bigger everyday.

But we are home now, and my intention is to make some big changes. During Zero Waste Week I made some pledges:

  1. To bring less packaging into the house.
  2. To make sure we recycled everything that can be recycled.
  3. To waste as little food as possible.
  4. To make use of the green bin for any unavoidable food waste.

I’m going to add to that now: bit by bit, over the course of the next twelve months, I’m going to address different areas of our lives and see how we can reduced our waste and our impact on the environment. I’m not saying we will go Zero Waste, and I’m not saying I will stick to this rigidly because life can sometimes get in the way, but I think we can make a significant improvement to our lifestyle.

The way I see it is that there are a number of areas I can look at to reduced our consumption and waste production (Is this starting to sound like toilet-humour to anyone else? Just me?). I’ve decided to work on this room by room, just to give me a way to group it easily.

So over the next twelve months I’m going to look at ways to reduced the waste in our Hallway, Dining Room, Living Room, Kitchen, Laundry Room, Nursery, Office, Bedroom, Bathroom, Garden and just generally.

Handy, that’s eleven topics for the eleven months that are left. It is almost as though I planned it that way.

Why I don’t make resolutions.

I know I’m a bit late to the game here, we’re already into the second week of January (how did that happen???), but bear with me here.

I used to make resolutions. Big long lists of them. Usually ones about diets, or ‘how to be less fat’, more exercise, drinking more water, eating better, doing more meaningful things. Generally ways I could, and should be a better version of me.

Inevitably I would break those resolutions, one by one, and feel guilty and generally terrible about the fact that I had, again, failed.

As the family got together on the eve of 2015, as we do every year, I didn’t make any resolutions. Not because I’d had any great epiphany about them but because I’d forgotten. My mum loved grandmother had been rushed into hospital on Christmas Eve after aspirating a piece of Salmon, she’d been discharged on Christmas Day but she was still critical. I didn’t have the head space to think about how I was going to better myself through the following year. She passed away in early January and I grafted through the year dealing with the loss, graduating from University and getting married.

The family got together again, and together we welcomed in 2016. I didn’t think about making resolutions, we’d gone on holiday over Christmas – an attempt to distance ourselves from the events of the year before – and I’d developed a urine infection. I felt sick, achy and generally crap and all I wanted to do was eat lots and drink bubbly. As it turns out these were the first symptoms of my very surprise pregnancy, as I found out on the 2nd January. So any ideas that might have been lingering in the back of my head about weight loss went out the window. I started my new job, I worked hard, I finished and then I had my daughter.

Again we met to celebrate the change of the years, and saw in 2017 in the way we usually do. My daughter was four months old; honestly I think I’d forgotten that resolutions existed. We’d also travelled up to see Liam’s Nana, as she rapidly lost her battle with cancer. Last year was one of the most emotional and special I can remember, so many moments that I really do cherish and will remember for a long time. My daughter learned to sit up, to crawl, to talk and to walk. She turned a whole year old. I got a new job and have colleagues that I really like and I’m enjoying it. My husband also got a new job that I hope will bring him happiness. I made some fantastic friends, and hopefully these friendships will continue to flourish. We had loss too, my Nana-in-Law passed away early in the year, but I am thankful forever that she met and loved Pippin.

So, true to form we met again to celebrate the coming of 2018. My husband stepped outside to welcome in the New Year, as he does every year.

And I made the conscious decision to make no resolutions. I’d not lost anything by not making resolutions apart from a sense of guilt. A year is a long time and things can change a lot in a year, your priorities can change a lot in a year. This way I might decide to do something, and then actually give it up – no pressure, no guilt, no remorse. I just changed my mind. Life is too short to try and pin yourself to some ideal vision you have of yourself, just go ahead and enjoy it.

And have a fantastic 2018.